back tuck.

I like this video:

clearly you can see full extension of the arms,  head stays neutral, and the shoulders only go back when the knees drive them back


The recreational gymnast

I was waiting with one of my ( very patient) gymnastic coaches  to train in the corner of a club that I don’t often go to. We were watching   a class . It was “alright” . Nothing spectacular, but nice. The interesting thing, was the dialogue from my coach. “that poor bitch ” ( referring to the coach) “Everyone starts off like this. Dumped with the recreational  gymnasts” .

Gymnastics is a unique sport, Id almost say its the nearest thing to spiritual dedication that there is.  ( Btw any physical activity that claims to be spiritual, isn’t. Mastery of static poses, yoga meditation etc is easy peezy by comparison. It takes work, sure , but sitting on your bum navel gazing is  a lot easier  than tumbling).  It is also based on principles of selection. To be successful you need certain natural flexibility and , the ability to throw yourself backwards onto your hands. While Long Term Athlete Development concepts suggest the later starting  of   dedicated sports, gymnastics is the exception. Get in their early and specialise if you want to be any good. But here is the reality. If you go to gymnastics for 3 hours a week , you are classified as recreational. I think you have to get yo 6 hours a week before people treat you seriously.

This isnt’ a criticism of gymnasts, more a plea to adult learners to moderate their learning targets . In gymnastics even the  most basic skills are hard and difficult to master.



Dont rush at the skill

I think, sometimes, both us and our trainers rush at the attempting the  big skills without the underpinning conditioning and understanding; Often conditioning is seen as some unrelated activity. In the great bar  video, you can clearly see, for example, how the dish is progressed to assist the understanding of the circle

Squeeze your ass

So many  gymnastic postures require us to squeeze our butt checks together, but why wait till you are in the gym to build up your “Ass Capacity”.

Why not sneak in the odd 10 second squeeze when no one is watching. You might as well squeeze your ankles together to, and maybe make sure the butt squeeze takes you into a flat backed position.

You can turn wasted Tube or Bus Stop time, into  useful handstand practice time

Back to basics on the round off

I don’t know where to put my foot in the lunge for the round off.

This drill helps me think about where it should go. Notice the wobbling knee,and the physical uncertainty. No wonder I cannot drive power into this position. But still, its a drill I can work on