Tumbling for Cheerleading: Tune your body to Tumbling
BUT, some days it doesn't happen that way. The flip was low and Suzy-Q made that FUNNY sound, you know the one that sounds like knees smacking hard against wood. ("Is she crying?") OR, Judy B. Bop bent her legs in her cartwheel, kicked Mary in the cheek, stomped Beth's hand and bounced out the door on her backside. ("Oh, I bet THAT hurt.") Like an orchestra in chaos everything ends up a little "out of tune."
Here's the situation: It's 20 minutes before the game, the crowd is gathering, the teams are in the locker-rooms and most of your squad is stretching or casually rehearsing some leaps. YOU are wondering about the tumbling, you're wondering if the the tumbling will be "on" or will there be "chaos? Will there be cheers, or jeers? So, here's a tip to TUNE your tumbling before you perform. HOW? With your own "tumbling-tuning-fork" ... THE HANDSTAND!
Yes, the handstand! It's so simple, so basic & such a "beginner
thing" that most beginning and intermediate tumblers avoid practicing
the handstand; after-all, wasn't that what you learned in DAY 1 of your
gymnastics class? Yet, that MOST BASIC of positions holds the SECRET
to having CONSISTENTLY GREAT TUMBLING. Think about it, in almost
EVERY tumbling skill, a body will pass through a handstand position
(or a variation of it). That makes the handstand a critical position.
Great handstands lead to great tumbling. Consider it a "foundation" skill,
to great tumbling, think of it a "tuning fork" for your body.
1. Warm-up the wrists - Acclimate them to weight, pressure and stresses. Press, bend and rotate them. Pound your hands together in a vigorous clap.
2. Stand straight and tall - Feet together. Knees straight. Tummy tight,
buttocks firm. Torso erect. Chin level. Arms reaching high overhead.
Elbows straight. Arms narrow. HOLD this "Gym-Stance" for 2
(An easy way practice it is to PRINT this page and read steps 1-8 out loud.)
Coach Wayne is the Head Coach for the Savannah College of Art and Design Cheerleading team and Executive Coach of Olympic Gymnast Zuzana Sekerova. His articles, videos and books have been used by students and instructors world wide since 1991. Coach Wayne is available for in-gym instructor training and performance tumbling clinics throughout the year. For booking information, coaches/owners should call 912.398.8082. Students and parents should request coaches/owners to contact Coach Wayne.