Tumbling Tips Thursday!

It’s Thursday, which means it is time for more tumbling tips! This week we are going to focus on the standing back tuck. This skill, like the standing back handspring, is a skill most consider to be a milestone skills. The standing back tuck is the first tumbling skill where athletes learn to set up after a back handspring, which leads into learning the layout and full twisting layout.

It is important to remember that before moving onto a standing back tuck, you do need to be able to execute a solid back handspring first. Tumbling skills move in progressions, so if you learn a standing back tuck before you learn a standing back handspring, it will be very difficult for you to learn to connect skills out of a round off, or even out of a standing back handspring.

Here are a couple of tips when learning or perfecting your standing back tuck.

1. Starting in a standing position, feet together and arms by your side. Begin to jump, keep your head forward, swinging your arms up towards your ears.

2. As you begin to jump, think of jumping all the way off of the floor. Another way to explain this is to jump and ride to the top of your jump, or wait for the top of your jump. At the top of your jump, your arms should be by your ears, and you should be in a hollow body jump.

3. As you hit the top of you jump, aggressively pull your knees to your chest, with your shins leading and toes in front. Pulling your shins to your chest is what causes your body to rotate in the standing back tuck. At this point in the skill you can pull your knees to your chest with your arms, but do not let your arms drop as you are jumping.

4. As you are tucking, make sure to keep your eyes open and spot for the floor. Think of pulling your heels through, so as you land, you land on your whole foot (heel to toe), not just your tippy toes.

If you find your self falling forward after your rotation in the standing tuck, or landing on the tips of your toes, you are opening up in your tuck too soon. If you open too soon in your tuck, you will drive your hips behind you, rather than under you, causing your body to fall forward.

Another tip is to make sure you finish your jump. If you only jump a little, you give your body less time to rotate, giving you less time to land. Make sure you practice jump up drills where you jump onto a slightly elevated surface with your arms by your ears, not by your chest.

Hope these tips help! Come back next week to see what skill we focus on then!