Sorry it has been so long since the last post. I promise regular posting will resume soon – but the beginning of the beginning of the year has been more than a little nuts. Today I wanted to share four progressions for bridges and walkovers on beam – specifically because there is so much fear around back walkovers and the fact that doing these four things can make a drastic difference.
This first one is where I would start – getting kids used to bridging on beam, being upside down, having their shoulders open and their hands close together etc. This is a nice introduction to all the things kids are going to have to do in their back walkover. It can also be a fun side station on your more advanced rec classes.
The second stage of this is simply moving the whole thing to the beam. This requires more confidence (and control) on the gymnasts end – and you really have to make sure they have a good bridge on the floor and shoulder flex before letting them do this. But this builds a huge amount of confidence before we ever ask them to back walkover.
Next is a drill a particularly like which helps gymnasts learn how to control putting their hands on the beam in a way that’s easy and not overwhelming at all. Gummy beams are perfect for this kind of thing. I also like that she then moves her feet together to kick over. Breaking the skill down into those two parts actually helps gymnasts learn to not dive back onto their hands.
This is a drill I’ve shared before but it’s worth sharing again. This is my final progression before having gymnasts back walkover on beam. This drill requires a lot of control but builds confidence really quickly. If your gymnasts can back bend on one leg and control where they put their hands on the beam, back walkovers will be a breeze.
Lastly, if you’re looking to work the flexibility aspect of walkovers, this band drill is fantastic. The tighter the band the better. The band will help the gymnast lift their leg at the beginning, and the resistance aids the split in the middle and encourages active flex at the end. The band goes on both ankles and over the shoulder.