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Shoulder Flexibility and beam back walkovers, any input welcome!

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cadybearsmommy

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Dec 31, 2010
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After reading some horror stories here about back problems as a result of beam back walkovers, I wanted to get some input on dd. I'm not an expert but to me it seems like she doesn't have the best shoulder flexibility. I've seen from reading here that kids with less shoulder flexibility tend to overcompensate with their lower backs and that can lead to trouble. DD did BWO's on the floor for years with no problems. I've noticed that doing them on the beam is different. She really has to stretch her back out beforehand and she jokes that she feels like an "Old Granny" reaching back on the beam. I've also noticed her popping her back, stretching it out more than ever before even at home. She says everyone on her team pops their backs like that and it helps keep them from being stiff. She has not reported any significant back pain to me, every once in a while she will have a little muscular discomfort in her back (just like she also does from time to time with her knee, ankle, shoulder, etc) much like any gymnast I suppose and not too much different from the way I feel if I overdid it a bit lifting weights) and after icing for a day or two she's back to normal. So I'm not overly concerned and I'm hoping as she moves on to learning back handsprings that it will become less of an issue, but since she has a month or so left in the season, can anyone recommend some exercises that promote shoulder flexility?

Also if anyone wants to take a look at this pic of my dd doing her BWO and tell if me if looks like she might be overcompensating with her lower back a bit, or if it looks correct...Thank you!
 

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MAcastsalot

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Apr 22, 2014
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DD has decreased shoulder flexibility, but has worked a lot to improve it. She never hinged at a specific point in the lower back, but would compensate with bent arms and bent knees. This article may be helpful in determining whether or not she has a problem with hinging on the lower back. It looks to me like she's hinging at one specific point, but I'm not an expert by any means.
http://www.shiftmovementscience.com/bridge-mobility-why-your-gymnasts-may-be-struggling-possible-injury-prevention-for-the-lower-back/
 
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cadybearsmommy

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Dec 31, 2010
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DD has decreased shoulder flexibility, but has worked a lot to improve it. She never hinged at a specific point in the lower back, but would compensate with bent arms and bent knees. This article may be helpful in determining whether or not she has a problem with hinging on the lower back. It looks to me like she's hinging at one specific point, but I'm not an expert by any means.
http://www.shiftmovementscience.com/bridge-mobility-why-your-gymnasts-may-be-struggling-possible-injury-prevention-for-the-lower-back/
Wow that is really helpful! Thank you!
 

CoachTodd

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Nov 4, 2009
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I had a really stiff shouldered girl I coach that basically muscled her walkovers due to an extremely strong core and shoulders. We actually had a local news channel that wanted to use a kid on beam as part of their "balanced" logo. They were only using silhouettes and the camera person told her he needed to be able to see her face more. This got her to open her shoulders so her profile showed more and she had one of the prettiest walkovers on beam ever since.
From what I could see in the photo, he shoulders are more flexible than the kid I'm referring to. She may want to work on reaching up then back to get the open a little more for the skill.
 

coachmolly

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Jan 18, 2009
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It's pretty common for girls to change their technique for a bwo on beam, just because they are 4ft off the ground. I have 2 kids who were on my team last year and have since moved up to a higher level group doing bwos on beam that make me cringe. Instead of standing tall and stretching up and tall throughout the skill, they start standing up sort of tall than slouch down, push their belly button/lower back forward, and whip themselves back. It's painful to watch but, but not uncommon from what I've seen. So this could be part of what's happening with your girl. Though the still shot of your dd's bwo is much more pleasant than theirs- they have a very notable low back arch throughout the skill as a result.
 
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gymmomtotwo

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Jun 21, 2011
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DD did a back extension roll for 5, and did well in her score out meet on beam. She did a back handspring on beam for 6, and now a back ext roll- bhs combo for 7. She has inflexible shoulders and not the best backwalkover even on floor, but she does the other skills very well
 
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