This page is meant for our Athletes! We are asked all the time, “What can we do at home to improve our tumbling?” So here it is, our advice to you!
The number one thing athletes can do at home is CONDITION their bodies! You cannot possibly have all the equipment that a gym does, or a spotter to work with you at home. But you can strengthen your body and have it ready for when you do go to the gym. You would be amazed at how much just a little conditioning goes a long way! If the only conditioning you are doing is while you are in class or practice, it is not enough to be a great tumbler! Here is a list of a few short moves that do not take much time but will benefit you greatly:
1. Pushups- old fashioned pushups will strengthen your arms and shoulders. Start with just 10 a day; you won’t believe what a difference they will make! Increase the number as you are able.
2. Plyometric jumps-these will really increase the strength of your legs which will increase the power in your tumbling! Start with arms tight at sides, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle and jump up and bring knees to hands. Do not drop hands! Start with 10, and try to advance to 20 a day.
3. Ab work- A strong core is SO important in tumbling! V-ups, sit ups, crunches, plank, super man and hollow holds are all ways to strengthen your core. Work your core every day! We cannot stress this enough!
4. Handstands, handstands and more handstands! The handstand is a critical skill in tumbling, which is why we practice them in every class, even our higher level tumbling classes. Most skills pass through the handstand, so any mistakes in the handstand will show up in your tumbling. So make sure you practice a perfect handstand. Perfect Handstand Position- arms are narrow (close together) and right by the ears, hands are close together and slightly turned in. Belly is tight, back is slightly rounded (hollow position) hips tucked under. No arch in the back. Head is neutral, use your eyes only to “look through your eyebrows” at your hands. Do not lift head to look at hands. Toes are pointed. Every muscle in your body should be squeezed tight!
5. Wrist and Forearm strength-Our arms and wrists are not used to the weight we place on them when we tumble, since we do not walk on them! Therefore we must strengthen them! Clapping your hands vigorously, and rotating your hands around (we call it stirring the Peanut Butter) will help your wrists. Squeezing your hands into a tight fist and holding for a couple of seconds will help develop those forearms.
6. Stretching- You must be flexible in all parts of your body to tumble. Back, shoulders, and legs (hamstrings) are crucial! Bridges are great for the back and shoulders, and stand up and reach for your toes to stretch the back of your legs.
7. Eat healthy! Our bodies need healthy “fuel” to perform well. And having excess weight on our bodies makes it harder to tumble. Hydration is important, so drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess caffeine, which dehydrates our bodies.
These are just a few things that can be done at home, at no cost to you, that will dramatically improve your tumbling! We hope this helps and we look forward to seeing the results of your hard work at the gym!
Spirit Athletics- Shaping Athletes in Body, Mind and Spirit!