The Lazy Vault: Not Really For Lazy People

In my last class, we focused on the lazy vault. By it’s very name, one might assume that it’s for the energetically disinclined. This is not the case. The lazy vault actually takes a decent bit of momentum and, as usual, confidence to properly execute.

Me attempting the lazy vault.

Me attempting the lazy vault.

First off, what’s it for? The lazy vault can be used to get on the other side of an obstacle while running without having to change direction or stop your momentum. You can run at it from an angle, gracefully get over the fence, and continue running in that same direction.

How is it done? The leg that is closest to the obstacle goes over first, with the other leg following. The hand closest to the obstacle takes your weight and helps you over while the other hand then grabs the obstacle on your way down. The leg that went over first should also land first. It looks like this, as demonstrated by Gerardo from Parkour Ways in Chicago:

And here’s my attempt:

Not quite as graceful. My legs didn’t extend the way his did and my approach just isn’t as confident as it ought to be. I also landed on both feet instead of one. Easy to see, hard to fix.

I think the best advice I got in class that day was that my last three to five steps have to be confident. It doesn’t matter what the other steps look like, but I cannot go into it worried that I’m not going to make it. That attitude will only get me a banged shin or a face to the floor.

How to practice it: Practicing it on a waist-high rail was extremely helpful, because I was able to land next to the obstacle, whereas using the wider vault had me landing on my butt in a seated position most of the time. Running figure eights around the rail also allowed me to practice it on both sides of my body, as did practicing only the leg movements back and forth while leaving out the approach.

Of all the things I’ve practiced so far, this is one that I feel a little safer to me with the least chance of a face plant. I can see this as extremely useful, especially when trying to get through those annoying fences at theme parks or leaving zombies on the other side of a short fence, perhaps in a cattle yard a la The Walking Dead. Don’t be afraid of this one!

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