As athletes move in to tryout season, everyone is trying their hardest to get new skills to impress their coaches in an attempt to secure their spot on the team. With the big push, athletes often forget form and focus on just completing the skill. One of the biggest issues during tumbling? Buckling arms in skills. There are four main things to think about when gaining new skills and avoiding bent arms!
- STRENGTH. All athletes know that you must be physically strong to be able to tumble, but one of the main causes of buckling arms during tumbling skills is arm and shoulder strength. It’s important for athletes to build up strength in these areas through weight and resistance training.
- FLEXIBILITY. A large cause that most athletes don’t think about is the flexibility in their shoulders. Flexibility through the shoulders not only improves the athlete’s ability to focus on locking out through their elbows, but also decreases the chance of injury.
- PRACTICE. Of course athletes know that they need to practice skills to gain a level of perfection, but they tend not to think about the basics. Bent arms in your back handspring? Take a step back and focus on your handstand. Paying attention during basic skills to how you should squeeze tight through the core and elbows will help apply it to more difficult skills later down the line.
- PAY ATTENTION! Perhaps the easiest way to correct problems with any skill is just a higher level of focus. Paying attention to how a skill feels is the easiest and quickest way to apply corrections, getting that skill perfected faster.
Hopefully you can apply these simple tips to perfecting those tumbling skills! If you’re looking for some additional tips in these categories, check out cheerleading.about.com. Christy Mitchinson touches base on these things with some additional tips and exercises!