Today I’m going to introduce one of my very introductory “flipping” drills. I put that in parenthesis, because the kids aren’t actually flipping, but it’s a nice way to start introducing the shapes necessary. My goal with this drill is to have the gymnasts maintain the same shape throughout, and to also get them learning how to turn upside down and right-side up without the mistakes that kids normally start out with: throwing their heads back, losing their shape etc.
It’s a really easy drill to set-up. One block, or a couple panel mats and you’re good. The thing I want to emphasize is a round back and the girls curling their hips under. You’ll find that when you first have kids start doing this as they roll backward their hips won’t lift up and their knees will end up closer to their nose than they started. That’s the thing I tell gymnasts most frequently when doing this drill because it seems to make the most sense to them “keep your knees and your nose the same distance from each other the whole time.”
You’ll find that within a few practices your gymnasts will be able to find this “flipping shape” better. So that when you do start doing back tucks, this shape is natural. This also plays into one of my other steps when teaching back tucks, which is (spotted), jump to candle stick, bend knees and rotate in “flipping shape” and land in pit. Jumping to candle helps kids to learn to get their hips up without throwing their heads out (example below).
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