front tumbling

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katy

Gymnast/Coach
Nov 18, 2007
219
Metro Detroit, Michigan
front tumbling is so foreign to me. back in the early 90's front tumbling meant doing a ro bhs whatever - out of a front tuck. for me, front handsprings were so hard to get the correct angle to get any power out of.
i keep telling my self that gymnastics is repetition. so i have been working fhs and fhs tucks on tumble track (plus front tumbling doesn't hurt the ankle like back tumbling).
it is fascinating to watch how gymnast can get so much power out of front tumbling.
did any of the other adult gymnast train a lot of front tumbling back in the day?
 
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GymnastRN

New Member
Sep 10, 2008
20
NC
My front tumbling experience is pretty much the same as yours. Front tuck- ROBHS, etc... was our front tumbling. We did have one girl that was scared to back tumble and worked alot on front tumbling but other than that, none. I have tried some on the tumble tramp, and I think repetition is part of the key. It is very odd feeling, but fun at the same time.
 

katy

Gymnast/Coach
Nov 18, 2007
219
Metro Detroit, Michigan
how about arching for front layouts. that feels so weird. i would need to see myself on video to learn how to do them correctly.
i always have had a banana back - my coaches would have had a fit if i arched that much
 

Takiah

Member
May 21, 2008
66
I love front tumbling but having trouble with it, I would LOVE to get front handspring front sault but im doing this weird WEIRD thing...where i reach forward but twist a little to my right...and end up doing a mixture of a front handspring//cartwheel at the same time...on tramp and off tramp my fine....but stepping into it//hurdling into it I just cant seem to go completing straight and have my hands in front of me - has anyone else ever had this happen to them or does anyone know how to fix it? My coaches are stumped!!!!!
 

katy

Gymnast/Coach
Nov 18, 2007
219
Metro Detroit, Michigan
it sounds like you are doing a tinsika. i have no idea how to spell that. it is hard to say without seeing it, but instead of pushing evenly off both hands, a tinsika is where you lead with one hand in front distributing weight to each hand like a cartwheel.
i've found that my girls that do tinsikas instead of fhs - they are lacking in shoulder flexibility.
over the years, my shoulders are the least flexible part of me. i do a lot of extra shoulder stretches. back walkovers on beam are my hardest trick to re-learn because of the shoulders.
 

Takiah

Member
May 21, 2008
66
I just had a look on youtube, and yeah thats almost exactly what im doing but instead of coming out of it forwards (which would actually be really cool!) i come out of it on the side, like a cartwheel almost but not-- its very weird, I wonder if I could learn to follow through and learn a propper Tinsica that looks really good!!

Thanks!!!
 

MadKate

Member
Jul 4, 2008
58
I never even had a back walkover to start with, best I could do as a kid was a bridge kickover from my feet on something really high (which was usually the bed)...can't even do that, now! And compared to the rest of *my* body, my shoulders are probably one of the more flexible parts, possibly approaching the realm of "normal adult non-gymnast", where the rest of me is more comparable to "obese couch potato". They just know if they ask "Why are you even here?", I'll stop paying them... ;-)

I twist *after* I land, oddly enough, like when I'm starting to stand up after my feet hit. Almost as if I'm in a hurry to get off the mat so the next person can go. I'm not sure why, though when I fenced I developed a nasty habit of twisting when I lunged, making it easier for my opponent to hit me on the back. For handsprings, my hands land straight, and in both those and front tucks, my feet seem to land straight, too. Anyone know what's going on and how to stop it?

I twist to the right, where if I was actually trying to twist in the air I should be twisting to the left, I think? I do cartwheels left foot first, and the only people in my class I've seen twist go right and do right foot first cartwheels, so I'm assuming that's the way it works?
 

katy

Gymnast/Coach
Nov 18, 2007
219
Metro Detroit, Michigan
don't be so hard on yourself, i have come to the conclusion that a leotard will probably never fit/look like it did 15 years ago. unless i started working out everyday for five hours and stop eating sugar/cookies - which isn't going to happen :)
1. are you right handed? i wonder if you push harder with your right side of your body. i'm a righty for round-offs and twisting, but everything else i am a lefty.
2. where are you looking when you finish your skills? your head should remain neutral and you should be looking straight ahead. pick a spot on the wall to focus on. don't look at your feet and do look around to see if anyone else noticed what you did.
 

GikiGirl

Member
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Feb 21, 2009
372
Region 6
Country
USA
About the twisty front handsprings...I am not sure, but I think if you stretch more by reaching out away from your foot when you hurdle and place your hands down for the front handspring, and then also think about driving your back leg really hard as you kick over, it might help...also you know those superman rockers? Imagine yourself doing one of those in the air as you stand up.

Those who have trouble w/ straight fhs, can you do bounders (fhs that take off from 2 feet and land on 2 feet) straight?

One more thing--I know some people have straighter front handsprings when they turn their wrists out to the sides when blocking. I think this helps if your wrists are not so flexible. Be sure to keep straight elbows and block hard thru your shoulders. Handstand pops are a good drill for this.
 
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GikiGirl

Member
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Feb 21, 2009
372
Region 6
Country
USA
I came into level 7, which was compulsory, at age 15 in 1996, when front tumbling seemed to be just starting to become popular. Then in 1996 level 7 was modified optional and my coach taught me fhs front tuck, and I loved it, it was my favorite pass. I had weak, stiff ankles that I was always hurting, plus back tumbling always made me a little nervous because I was not good at spotting the floor so felt like I was lost in the air on back tumbling. I got a front full before a back full, which I still don't have. I get a floor B by doing a front pike which I can do in my sleep, but even a back layout 1/2 gives me fits. I would die if there was no front tumbling! However, the front layout allowed to arch thing was weird for me cause my last coach was very old fashioned and taught everything in a hollow position. I think I'm finally over that old habit though! Good luck everyone w/ your fronts! I think its really fun once you get the hang of it!
 

kyliesmith1

Member
Jan 2, 2009
155
Myrtle Beach, SC
What I find about front tumbling is that I can do a punch front just fine and I think if I worked at it I could get a layout too but the front handspring thing has been giving me trouble forever. What I find frustrating is that usually with back tumbling you can practice on the tumble track for a little extra spring but then bring it to floor. With front tumbling though it seems so different. I have no problem doing a front handspring front tuck but it just seems so completely different trying to do a front handspring on the floor. I think it might have to do with the pop through the shoulders. On the tumble track I don't have to really pop because it just kind of bounces for me but I have to on the floor and I bend my elbows instead. Anyone have any suggestions to help with this issue?
 

katy

Gymnast/Coach
Nov 18, 2007
219
Metro Detroit, Michigan
sounds like me when i move skills to the floor. some good conditioning: handstand pops (kick to a handstand and pop both hands off the ground, do as many as you can in a row before you come down from the handstand) and handstand snap downs (kick to a handstand and pike both feet down to the floor and bounce the feet back up to handstand without bending your legs, and lean over your shoulders so you don't arch your back).
 

GikiGirl

Member
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Feb 21, 2009
372
Region 6
Country
USA
Also Kylie when you do belly rockers, make note that you want to land your front handsprings in that tight arch position when it comes time to punch for your front tuck. A lot of people lean too far forward or pike at the hips and it takes away all the power. On the tumbletrak it won't hurt you as much as the floor. Also, make sure you look at your hands when you put them on the floor during the front handspring.
 

kgymn

Member
Gymnast
Aug 3, 2008
324
Virginia
I'm the same way with front handsprings on the tumble track. Actually I haven't even tried back handsprings on it either but that's another story! My front handsprings are coming along pretty well on the floor, but I can never seem to do them on the tumble track! My gym when I was younger didn't have a tumble track, so I never really learned anything on there first and I usually still don't try... I find it difficult to move the skill to the floor. I'd rather just learn the progression on the floor so I know how much block I need and how much jump/push/etc I need for the skills.

I'm sure they're great for getting over fear or learning body positioning, but I've really started to question the real value of tumbletraks, I wonder if they reinfornce more bad habits cause it's just too easy to fake skills.

Anyways try doing handstand pops to get used to the feeling of popping through your shoulders, lunge into a handstand and right as you hands hit POP off the floor and hop into the handstand (you'll be just short of vertical when your hands touch initially) We do those often in our floor warm ups. And you really can't do them by bending your elbows, you really learn to concentrate on it being in the shoulders. Also you can do handstands against a wall and do shoulder shruggs while in the handstand, not only are both of these good for getting the feel of the pop, but they are good for getting the right muscles stronger and more efficient.

A great drill we worked on that helped me a bunch was we stacked a bunch of panel mats about 3 feet high and then made a shorter stack behind it with an 8" mat in front of it- we stood on the lower mat and lunged onto the tall mats into a handstand on the edge of the mats and then had to pop our shoulders to land on our feet on the mat. Then we removed some of the pannel mats and did it again. And lined up panel mats like a runway to get a running start at it. This drill helped me a LOT.

~Katy
 

kyliesmith1

Member
Jan 2, 2009
155
Myrtle Beach, SC
Thank-u all so much for all your suggestions on improving my front handsprings. Katy, I think I really want to try that suggestion you wrote at the end that sounds like a great help. I think I'll print it out and give to my coach so he knows what I want to do. I guess now the only problem is my adductor muscle. It still isn't healed probably because I haven't let it like I should. Front handsprings and roundoffs are what especially hurt so I guess I'll have to wait a little longer to get back to working on them but I'll work on handstand pops and handstands with shoulder shrugs in the meantime. Then maybe I'll already be better when I start working on fhs again.
 

kgymn

Member
Gymnast
Aug 3, 2008
324
Virginia
Yes definitely give that time to heal. Make sure you're icing it too after your workouts, all that good ol' first aid type stuff to make sure it's healing up nicely. I'd start with just the handstand shoulder shrugs for a few days, maybe a week. They'll build up some strength for you and help protect your injury. The handstand pops are better than the actual skills but since you're hopping, you still risk being off in the air or whatnot so they're a little riskier than the shoulder shrugs for possibly hurting you more. So ya, definitely shoulder shruggs to get some strength and stability built up, and ask around for some other conditioning you can do for your shoulders.

It's actually possible that the whole problem is the injury, your shoulder may just be too weak right now to do a sufficient pop or you may scared to re-injure it and taking it easy without realizing it (rightly so!) so getting that adductor healed might be all you need to do! The drills will definitely help though, and that one with the mats is a lot of fun too :)

~Katy
 

GikiGirl

Member
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Feb 21, 2009
372
Region 6
Country
USA
How is the front tumbling going? I hope your leg is better.

Thank-u all so much for all your suggestions on improving my front handsprings. Katy, I think I really want to try that suggestion you wrote at the end that sounds like a great help. I think I'll print it out and give to my coach so he knows what I want to do. I guess now the only problem is my adductor muscle. It still isn't healed probably because I haven't let it like I should. Front handsprings and roundoffs are what especially hurt so I guess I'll have to wait a little longer to get back to working on them but I'll work on handstand pops and handstands with shoulder shrugs in the meantime. Then maybe I'll already be better when I start working on fhs again.
 

kyliesmith1

Member
Jan 2, 2009
155
Myrtle Beach, SC
Thank you guys for your concern. I think my leg's finally on the mend. I'm still being very careful to not overstretch it or re injure it but I'm back to tumbling but just back tumbling on the floor. I practiced my fronthandspring front tucks on tumbletrack but haven't gotten around to trying fhs on floor yet. I think maybe this Thursday when I go I'll try the drill with the panel mats if I find some room to set it up.
 
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