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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

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Leg day here at DGA 😁. #dgapride

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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

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June:

Looking better every day. #optionalsherewecome #9yearsold

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Gymnast 2:

May:

Day #2 and it's looking better @sauyerjones

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September:

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

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DISMOUNTS:

March:

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

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May:

First day doing layouts #dgapride #7yearsyoung

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GIANTS:

Gymnast 1:

January:

Level 4s killed it again today #morebarsplease #herewecomeoptionals

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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

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September:

CIRCLES:

Gymnast 1:

March/May:

September:

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

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Gymnast 2:

April:

Putting new circles on the real bar #firstday #dgapride

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September:

BACK TUCKS:

Gymnast 1:

April:

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

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July:

Gymnast 2:

March:

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

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September:

KIPS:

June:

And the kipping process has started #6yearsyoung #dgapride

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August:

Munchkin made her kip today! #6yearsyoung #dgapride

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ROUND OFF BACK HANDSPRINGS:

July:

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

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September:

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

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A few conditioning videos:

Leg day here at DGA 😁. #dgapride

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

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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!

Even more handstand ideas

We are now officially on school year schedule (and beginning to put routines together). So all of the girls are now back in the gym at different times, and doing different assignments and because of that I’ve been trying to mix up conditioning and shaping even more. One of the things that we can’t take our eye off of, no matter what time of year, is handstand shaping. That being said with so many kids in the gym we often have to get creative or use drills that might not be our go to. So I wanted to put together a few videos of drills that might peak your interest, or give you some ideas as to what you can do.

Even more handstands ideas

This first video starts out very simply with things that you can do with your rec kids and gets progressively more difficult. The extended hollow position walks that are shown in the video are something I have many of my optional gymnasts do. They go forward, backward and do both sides. If they do it correctly (and low to the floor) – it’s great for shaping and for shoulders. But you have to do steps one and two first. Make sure they are looking at their hands and pushing through their shoulders! Without that it isn’t going to do much good.

This second one is an easy one to do if you don’t have access to wall space. It’s also a great way of making sure gymnasts aren’t sagging – but also have some support. If they sag – they generally fall (if the bar is at a good height). If her hands were on the floor in this video her toes would probably just touch, and she would really have to stretch up for support.

This is a video I really like and is actually a variation of a drill a like a lot. The one thing that’s great about using a barrel with this drill is depending on where it is under the gymnasts legs it can give them more or less support. So you can modify it from gymnast to gymnast.

This tuck handstand drill is also a variation of one I use often. The one difference I would make is instead of having them slide two legs up the wall at once, slide one leg at once. By sliding one leg up – they still have the support of the wall and can focus on their shapes.

This last video is actually a video of table contact drills but there is lots of great handstand stuff in here as well. One of the great ones in here (there are several) is with the safety zone and the physio ball. Seriously great for core strength.

Video Credits:

Videos 1 & 2 JAG Gym Training

Video 3 Leeds Gymnastics

Video 4 Colden Raisher

Video 5 Zach Crumpton