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.
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.
Find it here!
The full 45 minute lecture of Bars Shaping from Pre-Team Up is now available for download, along with the full powerpoint and all of the videos!