Tumbling Tips Thursday!

To kick off the first installment of Tumbling Tips Thursday’s, I figured we would start with a skill I hear athletes consistently say they never learned or never had to learn; a back walkover.

Athletes tell me all of the time, “Well, I learned my back handspring, so I stopped working the skill.” Or “My coach said I never needed to learn it”. Au contraire my friends! Back walkovers are a great transitional skill that can add visual variety to any routine and aid in learning other skills such as a back handspring step out, front walk over and connecting all tumbling skills involving a step out.

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

1. Keep all of your weight in your back leg, with your dominate leg pointed, arms up, and shoulders shrugged to your ears.

2. As you reach for the floor, keep your eyes on your hands, and think of arching your hips to the ceiling. As your hands get closer to the floor, start to pick up your dominate leg.

3. Once your hands touch the floor, keep pushing through your shoulders so they are still by your ears. Remember to absorb through your shrugged shoulders so your arms stay straight and you don’t bend those elbows. Kick your dominate leg over, driving from your toe. Keep your core tight has your hips hit a handstand position, with your legs in a split position.

4. Keep driving the dominate leg over, until it touches the ground. Like a sea saw, as your foot touches the floor, you will continue to shrug through your shoulders and pick up your chest, placing your second leg on the floor.

Here is a drill to help with your back walkover.

If you have trouble kicking, place a panel mat against a wall.Keep the panel mat folded so all four panels are stacked on top of each other. Do a handstand, controlled lowering of your legs onto the mat. Once in the bridge position, kick your dominate leg over as described above. Once it becomes easy to kick with four panels stacked, lower the panel mat so you only kick from three stacked panels. Keep lowering the mat until you are kicking consistently from one panel.

Hope this helps! Come back next week for tips on how to perfect your handstand and why this is an essential skill when learning a back handspring.