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Doubleback drills/timers

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Sooo.... When I'm done with healing up my dumb ankle injury, one of my main goals for the summer is learning a double back on floor. We have a pit at my gym and I've flipped it a couple times into it out of a roundoff.(I just trying them for fun) So what are some other timers/drills that I could do? Oh, and I guess also progressions for them too! Any information would help me alot!
Thank you!:p

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
I think it's necessary to approach a double-back simultaneously from two different angles.

1) The physical angle. Learn to generate enough power, enough height, enough rotation, to do the skill successfully. The most crucial part here is the roundoff (and to a lesser extent the backhandspring); it's gotta be perfect, and it's gotta be lightning fast.

2) The psychological angle. This side of the skill is often overlooked. You need to know exactly where you're at in the rotation in order to do the skill safely, and you have to have enough confidence not to bail on the skill. The most crucial point here is the transition between the first and second flip. This is the point of no return, where you have to commit to the second flip. Second guess yourself here, and you're in big trouble.

In my opinion, the best way to train both of these is simply to do a million double backs into a pit. Not only to practice getting the height and rotation, but to practice seeing the floor. You should be able to distinctly see the floor after both the first and second flip; this eliminates any guesswork involved in landing the skill.

Double backs on a trampoline will help this as well.

As I said in another thread, it's not necessary to try to stick the skill right from the start; with tsuks and double backs, I allow and even encourage my kids to roll backward out of the landing until they are 100% comfortable with the skill.

As for timers, once you already have the skill, the best way to warm it up is to simply do a back tuck as high as you can. The goal is to kick out and spot the ground while still on the way up.


Use the pit and a mini tramp and a block to work snap down double back into pit. Eventually throw mats in there to land it. Work a 1 1/4 first. Not just a 1 1/4 on accident but on purpose. You can work 1 1/4's on tramp but I never did doubles on tramp just doubles off.

Besides a high, floaty layout on floor out of a RO or RO-BH or RO-BWhip, work on a high tuck open.

Work flipping the tuck onto stacked mats or a porta pit.


Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Club Owner
Apr 28, 2009
Drills for Saltos​
Jeni R. McNeal, C.S.C.S.
Department of Exercise and Sport Science
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT​
Drills for the double back and double front saltos: safety concerns for the 1/4
salto landings.​
Multiple front and back saltos have become commonplace in today’s routines and are
performed on every event. The performance of these skills is no longer reserved only for the
elite level experienced gymnast. In fact, it is not unusual to find level 8 gymnasts working
these skills. Various methods of training multiple saltos have been utilized including the use
of spotting, pits, and belts. Regardless of the environment in which the actual skills are
performed, the mastery of various progressive lead-up drills is necessary for their safe
execution. One such drill involves the performance of a one and a quarter rotation, in the
case of the backward double, or a one and one quarter rotation and one and three quarters
rotation, in the case of the forward double, onto a raised mat surface. These drills give the
gymnast the feeling of the multiple rotation of the skill in a relatively safe environment.
However, if the equipment and focus of these drills are not applied correctly, serious injury
can occur.
Typically, a gymnast will begin by performing a single salto to the feet onto a stack of mats
considerably higher than that of the take-off surface to encourage height in her tumbling.
Once this task has been achieved/ the next step is to continue the rotation to land on her
back on the stacked mats. As the gymnast becomes more and more proficient in her
tumbling skills and begins to achieve greater height in her salto, more rotation can occur.
The higher the gymnast/s center of mass is from the landing surface, the more rotation can
be achieved prior to mat contact. This can present a safety concern if the drill is not adapted
to the gymnast's new level of proficiency. Injury may occur if sufficient rotation is achieved
to cause the gymnast to land on the neck or head. Although a higher level gymnast may
have sufficient awareness to avoid this situation, an inexperienced gymnast may be unable
to recognize the error in rotation until it is too late. Therefore, it is necessary to adapt the
equipment setup to reduce the chance of this situation occurring and to maintain a
consistent focus of information and correction to the gymnast.
There are two methods to improve the safety of these drills. Most important is to raise the
height of the landing surface to accommodate the increased height of the gymnast's
tumbling. This will decrease the “drop time” and consequently reduce the chances of
overrotating the skill to a dangerous position.
USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: Drills for Saltos Page 1 of 2
The second important modification that should be incorporated is the use of a decline mat
set up, where a slope is created with the mats to encourage continued rotation upon landing.
In this way, not only is the skill more approximating the final double salto, but the chance
of injury occurring even in the event of landing on the neck or head is reduced.
Rotation that is allowed to continue during impact will reduce the time of the application of
impact forces on any one body part, thus reducing the chance of injury. If a landing occurs
on the neck or head on a level stack of mats, the impact forces must be dissipated by the mat
and the body of the gymnast. By rolling, the forces are spread over a larger area, thus
reducing pressure.
The use of one and a quarter and one and three quarter rotating drills onto stacked mats is a
common method for teaching multiple back and front saltos. These drills encourage the
gymnast to achieve maximum height in preparation for performing the final skill, as well as
closely simulate the sensation of multiple rotations. However, it is necessary for the coach
to be aware of the possibility of injury arising from overrotation of these skills as the
gymnasts abilities improve. Simple modifications including raising the height and applying​
a declining slope to the landing mats will promote safe execution of these drills.
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