Kinematic Analysis of the Women's Pole Vault
University of Wales
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Despite the rapid rise in female pole vaulting performance standards, there is a lack of contemporary scientific research in women’s pole vault. The aim of this study was to improve knowledge and understanding of the kinematic factors that influence women’s pole vault performance. A round table discussion between two elite pole vault coaches was conducted to identify the performance variables that were considered to influence the outcome of the vault. Using this information, a kinematic-based analysis of the techniques adopted by female pole vaulters of different standards (n = 24) was completed using Silicon Coach. Results established that grip height and push height influenced the overall jump height most significantly (r = 0.960 and r = 0.907 respectively). No relationship was found regarding the difference in the height of the hips and shoulders at the point of maximum pole bend (r = 0.325). However, the study concluded that no one factor alone influenced vault height significantly, rather that pole vault should be considered as a series of phases acting in a continuum, with the performance of each phase determining the outcome of the following one. Thus it is essential that all movements in the vault are performed optimally to ensure a vaulter’s full potential is reached.
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