How to jump off and swing the arms - Straight Vault

Gymnastic Vault Exercise 1

Learn how to jump off and swing the arms - Preparation for a straight vault. If you start practicing the gymnastic vault, you will start with straight vaulting techniques and this is one of the first exercises you will do. At the same time you should practice the run-up (track & filed sprinting techniques) and front handsprings on the floor. Find more gymnastic vaulting instructions at gymnastics main.


  • Stand on a springboard and jump up from both legs. Swing your arms from behind the back forward up and extend them over-head. It's very important that you swing your arms forward up! That's the only correct form! (never swing your arms back and up) A common mistake is swinging your arms too far and arching the back. Keep in mind that your abdominals should remain tight when you block off the vaulting table. If you arch back, you will automatically mess up the second half of the vault.
  • In mid-air, your knees, your ankles, your elbows and your back should be fully extended.
    Your upper body should be aligned vertically with your arms. You can lean forward a few degrees, but leaning back is bad form. Later you will push yourself off the table from this exact posture.
  • Let your arms fall back and down and land on the balls of your feet (same spot from where you jumped off). Bounce off and jump again. Do 3 to 5 sets of 10 repetitions before your first straight vaults (as a warm-up).


  • When you run towards the gymnastic vaulting table, do this arm swing as you jump onto the springboard (after the last step of your runup)