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level four vault

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nicci1999

Active Member
Gymnast
Dec 21, 2008
799
NH
Wow, I feel as if I have been asking questions like crazy lately, but you guys are all incredibly helpful! Anyway, I have started working on my level four vault, and I am not coming up into a full vertical in my handstand, and end up piking the vault, which I know will cause me nothing but a bunch of butt landings at least when it comes time to work my fhs vault on the table. So any hints or suggestions as to how to pull myself vertically, and not pike so much? I realize I just started doing this last week, but I would like to compete a fhs vault by next season. Thanks a bunch!!!!!
 

tumblegrl

New Member
Feb 5, 2009
19
I'm a level 8 and my coaches always say to squeeze your butt because when you squeeze it, it like automatically gets your body into a hollow position, or a straight body. So try that. Just squeeze it the whole time...except when your running hahaha.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
4,079
Baltimore, MD
Country
USA
(I'm assuming you're talking about piking in the preflight)

Piking is often (though not always) caused by leaning to far forward on the board. Which is often caused by hurdling from too close. Which is often caused by problems in the run.

I'd start by looking at the run, and specifically by looking at where you start your run. Try starting a little closer, or a little further, or starting with the other foot, or some combination of these. The goal is to, without throwing off your stride, be able to hurdle from a bit further from the board.

If this isn't the problem (and it may well not be; I'd have to see you vault to say for sure), then focus on your hurdle. Try picking your chest up and pulling your chin back a bit on the last couple steps of your run, and keep it that way through the hurdle. If you are leaning too far forward (and again, I can't say for sure that this is your problem without seeing it), it is almost impossible to vault without piking (unless the board is set very far from the mat, something which I would avoid since it leads to a weaker vault over the table).

It is possible that you are vaulting with the board too close or the mat too high. I would hesitate to diagnose this problem over the internet, though; generally, you WANT to get used to vaulting with the board as close as you can reasonably get it.

You may be ducking your head under too early; coaches differ on whether your head should be neutral or out, but I think most will agree that you don't want your chin on your chest for this skill.

Or it could be none of the above; perhaps you just need to squeeze your butt and focus more on getting your heels up as you leave the board.
 
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gymalex

Member
Jan 3, 2009
75
Dallas, TX
Could be as simple as driving your heels. Kick them up and over as hard as you can, almost like a donkey. (Just stay tight so you don't arch)
Also practice front layouts on the tumble track-- good for understanding of keeping your chest up and heel drive. So, run fast, and think HEELS!! Good luck! :)
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
4,079
Baltimore, MD
Country
USA
Could be as simple as driving your heels. Kick them up and over as hard as you can, almost like a donkey. (Just stay tight so you don't arch)

Honestly, I'd rather train my girls to do it with a tight arch and take the deduction; if they want a more powerful vault down the road, they're better off comming in with their head out and back slightly arched. My philosophy is that if sacrificing a few tenths at level 4 will make them a better vaulter at 8, 9, and 10, I will gladly make that sacrifice.

Note that this should be a tight, slight arch, not a big, loose arch.
 
G

GymVamp

Guest
ok this is going to sound weird but it helps!!pretend you are holding a penny with your butt and if you drop it you will have to quit gymnastics that always helps me keep it squeezed hehe:) my coaches told me that one
 

nicci1999

Active Member
Gymnast
Dec 21, 2008
799
NH
I pretty much have it now. After going back to basics, and doing the level three vault to perfection, I now have the level four vault pretty well down! I still tend to pike into it, but I now have the power behind it to get myself up into a vertical and actually land with a flat back. So I think it's just a matter now of lots of practice to it. Thanks for all the help guys!!!
 
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