For Coaches Arm swing in vault

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Jul 19, 2019
Adult gymnast here. I've been training a little bit of vaulting and I'm currently working on front handsprings. However before changing gym I did not receive many corrections on my technique. The new coach noticed that I was approaching the vault more like if I were on floor, with my arms already overhead at the moment of jumping from floor onto the springboard.

He told me to instead swing my arms backward while I am jumping from the floor to the spring board, and then forward towards the vaulting table as I am taking off from the springboard.

I have now googled it a bit and it seems that the advised technique is to do a backward arm circle rather than just swing the arms back. So are both ways acceptable, or maybe I should ask him about this? Thanks!

Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
Two ways of accomplishing the same thing, different coaches and athletes have different preferences.

What's important is for your arms to be low when your feet are on the board and rise up towards the ears as you leave the board. It doesn't really matter whether your arms get there via a full circle or a swing during the hurdle.

(Unpopular coaching opinion: even having the arms low during board contact is, imo, far less important than most coaches think it is)


Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
The key is quick and sharp movements… not a lazy arm circle.

Here’s a bunch for you…

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