Rocket Man Pole Vault 

Mooresville - Lake Norman, North Carolina


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Yoga Stretches
Foam Rolling

Strength: Core

What is Core?  excerpted from vaultermagazine.com
First of all, what is the core?  Well, it’s definitely not just your abs. It incorporates most of your trunk, your back and your butt. Some exercise science specialists also say that the core can extend all the way down your hamstrings (posterior chain) and quadriceps (anterior chain). The core really is the ability to recruit as many muscles as possible to make movement as efficient as possible. By doing this, you decrease your chance of injury as well as making your body more balanced. This is why it is very important to do “core” training, or also known as full body exercises.

Start with gradual isolated ab exercises that work on the transverse abdominis and spinal muscles. Then progress to some more difficult exercises that involve leg lifts, leg lifts with medicine balls, hanging knee raises, etc.

Exercises that create a lot of tension or torque are also very important to incorporate into your regime. This is where all the muscles communicate with each other at the same time. Good examples are the front elbow plank, side elbow plank, and other really awesome varieties of the plank. To get the posterior chain, you can do hip bridges and table tops.

Climbing specific “core” exercises would be anything that involves hanging. Toe touches to the bar, front lever variations, windshield wipers are good examples of these.

Don’t forget! Squats, dead lifts, push ups and pull ups are also considered “core” exercises, because they involve the whole body to achieve the movement.

Be safe with your exercises, take the progressions slow, and don’t push yourself to fast to achieve results. Your goal is to stay injury free as you become as strong as an OX.

Pole Vault Ground Drills and Core Strength
to be done with a partner.
  • Step-ups: Set a 12- to 18-inch box or step on the ground. Stand facing the step. Place your right foot on top of the box with your knee bent. Straighten your right leg and stand on top of the box with both feet. Lower your left foot to the ground first and then your right. Repeat this 10 times for each leg. Complete one or two sets.
  • Hanging-knee raises: hang from a pull-up bar with your legs straight beneath you. Exhale, bend your knees and raise them toward your chest. Inhale and slowly lower your legs to the starting position. Repeat this for two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
  • Pushups. Begin on your hands and knees. Position your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Straighten your legs and rest your toes on the floor. Lower your hips to align your spine. Inhale, bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Exhale, straighten your arms and return to start position. 2 sets of 10-15 reps

find more here, and on YouTube, and by googling "core strength exercises for pole vault" 

Some generic core exercises: 

3 sets of 10 repetitions of each of these drills 3 times a week
  • Prisoner Squats
  • V-sits
  • Push Ups
  • Back hyper w/twist
  • Rocket Jumps
  • Med ball sit-ups/side-ups
  • Rotational push-ups
  • Wrestler’s Bridge (isometric pelvic tilt; bellybutton to spine)
  • Crunch: 
  • Med ball twist (sitting or lunge)
  • Decline push-up
  • Prone single-leg raise
  • Side walking lunge
  • Elbow plank
  • Running v-sit (legs in air)
  • Lateral Plank, left
  • Back hyper-flutter kick (swim motion)
  • Lateral plank, right
  • Sit-up (up, then elbow to opposite knee)
  • Scissors over-under v-sit (cross at knee, arms straight out)

Basic Yoga Stretches for after workout and cool-down.  Do them in order; and follow with foam rolling.  
These are just some essentials.  You can find many, many more by googling by keywords, such as "yoga stretches for tight quads" 

Pose 1: Runner’s Lunge

Strengthens:  Legs and Upper Back

Stretches:  Groin, lateral thighs (IT bands) and hips; opens up your calves, quads, hamstrings,

Benefits:  The groin or adductor muscles provide strength and stability for the femur (thigh bone) and hip joint. Keeping this group of muscles flexible will decrease the likelihood for a groin strain or imminent ITBS. Strengthening your quadriceps & hamstrings will allow for more power per “push off” of every step

1. Start in a lunge position with your right foot back first.

2. Press back through the right heel to straighten the back leg. Lift through the knee to engage the thigh.

3. Make sure the left knee is over the ankle.

4. Bring the hands to the sides of the front foot, under the shoulders.

5. Draw in the navel and tuck the tailbone.

6. Raise the heart toward the sky without taking the hands off the ground.

7. Hold for 30 seconds.


Pose 2: The Crescent Moon

Strengthens:  Glutes, hamstrings and core

Stretches:  Hip Flexors
Benefits:  opens up your calves, quads, hamstrings, lateral thighs (IT bands) and hips. But it also stretches the quad of the extended leg and the hip of the bent leg.This move is good for activating glutes and hamstrings needed for a more powerful stride. By incorporating the balance, your body’s smaller stabilizing muscles are ignited and will give you a smoother, more efficient, more gazelle-like stride.


1. From Low Lunge, drop the back knee  and the top of the back foot to the floor.

2. Keep the front leg in place, with the knee over the ankle.

3. Drop into the hips to stretch both the front hip and the back quad.

4. Raise the upper body in line above the pelvis, head lifting toward the ceiling.

5. Bring the arms up by the ears, elbows straight, hands reaching toward the sky. Keep dropping the shoulders away from ears, even as you lift the arms.

6. Engage the navel and tuck the tailbone slightly under to keep the abdomen strong.

7. Drop opposite arm to the side and reach down to the ground while reaching up and slightly over with the other arm

8. Hold for 30 seconds

Pose 3 & 4: Hamstring Tower

Stretches: Hamstrings
Benefits: lengthens and opens the hamstrings.Comprised of 3 muscles on the back of your thigh, the hamstrings have a major role in extending and hyper-extending the hip and in controlling the opposite action in hip flexion. In running if your hamstring flexibility is hampered then your running speed will be limited.


1. From Crescent Moon, straighten through the front leg and draw the hips back behind you.

2. Place the hands on the floor for balance.

3. Bend through the spine, bringing the nose toward the knee and draw the shoulders down the back, away from your ears. You should feel a stretch in your hamstring.

4. To deepen the calf stretch, try flexing the foot and drawing the toes back toward you even more.

5. Relax the spine and neck completely.

6. Hold for 30 seconds 

Pose 5 Lateral Hip Stretch

Benefits:  stretches the IT band






1. From Hamstring Tower, walk the hands over to the same side of the body as the extended leg.

2. Keep the hips over the back knee and keep the front leg extended.

3. The further back and away from the body you place the hands, the more you’ll feel the stretch in the lateral hip and thigh.

4. Make sure to keep the head dropped and the neck relaxed.

5. Hold for 30 seconds

Pose 6 for Tight Quads
Stretches: Quads
Benefits: Tight quads correlate to IT band, and low back discomfort and tightness; can help to keep the quads, low back, and IT band healthy and can help slow down the wear and tear of your hip joints

1. From the Hamstring Tower, upright position: right knee on the mat and right shin/foot down, rest your left elbow on your left knee and find balance.
2. Reach your right hand back, lift your right foot and grasp it with your right hand
3. Shoulders facing forward and chest tall, pull your right foot toward your right glute
4. Lean toward your left foot without allowing your knee to extend beyond your toes
5.  Hold for 30 seconds

Pose 7  Pigeon (or alternative*, below)

Stretches: the outside of the hips and the inner thighs

Benefits:  hip flexor, IT band 


1. Step your right leg forward between your hands.

2. Drop your back leg to the ground. Keep the back leg turned under.

3. Keeping your front leg bent, place it shin down on floor behind your right wrist.

Tip: Align your right knee straight in front of your right hip and your right shin parallel to the front of your mat.

4. Lower your hips, bringing your left knee and top of your left thigh to the floor and walk your left foot back a few inches to straighten your left leg directly behind your left hip. Then rest the top of your left foot on the floor.

5. Walk your fingertips out to 18 inches in front of your right shin and bring your elbows to the floor, forearms parallel to each other.

6. Draw your right hip back, and your left hip forward

7. Make sure your front foot is well flexed.

8. Hold for 30-60 seconds; and then repeat poses 1-7 using the other leg

*Alternative to the Pigeon Pose

1. Lie on your back on the mat.

2. Bring your knees in towards the chest, at a 90-degree angle.

3. Place your right ankle on your left thigh, interlace your fingers and place them behind your left thigh, and pull your left thigh toward your chest.

4. Repeat on the other side.

TIP: Flex your feet to deepen the stretch. Press your elbow against that bent knee to feel an inner thigh stretch. If you have knee problems, adjust the angle of the knee so you feel comfortable.

Sumo Squat

Strengthens: Inner strength and centeredness
Stretches:  This pose stretches the ankles, groin, and back of the torso. If your heels don’t reach the floor, rest them on a folded blanket.
Benefits:  helps to maintain optimal range of motion for your ankles and helps to open hips gently.

Standing wide-legged forward fold

Benefits: Opens the hips and stretches the hamstrings


1. Stand with feet about a leg's length apart.

2. Turn your heels slightly out and your toes slightly in. (Imagine you're slightly pigeon-toed.)

3. Inhale, stand tall and stretch your arms out to a T.

4. Exhale, fold forward, taking your hands to the floor or a yoga block. Allow your head to hang down, straightening your spine.  Do not lock knees

5. After five breaths, inhale as you roll up slowly, engaging your abs and pressing in to your feet to help you rise.

6. Exhale, step your feet together.


Standing forward fold with "ragdoll" arms

Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and straightens the spine.

1. Inhale and take your hands to your hips as you

step your feet hips' width apart.

2. Exhale, fold forward. If you can straighten your legs in this pose, grasp each elbow with the opposite hand. If you can't straighten your legs or need more support, place your hands on a yoga block (or even a chair, if you prefer).

3. Allow your head to hang down limply--like a ragdoll, straightening your spine. Gaze past the end of your nose.

For tight lats

Stretches: latissimus dorsi muscles, the muscles that connect your upper arms to your lower back. When you raise your arms overhead, the “lats” stretch, so tight lats make it difficult to reach up
Benefits Improves range of motion; can help protect you from rotator cuff injuries

1. Kneel in front of a chair.

2. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, place the backs of your elbows, near their tips, on the front edge of the chair seat, about shoulder-width apart.

3. Walk your knees away from the chair until your trunk is parallel to the floor and your knees are directly under your hip joints.

4. Draw your front lower rib cage upward so it does not sag toward the floor, and keep it there throughout the pose.

5. Move your hips horizontally backward to lengthen your spine, slide your shoulders outward toward your ears, and draw your head back and away from the edge of the chair seat. Allow your head to hang down.

6. Press your tailbone slightly toward the floor to stabilize your sacrum, pelvis, and lower back; keep your ribs slightly lifted; and move your outer arms (triceps) toward the floor as far as you comfortably can.

7. Allow the latissimus muscles to fully release, lengthen, and permit deeper movement.

Child’s pose 

Benefits:  Stretches hips, thighs and ankles; arms; can help alleviate back pain.


1. Start to lower to the floor.

2. Your belly will rest on or between your thighs, and your forehead will reach towards the mat. (Place a towel under your forehead if it won't reach the floor.

3. Stretch the arms out in front of you to feel a stretch up the length of the back.

4. Stretch the arms alongside the body, with the fingertips facing the toes, to stretch between the shoulder blades.