By: Joanna Grossman, CI C Contributor
Beginners/ Level 1
Everyone starts somewhere, perfecting your basic skills will help you reach your tumbling goals. As you begin to learn your forward rolls, handstands, and several other beginning tumbling skills, practicing good technique is essential to safe and quick progression.
- During a forward roll, be sure to make eye contact with your belly button area. Yes, your belly button! This will allow your body to arch your back leading to a more comfortable forward roll, as well as protection for your neck. The closer your knees are to your chest the better. Rolling in an open body position will make it almost impossible to stand up.
- When attempting a handstand be sure to keep your hands close together. Shrugging your shoulders to ears will make it much easier to hold your weight. If balancing is an issue, attempt donkey kicks or handstands against a wall until you learn to better squeeze your body.
- Your starting position of a cartwheel should consist of a deep lunge with straight arms by ears as your body faces forward. During your cartwheel, your dominant hand should be out straight as if you’re giving somebody a high five. Your other hand should be turned sideways, fingertips turned towards the dominant hand. In your lunge, quickly drive up your back leg in order to gain power. Throughout your cartwheel your legs should be in a straddle position.
- During front and back walkovers be sure to make eye contact with your hands. From start to finish, keep your arms locked and shoulders shrugged to prevent arms from collapsing.
- As you improve your tumbling skills, having a powerful round off is extremely important. A round off consists of a cartwheel and a handstand snap down. In order to gain power, snap down with straight legs from your handstand position. Your goal is to get your toes under you, not in a push-up position.