Rocket Man Pole Vault 

Outdoor Pole Vault training and meet facility  -  Mooresville - Lake Norman, North Carolina

There are three basic training seasons for High School TRACK AND FIELD at RMPV: 
Competition/Peak/Late Season

Training Goals are to progressivley gain
Strength, Power, Agility, Balance, Flexibility, and Local Muscle & Strength Endurance
which we aim to achieve through 
Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Training Activity
whose degrees will vary according to the phase we are currently in, your gender, age, current fitness and general health.  

You play a vital role in your success by committing to achieving your goals both during formal practices and on your own.  Below is a basic schematic you can follow.  Either on your own or with a training partner, complete your non-jump day workouts without fail and with passion!
Speak to your High School Coaches about completing these
vault-specific workouts during your school track practices.  

Record your workouts in your journal! You should all be using a journal to record: 

  • your goals
  • your workouts and your thoughts about them
  • test results
  • your jump sessions, poles and grips, steps, outcomes
  • your meets and observations about them

Also include things like sleep, food, hydration, stress, and how those might relate to your progress.  

Early/Pre-Season Conditioning
Phase 1
 August-September; February-March   

color coded for easy reference

scroll down definitions and examples 

 Warm Up & Sprint Drills

Pole Drills (runway)


Core/Stability Work

Weight Training & Circuits

Cool Down

test* early in this phase

For example:

MondayWarm up,


              Running (1-3 sets: 3x50m, 25m, 50m); (6x100m)

              Weight Training

              Cool down

Tuesday (Jump day): 

               Warm up

               Pole Drills, 


               Ropes, high bar work

               Cool down and Yoga


              Warm up, 

              Core and/or Weight Training

              Running (1-3 sets: 3x50m, 25m, 50m), 

              Running (Tempo)

              Cool Down

Thursday (jump day): 

               Warm up

               Pole drills, 


               Ropes, high bar work

               Cool Down and Yoga

Friday:   Warm up

               Core and/or Weight Training

               Running (1-3 sets: 3x50m, 25m, 50m), 

               Running (hills), 

               Cool down

Saturday (jump day): 

               Warm up

               Pole drills, 


               Ropes and High Bar work

               Cool down and Yoga

SundayOff (active recovery)

Phase 2
 October-December; March-mid-April


color coded for easy reference

scroll down definitions and examples 

Warm Up & Sprint Drills

Pole Drills (runway)


Core/Stability Work

Complex Training

Cool Down

test* around Thanksgiving

For example:

MondayWarm up,


             Running (3-5 x 100-150m @100% effort); (2x200m)

             Complex Training (squat jumps, single leg hop, bounds)

             Cool down

Tuesday (Jump day): 

              Warm up

              Pole Drills, 


               Ropes, High Bar

              Complex Training (two-legged bunny hop; hurdle hopping)

              Cool down and Yoga


              Warm up,


              Running (5-8 x 100m @ 90% effort); (2x200m)

              Cool Down

Thursday (jump day): 

              Warm up, 

              Pole drills,


              Ropes, High Bar 

              Cool Down and Yoga

Friday:   Warm up


             Running (3-5 x 150m @100% effort); (5-8x100m @ 90% effort)

             Complex Training (hill bounding, single leg hop, tuck jumps)

             Cool down

Saturday (jump day): 

            Warm up, 

             Pole drills, 


             Ropes, High Bar or Core           

             Cool down and Yoga

Sunday: Off (active recovery)

Competition/Peak (Late Season)
Phase 3
January-Mid-March; mid-April-mid-May

color coded for easy reference

scroll down definitions and examples 

Warm Up & Sprint Drills

Pole Drills (runway)


Core/Stability Work

Complex Training

Cool Down

test* after State Championships


WARM UP: (20 meters eacc; jog back in between)

EMPHASIZE POSTURE : reach up, open chest, proper alignment; To develop arm action, high knee lift, leg extension, high center of gravity

in trainers (not spikes), 

Run 400-800m at tempo pace (comfortably hard), then:

Left Arm Circles

Right Arm Circles

Both Arm Circles

A-skips (how to)

B-skips (how to)

Knee hug to lunge and arms overhead stretch; jog back to start

High knee Karaoke - 20 meters each side (how-to)

Toe walks in 3 directions (how-to)

Heel walks in 3 directions

Figure 4's


in spikes:
Pole drills (preferably on the runway)

Ankling (how-to)

Ankle Pops  (how-to) and (how-to)

Straight-Leg Bounds (ankle pops with longer stride and SPEED)

Ankling with pole drop (to horizon/eye level)

Punch up

Plant Up

For example:

MondayWarm up,


             Running (2 x 200m @100% effort); (2x300m); (3x150m @ 100%)

             Cool down

Tuesday (Jump day): 

             Warm up

             Pole Drills, 


             Complex Training and/or Core

             Cool down and Yoga


             Off (Active Recovery)

Thursday (jump day): 

             Warm up

             Pole drills,


             Complex Training            

             Cool Down and Yoga

Friday: Off (Active Recovery)

Saturday Competition (or Off) 

Sunday: (jump day for those who did not jump         


CORE   excerpted from vaultermagazine.com

abs, trunkback and 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 idea is to recruit as many muscles as possible to make movement as efficient as possible to decrease your chance of injury and make your body more balanced. 

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 do hip bridges and table tops.

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 strong.

to be done with a partner
click-able if underlined
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, here, and on YouTube, and by googling "core strength exercises for pole vault" 

      Complex Training  Quality (speed & form), not Quantity 

      To get the best from these training workouts you need to be physically fresh and motivated, focused, explosive

      Use Plyometrics to recruit specific Muscle fibers which results in explosive force/max power. 

      Phases of this so-called "stretch-shortening" cycle:

      Concentric phase (muscle shortens), or take-off phase, uses the stored energy to increase the force of the movement

      Amortization phase, or transition phase, is the time between the concentric and eccentric phases. This time needs to be as short as possible otherwise the energy stored during the eccentric phase dissipates, reducing the plyometric effect

      Eccentric phase (muscle lengthens), or landing phase, involves the pre-loading (energy is stored) of the agonist muscle group

      Examples are bounding, single- or double-foot hops, hurdles, jumps, and drops


      1-3 sets over 20-40m

      Upright position, push off left foot, right leg comes forward with knee bent, thigh parallel to ground, foot dorsiflexed; opposite arm reaches forward, left leg stays extended through entire bound, hold the extension; land flat footed (amortization) and take off again immediately. Long strides.

      Recovery: full between sets

      Hurdle Hops:

      1-3 sets over 6-8 low (12") hurdles, spaced according to your ability

      Upright position, movement from hips and knees, feet together, knees to chest, double arm swing, land on the balls of the feet and take off again immediately.  

      Recovery: full between sets

      Single-Leg Hops:

      1-3 sets over 20-40m

      Body vertical/straight.  Stand on one leg, push off with this leg.  Jump forward, land on same leg, ball of the foot.  Opposite leg swings to add momentum, length and HEIGHT to the jump.  Land and spring back up immediately.  Extended leg can be straight (beginner) or heel comes toward butt (more advanced).  

      Recovery: full between sets

      Two-Legged Bunny Hops:

      1-3 sets x 5-10 repetitions (bounds) per set

      Stand and stay vertical and upright throughout the hop, feet should width apart, lower into a squat (weight shifts to your heels), jump FORWARD as far as possible (weight shifts forward), using both arms (double-arm swing), land on the balls of your feet, take off immediately. 

      Recovery, full between sets.

      Save box jumping for much later! it is extremely hard on the body, especially the relatively immature bone structure of the pre-adolescent and adolescent.  

      Weight Training and Circuits
      Strength happens when a muscle is forced to work beyond its usual intensity; in other words, you have to "overload" your muscles.    

      Gaining Strength = Gaining Power and Endurance.  You can achieve this by adding 

      resistance (weights)               

      number of repetitions 

      number of sets

      Strength & Conditioning Circuit

      Weights, sets and reps will gradually increase each week for 6 weeks

      Strength & Conditioning Circuit 1:

      Clean pull: 2-4x 5reps (boys 95-225 lb; girls 75-185lb)

      Back Squat: 2-4x 10reps

      Barbell Overhead Press: 2x 6-8reps

      1-Arm Dumbbell Row: 2-4x 8 reps

      Back Extensions: 3x 8-12 reps

      Core: 25-50 V-ups and alternating toe touch

      Strength & Conditioning Circuit 2

      Step-Ups: 4x 6 reps w/ dumbbells (DB), arms at side; step up, alternate feet

      DB Bench Press: 4x 8-10 reps (girls 25-35 lb; boys 45-50 lb)

      Chin Ups: 3-5x 5reps neutral grip; middle of the bar

      Supine Bridge: 3x 10-12 reps

      Bent Lateral Raise: 3x 8-10 reps

      Bridge Series: 3x each pose front (face down), 60 seconds; left side, 45 sec; right side, 45 sec

      Overhead Row with dumbbell (on the bench): 2-3x 10-15reps PV pole grip

      2-Person MedBall Toss: 3x 15 reps modified sit-up; toss ball back and forth

      Strength & Conditioning 3: 

      Barbell Complex: 2-4x 3-5reps each move

      RDL (Romanian Dead Lift) 

      Hang Clean

      Overhead Press (barbell starts on top of clavicle)

      Bent over Row

      Front Squat

            1-2 warmup sets (no weight on the bar), 

            + 2-4x 5 reps (girls, bar only; boys, 10-25lb)

      Face Pulls: 3x 8-12

      Resistance Band (standing row w/band)

      The Rocket

      10-15 v-ups

      20 walking lunges (run to next start point)

      20 burpees

      Run diagonal

      20 donkey kicks OR Fire hydrant (dirty dog), 

          --for hip mobility, do Forward and backward knee circles

      10 frog jumps (run the rest)

      5 pushups

      plank 60 sec

      A-skips along the diagonal back to start

      Circuit Training B

      10x 100m Strides 60-70% effort

      + 5 push-ups on one end

      + 5-15 MedBall squat toss

      + 1 minute of marching planks or side planks (may add oblique pumps)

      Coach Rick’s 5-5-5s

      On the bar; continual hang (don’t drop between); 

      Work up from 1 set to 5 sets over several weeks.

      5 pullups 

      + 5 leg risers 

      + 5 muscle-ups 

      + 5 Bupkas 

      + 5 pullovers


      Always Counting Lefts (or rights)


      • Postural alignment/integrity
      • Thoracic cavity accommodates amply the heart and lungs
      • Hip alignment w/ head (neutral chin) and spine (neutral: belly-button to spine, tuck tail bone, tilt pelvis forward and up, tighten pelvic muscles)
      • Stride fluidity and length
      • Biomechanics
      • Outside forces: gravity, air resistance
      • Bounce: tendons store and release energy
      • Pop: to decrease ground contact time (undulation) “run light”
      • Arm carry: relax/drop shoulders; should match lower extremity forces
      • Uphill running: acceleration mechanics, lean in slightly, lead shin and extended shin are parallel

      Phase 1 Running
      focus on rebuilding fitness, agility and mobility.  
      Prioritize hill sprints and A- and B-skips.  Sprints should be short (50-100 meters) and top speed for only half the distance.  

      Hills  Find a fairly steep GRASS hill about 60 meters long (65 yd/200ft)

                 Sprint up 6-10 times  (speed = 70-80% effort). Emphasize proper form (tall, no bend from the waist, drive knees up, swing      

                 arms up, stay on the forefoot)

                 Count lefts (25-40)

                 Recovery: jog or walk back to start 

      Intervals (sprint)

               1-3 sets: 3x50m, 25m, 50m at 90% effort 

                 Recovery: 4-6 min between sets

               6x100m at 60-65% effort

                 Recovery = walk 100m (back to start)

      Tempo* Run: (choose #1, #2, OR #3, not all 3)

                 #1  3-5 sets:  200m at tempo pace*

                       Recovery is 1-2 minutes or 100m walk

                  #2 1-2 sets: 100m+100m+100m (50m walk between)

                       100m+200m+100m+100m (50m walk between)

                       100m+100m+200m+200m (50m walk between)

                       Recovery 1-2 minutes between sets

                  #3 3-5 x 200m (100m walk between)

                       4-8 100m (50m walk between)

                       Recovery 2-3 minutes between sets

      *Tempo Pace, aka Threshold, aka Hard but Controlled

        is roughly 60-75% of your max speed.  

                  If your best 200m is 28 seconds, your tempo pace for 200m will be 37 seconds (75%) to 40 seconds (60%)

                  If your best 200m is 30 seconds, your tempo pace for 200m will be 39-50 sec

                  If your best 200m is 35 seconds, your tempo pace for 200m will be 46-50 sec

                  If your best 200m is 40 seconds, your tempo pace for 200m will be 54-67 sec

                  If your best 200m is 50 seconds, your tempo pace for 200m will be 1:07-1:13


      Don't be very concerned with the number; just run hard, but under control 



      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.



      To measure your progress, know what's working (or not working), discover whether you're training too little (or too much!), and stimulate your motivation, it is important to perform some evaluations fairly regularly.  Following Shawn Francis' model, plus a few of our own, we will test the following:

      • Standing Double-Leg Hop
      • Vertical Jump
      • 30m Sprint
      • Flying 10m
      • Rope Climb
      • Handstand
      • more....