Passement – Speed vault


The passement is used to quickly and smoothly pass over medium sized obstacles. It can be applied to obstacles when approaching them directly or at angles.


While learning approach the obstacle directly at a slow to medium pace. For this explanation the legs will be going to the right, reverse the information for left side.

> As you approach the obstacle you want to leave the ground from your left foot, kicking the right leg upwards to assist the body in clearing the obstacle, reach your left arm out to prepare to make contact with the obstacle. Both feet should have left the ground before your hand makes contact with the obstacle.

> Avoid placing your hand on the obstacle before you take off. The reason for this is that it usually means you will ‘ride’ the obstacle, as explained below.

> As the left hand comes down to make contact with the obstacle the momentum from the initial jump should be enough to get you over the obstacle.

> The left hand comes down not as a pivot point or an extra push for momentum (though you can do this) but to assist with stabilisation to control the movement and allow you to exit the vault in the correct position.

> Be very aware of whether you use the hand as a pivot, it will become apparent as to whether this is happening by the manner in which you exit the vault. If you are exiting the vault on a crooked angle, not in the direction you took off from, then it is usually because you are ‘riding’ the obstacle with your arm.

> As you exit the other side of the obstacle correct your posture back to vertical by dropping your left foot towards the ground this will naturally pull the body to the left and you can land upright, and continue in the same direction as you took off from.

> Come down one foot at a time so you can continue into a run afterwards.

> If the obstacle is a bit higher than you are comfortable vaulting you may find a need to tap the outside foot on the obstacle for balance and stability. As you improve and gain mastery of the vault you will then be able to remove the foot tap and clear the obstacle cleanly.

With slight variation this same technique can be used to vault obstacle’s on an angle as well, usually referred to as a lazy vault.


Start with small, low obstacles.

Avoid the urge to place the hand on the obstacle before taking off; this isn’t a progression as the body mechanics and use of momentum are completely different.

Practice both sides, at a faster pace, eventually a sprint and practice at different angles.


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