Vault is performed on a vault table. The term vault is often used interchangeably for both the event and the piece of equipment. To perform a vault a gymnast will run down the runway, jump onto the springboard, put their hands on the vault, and then land on their feet on the other side of the vault table. As skill level increases variations to the entry and exit from the table will be added. The first vault a team gymnast will compete over the actual vault table is a Front Handspring. This is an important skill as a gymnast could compete this vault from Level 4-8. The deductions will be stricter for each level, but the skill remains the same.
At the Preschool level the basics of vault are introduced so you will see combinations of running, jumping and landing. With the progression to the Recreational level focus will become more on the handstand, combined with skills that proceed or follow the handstand. At Pinnacle a block or blue table is used for the vaulting surface at these levels. These pieces are softer and allow for mastery of skills before use of an actual vault table.
Exercises at home: Planks and handstands against the wall. Focus on a tight core and extended body. In the handstand, remember to point those toes!
Below you will find an introduction to some of the terminology we use in our vaulting stations at Pinnacle.
Keep calm and gymnastics on!
Gymnastics Terminology (Vault)
Hopping/Jumping on Tumble Trak: Combining the elements of running and jumping.
Hopscotch: Feet together, Feet apart progressing to 1 foot, 2 feet
Hurdle: Hopping from one foot and landing on two feet. Starting with stationary and then adding a run into and jump out of it.
Springboard: a mounting apparatus filled with spring coils to provide bounce and entrance to the vault table
Arm Circling: Incorporating the arms to help provide lift in the jump off the spring board
Bound: Taking off from 2 feet
Flatback: Holding body tight as in same position of a handstand
Bound to Handstand: Taking off from 2 feet and extending to handstand position
Handstand, Fall to Flatback: Hitting handstand then falling to a mat in that full handstand position with legs extended tight and together, arms still overhead.
Key Muscles for Vault: