Category Archives: Leaps and Jumps

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


Compulsory Leaps & Jumps Series – Switch Leaps

This is the sixth and final post in the Compulsory Leaps & Jumps Series. Click here to view the first post about developing leg strength for leaps and jumps. Click here to view the second post on Split Jumps. Click here to view the third post on Straddle Jumps. Click here to view the fourth post on Split Leaps. And click here to view the fifth post on Sissones.

Switch leaps are a gymnastics staple. We’ve compliled a list of awesome drills and tips for heloping your gymnasts develop explosive and beautiful switch leaps!

split jump .jpg

This first video works great for learning how to open your hips. You want that step before the switch leap to be long, but not slow. If your gymnast is moving slowly through that portion, it may be because she is closing her hips and has a large plie. Trying this drill will help fix that.

This is one of my go-to switch leap drills.

Here are three great switch leap circuits to add to your workout. Working circuits is great, but be sure to change up your drills every few months so your gymnasts get that all around training they need.

This third switch leap circuit is a good for gymnasts beginning to learn switch leaps.

If you gymnast has beautiful lines but can’t seem to get high enough off the ground, it’s time for some leg strengthening. Below are a few videos I’ve included that will do just that.

This next video has three quad and hamstring drills that really help develop that explosive power needed in a switch leap.

P.S. – Don’t forget to subscribe to the Swing Big Youtube Channel

Video Credits:
Videos 1 & 4 & 7: Mary Lee Tracy
Video 2 & 6: Tammy Biggs

Compulsory Leaps & Jumps Series – Sissone

This is the fifth post in the Compulsory Leaps & Jumps Series. Click here to view the first post about developing leg strength for leaps and jumps. Click here to view the second post on Split Jumps. Click here to view the third post on Straddle Jumps. And click here to view the fourth post on Split Leaps

Today’s compulsory jump is the sissone. Be your sure your gymnast has a great split jump before she starts sissones. I like to teach sissones by telling my gymnasts that a it is basically a split jump to one leg. Although not entirely true since you do want a slightly forward body tilt on the sissone, it is much easier to learn and develop the timing and leg angle of a sissone when your split starts parallel to the floor, rather than a ridiculously lopsided split where your back leg flies up and your front leg barely moves. Something I see all too often. The latter causes a number of common problems, closed hips, dropped chest, ribs out, bent back leg, etc.

Drills for sissones

In a split jump, your legs move at the same speed, through the same distance, and hit your split at the same time. In a sissone, your legs move at different speeds, through difference distances, but still hit your split at the same time. It’s important to explain this to your gymnasts.  My go-to drill for sissones is doing the up to a panel mat. I also suggest doing sissones on a trampoline to start out.

This is a good one for that slight tilt needed in a sissone.

You can also do a split jump up to a panel, followed by a sissone up to a panel mat–a great way to train the level 5 beam jump series. This drill gives you the ability to train the connection as well as developing amplitude.

This drill is a nice one for getting the front leg to lift. It is very difficult for gymnasts to do it with a straight back leg, but it’s totally worth it once they figure it out.

I also really like having gymnasts do sissones in a row. I find that the connection prevents them from dropping their chests too much. Also, when first learning these I have them start with their bad leg in front. Having their bad foot in front seems to force their brain to think about swinging their back leg harder than they normally would.


P.S. – Don’t forget that Swing Big Clinics for Spring and Summer of 2016 are already booking up. If you want to learn hundreds of drills like these and learn what you can do in YOUR gym with YOUR equipment to improve your gymnasts performance, don’t forget to book soon.

Compulsory Leaps & Jumps Series – Split Leaps

This is the fourth post in the Compulsory leaps, jumps and dance presentation series. Click here to view the first post about developing leg strength for leaps and jumps. Click here to view the second post on split jumps. And click here to view the third post on straddle jumps.

Today’s post is all about split leaps. The most common deduction I see being taken on the compulsory leap series is from the back leg not lifting high enough. Hopefully the drills in this post will help with not only that problem but many others as well.

split jump .jpg

This is a great drill for developing the splitting action made in a split leap. This could be a great one to help a gymnast realize her hip angle in the leap. If she’s having trouble keeping her hip angle open, emphasizing the hips lifted off the ground and even removing the band for beginners might be helpful.

This is a nice little drill for helping gymnasts understand the back leg lift. Make sure their front leg is locked.

For those young gymnasts who haven’t figured out how to control their landings, this drill will help! Having an obstacle in front of them will help them keep their chests up on the landing.

A split leap does require a hip rise. That transfer of forward momentum to upward momentum can be difficult for some. I’ve found that leaping off a spring board helps teach that needed momentum transfer. As the gymnast gets better at the drill try replacing the spring board with a panel mat as well as having the gymnasts leaping up to something (like a resi mat). Then ultimately removing it all together. Make sure that step before the leap is low and long, and make sure the take off leg is tight!

High knee skips are also a great one to help get that hip rise action. Really emphasize going for height, not distance.

Lifting that back leg uses a fair amount of back strength. The two drills in this next video will assist in just that.

Lastly, in regards to strength, here is a great quad exercise you could add in as a side station. This will help develop that explosive power needed to achieve a high leap.


P.S. – Don’t forget to subscribe to the Swing Big Youtube Channel

Video Credits:
Video 1: The Hybrid Perspective
Video 6: Gymnastics Tutorials

Compulsory Leaps & Jumps Series – Straddle Jumps

This is the third post in the Compulsory Leaps & Jumps Series. Click here to view the first post about developing leg strength for leaps and jumps. And click here to view the second post on split jumps.


The straddle jump is one of those skills that just clicks. It tends to look either awkward or gorgeous, with no in between. I’ve included many drills and videos you can use as a reference to help make that time between awkward and gorgeous as short as possible!

Diamond jumps. Don’t doubt just yet! They look silly, but these have an amazing way of fixing those straddle jumps that don’t open big enough. It’s much easier to get the knees up and out rather than the feet, so gymnasts can focus on their hips rolling and opening as well as their upper body positioning.

Doing straddle jumps off a panel mat can give that extra height some gymnasts need to figure out the straddle jump timing. Be sure you do this one facing backwards off the mat so the gymnast travels backwards. Jumping forwards off the mat will encourage chest dropping and piking at the hips in order to travel forwards–both things to avoid in straddle jumps.

Doing straddle jumps up to a panel mat is a great drill once the straddle jump has been mastered on the floor; as it mainly helps teach a higher jump. For this reason it’s also a good one to use as a beam side station for higher level gymnasts working straddle jumps on the beam.

This next drill will help teach fast legs if you have them take off from the floor or a panel mat. I like to have them take off from a spring board, making the actual straddle jump easier if you are using a high resi mat. I do this because I want to focus on the upper body positioning. doing it this way (with a spring board) will make it much easier for the gymnast to center their attention on where their arms are, whether their ribs are in, how their chin and shoulders look, etc.

If you’re looking to build even faster legs this is a fun drill for gymnasts to do on tramp. It requires them to do two full straddle jumps before hitting the tramp again.

This is a great drill to help teach the hip turnout action in a straddle jump.

To build up muscles for stronger straddle jumps, you can do some of what is shown in these videos. Once again, they make for great side stations.