How to create stunning giants

Hi All,

I’m going to talk just a little bit today about giants. Now we’ve all seen our fair share of ugly giants, bent arms, bent knees, arched back, head out, you get my drift. My point is, they shouldn’t be like this. If giants are taught with care and precision the proportion of giants that are done – arched, bent armed, head out etc will drop dramatically. I’m not one to say things need to be beautiful from the start, I get it, it’s a learning process. But some of the things we see called “giants” shouldn’t ever be allowed to happen.

Creating stunning giants

JAO videos (Jason Mortimer) made a great compilation of giant drills. That being said there is one in particular I would like to point out. Watch the drill at 1:13. It’s perfect. Well maybe not perfect. But pretty darn close to it. It gets kids on the high bar, their toes are going over first, there are tons of mats and not a lot of spotting. If you are looking for a good intermediate step with giants, THIS IS IT.

This second video is one of Eddie Umphrey’s gymnasts doing giants. This is what I want to see in the beginning a hollow 3/4 giant and then extending the body to handstand. I want to see the toes coming over first as opposed to the belly button.

I also very much like this handstand shaping drill to emphasize the core strength needed to pull the toes up after the tap. It’s a pretty easy progression that your lower levels can do that will have a big effect on their giants.

Train hard!


1. GymTactics

2. Eddie Umphrey



  1. V says:

    Any idea what is on her ankles? Looks like ankle weights to me, but I don’t see why that would be beneficial.

    • wordsmith says:


      Yes those are ankle weights. Eddie sometimes has his girls use them for conditioning purposes (they aren’t too heavy), to work the tap.

      I’ve known other coaches who have had girls wear their shoes. It helps you feel the tap.

    • Zari Goldmann says:

      Yup, ankle weights. A lot of coaches use them because it helps the kids feel the parts of the swing a little better.

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