WAG How We Teach Front Tumbling (split from Question about Tiger Paws)

JBS

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We teach front tumbling a specific way that reduces upper extremity impact as well. I've never thought of it as a wrist saver until now... but it definitely is. If anyone is interested in that... just let me know... but that's a whole other topic.

EDIT: This is a post that was split from the following thread...

 
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JBS

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This stuff is all pretty stock in the world of men's gymnastics... but not so much in women's gymnastics. If you are from the world of men's gymnastics... you will probably think this is all normal.

Here goes...
  1. We teach bent arm front tumbling. Everything is modeled after the "headspring".
  2. We teach tumbling and "taking off" as two separate things. "Taking off" has much more impact. We only view the front 1.5 and up and front double front and up as "taking off". You can tumble right into a front full... never need to "take off" in our system. "Take offs" are managed with dive rolls.
  3. Much of our front work is actually done through "handless" skills like front tucks and front whips/layouts.
  4. All of our younger/lower level athletes front tumble "soft" 75% of the time.
  5. All front skills are progressed from tramp to tumbl trak to rod floor and finally to spring floor.
Not sure if I missed anything... but I'll remember eventually if I did.

I'll explain each point now...

#1. The center of gravity has to be allowed to travel forward before the explosion off of the hands happens. The super stiff arm blocking compulsory front handspring system does not teach this well. Athletes stiff arm block the floor while their hips are still on the wrong side of the hands. Basically... by staying on the ground longer... the hips travel forward into the correct position for front tumbling.

More later...
 

gymjunkie

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One of my mentors when I was in college taught me to watch the men's bent arms before deciding to correct them in a compulsory gymnast, lol. I know this is about front tumbling (and wrists), but I also eventually started copying the men's wide arms in the BHS and also the power tumbler's RO landing arm position (same position w/BHS and whips).
 

JBS

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#2. Tumbling vs. taking off. Watch these videos...


Only the 5/2 at the end "takes off".


The tucked full "tumbles" so the front double full can "take off".


The 5/2 starts to "take off" as it's hard to tumble that one... but the barani "tumbles" again so the triple can "take off".


I don't have a video of managing front take offs with dive rolls... but imaging video 2 going tucked full into a huge dive roll instead of a front double full. If the dive roll flips over and crashes to the back... then it's not "taking off" correctly.
 

JBS

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Teach your low level athletes to "tumble" for years before you teach them to "take off". "Taking off" is easy... it's the skills that you do once you "take off" that are hard... and much harder if you "tumble" so poorly that you can't get any height once you "take off". Besides you don't need to "take off" when you're young... you can learn all that crazy stuff on a trampoline with much less stress on the body.

 

JBS

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3. Much of our front work is actually done through "handless" skills like front tucks and front whips/layouts.

We really view the use of hands during front as more of a "low level learning" thing. Due to this... our athletes are progress to things that are off of their hands very early. Since we are tumbling 75% soft with the lower levels... we have no issues doing more upper level passes with them that don't require hands. For example... if you are tumbling 100% hard... a level 4 group is probably going to struggle to do 3 front tucks in a row on the floor... definitely not so on tramp or tumbl trak.
 

JBS

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4. All of our younger/lower level athletes front tumble "soft" 75% of the time.

Just as it says. Hard would be the traditional spring floor. Soft would be trampoline... tumbl trak... rod floor... tumbling on the spring floor with 4" mats over the top... punching off of spring boards or mini tramps... etc.

You ever tumbled a level 3 or 4 group hard 100% of the time... it's absolutely amazing what they can't do... it's just super boring.
 

JBS

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5. All front skills are progressed from tramp to tumbl trak to rod floor and finally to spring floor.

It's safer and the technique holds. Many of our kids will keep passes on the tumbl trak or rod floor for years before moving them to the floor. Why you ask... because they can't do it on the floor. If they don't have the strength to do it yet... the suspended surfaces can help them out with that while we work on getting them stronger.