Today I wanted to share two things that I pretty much always keep in my warm-ups. I get a lot of people asking me about how to make their gymnasts presentation better, telling me that they have issues with form or overall sloppiness in their gym, and they just don’t know how to combat it.
Below are videos of two of the things that I do. Adding these to the everyday warm-up is my way of keeping kids sharp. It’s one of the parts of the warm-up that I watch particularly closely and I don’t hesitate to stop the kids and have them do it over. It’s too important. Also, with little ones it’s a good time to fix their lunges. Make sure their back heals are down, their bellies aren’t out etc. Lunges are done on both legs because one of them is their handstand and the other leg is their cartwheel.
I’ve been starting to prep for some upcoming clinics (refining lectures, nailing down drill lists), and one thing that everyone seems to be asking for is tumbling (often ROs and BHSs). So I thought I would share some more back handspring videos today that I really like.
The one thing I have to say about back handsprings that probably makes a bigger difference than anything else is not having kids do them until they can be tight in the air. That means straight jumps, jump backs, any sort of airborne drill you can think of (that isn’t a full back handspring) should be able to be done tightly (like REALLY tightly) before you have them do back handsprings on their own (or even lightly spotted). Really, waiting until they understand body tension will decrease the bad habits hundreds of times over.
This first video is a nice little series of back handspring drills, including two of my personal favorites: back handspring to stomach and back handspring to knees. The jumping up to block drill is a really great one to add to rec classes as well to get that coordination for jumping (not just for back handsprings) really early.
This second one is another great back handspring drill that I like to use especially when athletes are leaning forward too much. It’s really the quickest way I’ve found to get athletes to lean back (mostly because they’re afraid of hitting the wall).
I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I have been getting A LOT of questions lately about people wanting to make their conditioning more efficient, and get more out of what they set-up etc. So I thought I would post a view videos and talk about one of my favorite ways of doing it. That is: take a panel mat out for each set of two gymnasts so they can share. Then pick 10 leg exercises, 10 arm exercises, and 10 ab exercises that they can do either with the use of the panel mat, or on the floor. I like to set numbers low enough that they can get through the entire circuit of 30 exercises twice. It’s a great way to make sure you are hitting all major body parts (you can throw back in with abs if you want), and to get it done without the kids having to move from station to station.
Today I wanted to talk a little about drills the entry on yurchenko vaults. The entry for a yurchenko can make or break the vault. I know a lot of gyms start training and competing tsuks before yurchenkos so that their gymnasts can get experience with flipping vaults while taking the time to learn the entry for yurchenkos. Really it’s something that needs to not be rushed. If there is inconsistency, if their is doubt, back up, because really if the entry is wrong it’s much harder to save this vault.
This first video is a nice set of entry drills set up in a circuit. The drill that they are doing on and off the panel mats is one that I’ve seen cropping up more and more lately. It’s really to encourage gymnasts to engage that back leg (you can do it without the panel mats too). Also the round off up to panel mat rebound drill is a really good time to reinforce your gymnasts having flat hips.
This second video is another drill I really like. If gymnasts can confidently turn their round off over onto two panel mats, there is no question of whether or not they can do it onto the board. You can also have them back tuck with their arms by their ears, it really helps them understand turning over with their hips.