Background: The run-up affects the vault performance in the artistic gymnastic (Velickovic et al., 2011). Vault type, difficulty level, sex and gymnastic category are correlated to
run-up velocity (Alt, 1992; Krug et al., 1998; Naundorf et al., 2008). Due to perception mechanisms, only the last three steps to springboard change (Heinen et al., 2011). Our aim was to identify
spatio-temporal parameters (STP) of phases (initial and final) at run-up for vault in different gymnastic categories.
Methods: Ten male gymnasts (2 children, 4 juniors and 4 adults), included international ranking, participated in this study. The vaults (Über and Tsukahara) were filmed (60Hz, SX510
HS, Canon) and three successful trials were analyzed. The run-up approach was characterized by: mean velocity (v), mean step frequency (f) and mean step length (l):
v = lf.
The analyses of STP were divided between: 1. from start of the run-up to three steps before springboard and 2. during the last three steps. The differences between SPT were verified by paried t-test
and coefficient of variation (CV) for each vaults type and gymnasts category.
Results: The results indicate that the second phase of run is faster than the first phase for Über and Tsukahara. The increase of v between phases ranges from 31 to 84%. For
Velickovic et al. (2011), acceleration during the run is typical in high level gymnasts. In our study, this difference was already found in childhood category. According to Brehmer e Naundorf (2011),
adult gymnasts tend to show higher run-up v when compared to juniors. In this study, it was confirmed only for the second phase run-up to vaults.
The effect of f in velocity between phases occured only in adults (> 24%). Even so, the increase of l (50 and 48%, Über and Tsukahara respectively) was the main strategy to improve v between the
run-up phases in all categories.
The consistency of STP has been appointed in the artistic gymnastic as precision and performance indicators (Grassi et al. 2005; Hiley et al., 2013). Confirming others' findings (Martin et al., 2004;
Camargo-Junior et al., 2015), in adults run, l was the most stable between STP (CVmax=2.60 and 1.97, Über and Tsukahara respectively).
Conclusions: The difference between gymnastics category is established in the second phase at the run-up and it is vault-type independent. While children and juniors change the steps
length to a fastest second phase, the adults have added the step frequency as an alternative strategy. This last gymnast’s category also shows the most consistent spatio-temporal parameters in the run