I love your site, ( have never found anything remotely so good in the
My question is one of front handsprings.
How can I get them to punch better off the floor? We do handstand pops
during warm ups, we also have popped up onto another mat. They can pop,
but not enough for a full front handspring.
Any advice would be appreciated.
your tumblers are popping up into a mat they are more than ready for the
front handspring. Just to make sure... have them kick to handstand at
the edge of a soft pad and rotate all the way over to their BACK... landing
FLAT on their back on the mat...
I usually start this as a slow step to handstand... making
sure they are starting in a gymnastic stand, lunging an adequate distance
and reaching with the hands to the proper hand-placement at the edge of
the mat... swinging fluidly through the handstand... and falling flat.
THEN.... add momentum and speed. Still from a STANDING
START... have them KICK the straight leg, and push with the lunge leg
more aggressively so that they SWING through the handstand VERY quickly
... as they begin their descent they should push with the arms... (still
not a true punch because of the delay in pushing) and attempt to PUSH
their body DOWN the mat... away from the starting position... landing
flat on their back again. THIRD... move YOUR body in to spot them... as
if you're spotting the step to handstand... EXCEPT now you'll LEAN your
shoulders into their raising hips (at FULL kick speed) and actually help
them REDIRECT their power UPWARDS.
This is difficult to explain via e-mail... but the end
result is that you BLOCK their FORWARDS direction and help them REDIRECT
it upwards with your shoulder...
If a student has good handstand form and a swift kick
... when you lean into their handstand ... their hands should gracefully
lift off the floor... you'll actual lift their body up over your shoulder
for a moment... then put them BACK down on their handstand and reverse
the lunge. (they did NOT go OVER you completely...)
Once they've got the hang of that...have them move on over your shoulder...
but make sure they are LOOKING backwards with the head (where the hands
touched the floor) and hold onto their arms at the shoulder ... gently
forcing them into a VERY OPEN arched-back position... when their feet
touch the floor (looking like a true, but slow handspring) have them keep
the head and shoulders HIGH and BACKWARDS>.. and the HIPS pushing FORWARDS
and OPENED>>>>>> don't worry about the rebound yet...
focus on OPEN hips and arched back THROUGH the landing... I usually have
them STEP two steps out of this with the arms still overhead... head looking
at the ceiling (blind landing) and the hips pushing forwards.
HOW IS YOUR TUMBLING?
come to YOUR gym!!!
tumbling for students &
Instructor training for staff
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: www.CoachWayne.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-238-1747, 912-398-8082.
Lastly... they'll KICK more aggressively.. at FULL speed...
even allowing a step or two for weaker students... and THEN implementing
the arm/shoulder punch ...
as a coach you'll continue in the same position... blocking them with
your shoulder... redirecting their body over yours in an arch... but you'll
do ZERO work if they kick fast and punch hard and arch through the landing.
Any work you do is an indicator of their having:
1) entered the handstand position WEAK/WOBBLY or SLOWLY
2) kicked through the lunch too slowly
3) tucked the head, dropped the shoulders (not reaching out with the hands)
MOST importantly... make SURE their handstand from gym-stand to finger
tips covers a FULL BODY-LENGTH plus ARMS in distance... (make them lay
down flat on the floor... fingers at a line... place a chalk mark/tape
at their belly button and at their toes. Have them start standing at the
toe mark... lunge-step to (without ANY unnecessary bends in ANY joints)
the belly-button mark... and reach to the finger-line.
THE MOST common error is the hands touching the floor TOO early (arms
not straight overhead... instead they are in front of the straight-body-line)
and the head tucking...
THE second most common error is the hips TUCKING rather than opening (AFTER
THE HANDSTAND... INTO THE LANDING... ) and/or the head tucking chin-to
chest... and arms reaching forwards rather than backwards.
I'm scheduling some camps for coaches and students this summer in Savannah....
if you are interested in finding out more about attending please let me
know if you're a cheer or gymnastics coach (or other: dance/acro/martial
arts) and how many students you have in your group. Where ya'll are from,
etc. # of coaches, approx ages, skill-levels of coaches/students, etc.
Have fun, be safe push HARD!