WAG Tips, stretches, drills to straighten back leg on beam split jump

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Proud Parent
Jul 7, 2016
Roseville, CA
Hi everyone! I was wondering if anyone had drills or stretches etc to help straighten out my DDs back leg on her beam split jump. She's lvl 5 and seems to always have a bent back leg. The coaches tell her to just straighten it but she can't.

She's a very strong, powerhouse gymnast, but not very flexible (as we have been told over and over again).

She's right handed but her "good foot" is her left foot so her right leg takes the back seat and is behind her...and well, bent.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
When I danced, I would put my back leg on the bar stretched to get that muscle memory before leaping.

I'd also suggest she do leaps in front of the memory focusing on trying to get that leg straight. She'll be able to see when she is/is not doing it and register the right feeling. After she registers that, it's muscle memory from there. Ensuring she works on figuring out how to re train the leg to straighten is key. The more repitions bent, the more she's training hee muscles incorrectly.
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Work on back kicks on the beam, making sure the leg is perfectly straight. Start with low kicks - not worrying about height, just ensuring that it is straight.
Smaller split jumps on the beam, aiming for about 90 degrees, just to get the feeling of jumping off and pushing straight.

I agree with gymmom39 about doing it in front of a mirror. It's kind of unnatural to be looking sideways while doing a jump, but it does help to feel what is straight and what is not.
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Thanks ladies! We will give both of these a try. She consistently scored 9.3-ish on beam in lvl 4, but now that they have to go past 90 degrees, the bent back leg stands out a lot.
here the requirement is 180 from the get go. Pinks gym do lots of splits, over splits, leaps with resistance bands
If it's any consolation, flexibility doesn't always equal good leaps or jumps. My dd is very flexible but for some reason it doesn't translate to her leaps/jumps at all lol. I posted about leaps a while back and someone recommended that she hold onto something (chair, wall etc) and do ballistic kicks back and forth with her legs. I do think it has helped some. I think a bent back leg is pretty common though, there are even some elites that regularly have bent back legs on their leaps and jumps.
Tell her to think about keeping her KNEE straight, not her leg. That change in imagery is incredibly helpful for some kids, since it is the knee that bends and not the leg.
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