Learning to Punch the Spring Board

Hey all, just a quick post here for you today about teaching kids how to punch on the spring board. Before a gymnast can ever generate a powerful punch on spring board, they first have to be able to squeeze their body off the spring board.

Tony Retrosi demonstrates some great beginner vault drills to help young gymnasts learn the right shape and develop the tight body needed in a vault punch. He’s also got some other side station ideas you can work in. One of my favorites starting at 1:27 which requires the gymnast’s chest to be up and toes in front on the board.

Here is a great video demonstrating leg tightening drills for punching. This is something we added into our vault warm up, we do 2 sets of 5 punches in each direction (straddle, backwards, forwards, right side, left side). These would also work as great side stations on not only vault, but also on floor.

***** 0:00 – 1:25

This next drill is one I’ve seen and used often. For young kids, using a band and spring board is good until they can maintain a tight shape is ideal. Then you can move on to using bands with more resistance and harder punching surfaces.

***** 0:00 – 0:50


For those gymnasts who pike on the vault entry, this drill will help develop the habit of punching on the board and keeping your hips flat.

******  3:46 – 5:08

Here we have two other great drills we use regularly. The first we use to teach both a strong punch on the board and to help create the muscle memory of the gymnast’s arms being down when they punch on the board. The second is a fun one to do to develop a long hurdle that will provide power for a strong punch.

Video 1: Tony Retrosi
Videos 2,3 and 4: Mary Lee Tracy

Remember if you want a full set of drills for teaching compulsory vault from Pre-team on up The Complete Compulsory Training Guide has it all. Including 115 pages of lesson plans, and 180 minutes of drills for all events broken down by level. You can get it here! 

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