Choose your exercises carefully. Habits are as important as goals! A look at the back tuck.

Gymnastics: Back tuck technique

Notice how the gymnasts are bending their legs from the beginning of the exercise. They should begin "tucking" after the straight legs cross horizontal.

We recently discovered this video and decided this might be a good time to emphasize careful selection of exercises you intend to use as an introduction to a skill or a progression of sorts.

We at Gymsymbol are serious believers in laying technically precise foundations for further growth. The more a gymnasts repeates movements with ideally replicate a movement needed in a more advanced skill - and the earlier she begins forming a habit of replicating such moves - the easier it will be for her to transfer that technique in her career when it becomes appropriate.

The vide below is entitled "Stall Bar Exercise For Developing Strength To Flip A Somme", which we think means "Do this exercise to develop strength for a back tuck.

Take a look:

 

While this simple exercise is certainly going to increase strength, it seems less applicable to correct back tuck technique.

When executing a good back tuck, the gymnast should take off from the floor and powerfully lift her legs to horizonatal KEEPING THEM STRAIGHT. Then at the horizontal mark, the gymnast should quickly bend into the tuck shape to accelerate her rotation.  

So, an improvement on this exercise would have the gymnast repeat that technique to ensure she is forming the correct habits. Gymnasts who spend a lot of time dong this exercise - especially if they are told that it is good for helping their back tucks - will have to relearn the correct technique if they hope to "graduate" to great double-back tucks in the future.

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