Advanced Leap and Jump Drills

I wanted to put together a few videos of some more advanced leaps and jumps – I did a series a while back on leaps and jumps – basically ending with switch leaps. So in this post I’ll start off with switch leaps and other similar leaps and jumps and move on from there.

This first video is a great video of LOTS of drills that can be done on Tumbl Trak from Deanna Sigler Grader. A few of my favorites are the seat drop to split jump – the girls REALLY have to drive their back legs hard if they want to get even and the tuck fulls to seat drop. The beauty of doing a tuck full (or straddle/wolf/split) is that it’s very easy to tell if they don’t get all the way around AND it forces them to tuck their hips under. It’s great.

These next series of videos show ways of breaking down switch 1/2s and tour jete 1/2s. First the split 1/2. This is one where a lot of kids get confused about the timing and end up in a straddle in the middle. Breaking it down like this not just for a day but for weeks will really help them develop the muscle memory of the skill.

The same type of break down can be used for the tour jete 1/2 – the girls do a foute, then split jump, then 1/2 turn. The skill is now in three parts. When they get better instead of the foute, they can do tour jete, split jump 1/2. All of this can be done up to panel mats too. As they get good at the tour jete + split 1/2, start speeding it up. When that is fluid, have them do the split 1/2 before landing on the floor. You’d be amazed how breaking things up makes it so much easier.

This next one is a great drill from Chelle Stack really emphasizing the active flex in anything that involves a ring. I think a lot of us assume that naturally flexy kids will ring really well – but if they don’t have the strength and active flex (not just passive) to get their foot above their head it won’t work.

This last video is a flex circuit from Tammy Biggs. As the jumps and leaps get bigger and more complicated both active and passive flex need to get better. If you’re on the look out for ways to improve these Tammy always has some great ones.

Video 1: Region 5 Insider

Videos 2,3,4,6: Coachmelstreeter 

Video 5: Erika Keener

 

Beam Complex Ideas

I know a lot of compulsories, especially in the West are done with season now, so I thought it would be the perfect time to throw out some new ideas for beam complexes. Beam complexes are OH SO NECESSARY in my book, but a lot of times we get bored with them, or we feel they take up too much time and we want to get to skills etc. So we either do a quick complex (walks, kicks, maybe jumps) or we skip it all together. I find it’s a lot easier to implement a beam complex if 1) it has a purpose (why are you doing this? straighter legs? higher releve? more stability?) and 2) it’s not your standard complex (ie. it gets mixed up every now and then).

split leaps for compulsory

So today I wanted to share some videos that might inspire you to think a little differently about your complex.

This first video is Annie Heffernan’s lecture from congress this year. She has PHENOMENAL ideas about what you should do. It’s worth watching the whole hour, seriously, set aside a chunk of time and just do it. One of my favorites that we’ve added are the jumps switching feet. When the girls do these I see their confidence go up dramatically – and their jumps. If you want to skip to those they are around the 10:30 mark.

This second set of videos just has LOTS of different ideas. I might not do all of them in one day, but you can see how many different movements these little gymnasts are doing. The more different kinds of movement you can get gymnasts doing at a young age the more confident they are going to be as beam workers. Don’t just have the be on releve have them do work that touches the beam, different arm positions, different jumps, different stretches. It all makes them more confident.

Front handspring drills all the way up

Today I thought I’d share as many videos as I could on compulsory vault. Handspring vaults can get SUPER monotonous, so having a bunch of drills in your grab bag is a must if you aren’t going to go crazy.

handspring drill .jpg

This first circuit is absolutly great. One of the biggest things I think that’s lacking when people teach vault is teaching kids how to stay tight when they hit the table at an angle. That being said, the sliding down the mat drill? Totally fantastic, and FUN. This circuit also incorporates leg strength, punching and handstand flat backs. Really all key things you need.

The drill I’m most fond of in this second circuit is the one laying on the panel mat with a forster bar. One of the big things I see is girls not getting their arms up to their ears after they arm circle, which results in a shoulder angle. Sometimes it’s a timing issue, sometimes it’s a strength issue. This drill in particular helps with the strength issue.

These next three drills are all in the same genre. They involve using a springboard instead of a table. The reason I love this is because it provides instant feedback. If you’re tight the springboard bounces you up super high. If you don’t, you just fall over. It’s great, and the kids seem to really get it.

This next video is all about the run. For me running on vault is the number 1 thing. If the run isn’t there you can’t just generate power from the board. Even with the best body shapes you won’t have a vault without a run. Like I’ve said in previous posts we’ve been really focusing on leg conditioning and vault is a great place to work that in.

These are some really great and easy to set up stations to make sure kids aren’t leaning into the table. The more you develop the muscle memory on side stations the less chance there is of them reverting to leaning forward when they go over the table.

And lastly, this is just a really great quick vault warm-up that will get kids using their legs, and punching with their chests back before you start sending them over the table.

Video credits:
Video 1: Tony Retrosi
Video 2: XGTKids
Video 3: Lukas Stritt
Video 4: Gymnast Crossing
Video 5: Meredith Bell
Videos 6 and 7: Zach Crumpton
Video 8: FGA Girls Team

Conditioning – What we do, why we do it

I’ve gotten a lot of people lately asking me about what our teams do for conditioning so I thought it was about time I made a post about it.

We’ve got a lot of kids in the gym every day (more than our space can probably handle well) so we have to get a little creative. Also we have a huge Xcel team 140+ kids, so we have to stick to rotation schedules pretty diligently.

This is a sample of our optional conditioning on Tuesdays (if you like what you see, check out the new Customized Conditioning Plans). They also do a 10-15 minute cardio/leg warm-up. I also threw in a couple videos of our kids conditioning.

So with everything in the circuits we do 1 minute rotations unless it’s the level 2s or pre-teamers in which case they will do a modified circuit by either changing the exercises or doing 45 second rounds. The focus is quality over quantity.

conditioning

 

Some of the exercises:

Squat jumps between mats (3rd exercise):

Side squat walks:

Butterfly crunches (we have them lift their feet as well):

Bent knee hollow holds (after rocks):

BEGINNING CARDIO:

It's leg day here at DGA. #gymnaststrong #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

Leg day here at DGA 😁. #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

 

I’m sharing these circuits for a couple of reasons.

1) It’s hard to figure out a conditioning program that you like that ALSO fits into your schedule, so I wanted to show some of the things that have worked for me. I like circuits because the kids don’t have to count, they move fast, they don’t get bored, and I find that they get a lot more done.
2) The right conditioning makes all the difference – lacking performance often comes from lacking conditioning. CONDITIONING IS THE FIFTH AND MOST IMPORTANT EVENT.
3) I wanted to show you a plan – if you don’t plan it, it doesn’t happen. During summer we had a great conditioning plan – then the school year hit. I still had a plan for what I wanted to do every day – but not exactly WHERE, WHEN and WHAT MATS to use. I still thought it was fine. IT WASN’T. After two weeks of being frustrated with not getting the conditioning done that I wanted – for any number of reasons, I was too focused on skills, it took too long to move mats, I didn’t know where in the gym to do it etc. – I went back and outlined it to the minute. Boom. Problem solved. Now all groups know WHEN, WHERE and WHAT their conditioning is.
4) Our optionals come 5 days per week. Right now I have them doing legs and core 3 days and arms and core 2 days. Three of the events require legs so we have to make sure that our gymnasts are super strong in all of their leg and glute muscles. That being said we can’t pound on them too much. So some days we have a leg circuit like the one above where several things involve jumping and landing – and others I have them set up what we call the “non pounding” circuit, which can involve anything leg or glute related that doesn’t jump or pound.
5) so many people don’t know if they are going the right way with their conditioning. THat’s OKAY! Part of the point of this is that no one has it figured out instantly. we are always evolving. but if you want some help – i would be more than happy to help you set up your conditioning plan. just click here to buy a quick 60 minute consulting session with me.

IN A NUTSHELL:

– MAKE A PLAN, any plan. But make it down to the minute and the exercise. Don’t wing it – or you won’t like the results.

– You have to find what works for YOU. There is no BEST conditioning plan out there. Find what works for you and your gymnasts.

– Be ready to have some things not work. There have been some conditioning things I’ve tried and hated – don’t be afraid to say no.

– The objective? REAL MEASURABLE PROGRESS.

YOUR HOMEWORK:

Part 1: In the comments tell me what has and hasn’t worked for you conditioning wise? What do you love and what do you struggle with?

Part 2: Take a good hard look at your conditioning and see if it’s getting you where you want to go. If it is, perfect, KEEP IT. If not, change it up. Look around for ideas and inspiration.

– If you need some extra help, or are just flat out out of ideas look at jump on a call with me. I’ll show you not only exactly what I do, but EXACTLY what I would do if I were in your shoes.

TRAIN HARD

A Peak Into Progress

I normally don’t do this kind of post, but  there has been so much progress the girls lately that I thought I would do some sharing :). AND it’s always fun to look at side by side videos of your gymnasts progress. If you’re curious how we do things, how to set up your own program or just need some direction you can find me HERE.

20160816_131005-2

SERIES DEVELOPMENT:

Gymnast 1:

February:

Starting new series work. #newskills #workANDplay

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

June:

Looking better every day. #optionalsherewecome #9yearsold

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

Gymnast 2:

May:

Day #2 and it's looking better @sauyerjones

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

September:

I'm finally doing my BHS BHS on high beam!

A post shared by Avery (@flyhigh_averysgym) on

DISMOUNTS:

March:

Who is ready for round offs? #7yearsold #workinghard #newskills

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

May:

First day doing layouts #dgapride #7yearsyoung

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

GIANTS:

Gymnast 1:

January:

Level 4s killed it again today #morebarsplease #herewecomeoptionals

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

September:

I put my toe handstand on high bar today! #8yearsold #level8gymnast

A post shared by Jenna (@jennasgym2026) on

YURCHENKOS:

May:

More beginning yurchenkos. #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

September:

CIRCLES:

Gymnast 1:

March/May:

September:

I got my clear hip handstand! I'm so happy bars is becoming so fun!

A post shared by Avery (@flyhigh_averysgym) on

Gymnast 2:

April:

Putting new circles on the real bar #firstday #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

September:

BACK TUCKS:

Gymnast 1:

April:

It was a great day in the gym for this girlie. #proudcoach #uptraining #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

July:

Claire bear's first day of doing back tucks on high beam. Now just to move the 8" mats 😁 #proudcoach #workhardandhavefun

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

Gymnast 2:

March:

This little peanut figuring out her back tucks more consistently. #7yearsyoung #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

September:

KIPS:

June:

And the kipping process has started #6yearsyoung #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

August:

Munchkin made her kip today! #6yearsyoung #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

ROUND OFF BACK HANDSPRINGS:

July:

Clara, level 3 starting to figure out this whole two back handsprings thing. #6yearsyoung

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

September:

New round off two back handsprings for this 7 year old monkey.

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

A few conditioning videos:

Leg day here at DGA 😁. #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

It's leg day here at DGA. #gymnaststrong #dgapride

A post shared by Gymnastics coach and clinician (@swingbiggym) on

Remember, if you want to know how what we are doing in the gym to make this progress, or need help planning your own workouts a power consulting session may just be the perfect thing!

Be sure to leave a comment with what you are seeing the most progress with, or what you’re working to make progress on! I’d love to hear!

Train hard!