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Efficient Standing Back Tuck

Hello Coach Wayne,
i have a question about doing a standing back tuck. Some coaches say to rotate your arms backward when you grab your legs, while others teach you to just bring them down and grab your legs. Could you tell me which one you think will be more efficient for a standing back tuck? I have to have one for cheer tryouts next month. Also, do you know of any exercises or tips for improving my standing back tuck? thank you for your help.

How you adjust your arms to grab your shins in the tuck is not NEARLY as important as the LIFT and SET before that. The jump-entry into the tuck is the REAL power generator & if you don't put your best emphasis into it at that time it doesn't really matter how you grab or legs.

After the jump and set... the arms should be stretched high overhead and the straight body should be flying upwards... with a slight rotation beginning. By lifting the knees towards the chest the body-radius shortens and that rotation accelerates. (flipping) As the legs are drawn closer to the chin, (ab muscles working) the rotation continues to accelerate. But the arms did their work EARLIER.... in the jump-lift-set. I allow the arms to essentially HOLD POSITION... and let the knees rotate up into them.... about the time the head passes through vertical (exactly upside down) the knees should be moving into the hands. The hands only have a split-second to tug quickly on the shin bones... tightening the tuck and accelerating the rotation ... then... they must release the legs and rapidly move over the head to elevate the shoulders for an upright landing.

The arms do not HAVE to be used to grab the legs in the tuck, it can be done without them. They are essentially a slight 'helper' to shrink the size of the tuck-position ((applies to pike also)... Again, the REAL value of the arms is in gaining height in the jump-lift... and in setting the rotation. Work on getting that part right & expect to practice 400-500 of them to actually 'get' your tuck.

Have fun, be safe, push hard.


You may also be interested in the following:
(FLASH player permission is required to view animations.)
Back Tuck Progressions
Benchmarks of Excellence
Cross Arm Spot
Gymnastics Jump
Jump, Set, Tuck
Lunge to Handstand
Round-Off Hand Placement
Straight Body Fall


Coach Wayne was 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 worldwide since 1991. Coach Wayne is available for tumbling instructor certification training. For booking information, coaches/owners should text or call 912.238.1747.


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