Wayne, I have been trampolining for about a year now and I have mastered
the tuckback. I have no previous gymnastics training, but I would like
to learn how to do a standing tuckback from the floor. I can do one on
the trampoline without using a bounce, but I cannot get enough height
when I try it off the floor. What excersises can I do in the gym or at
home to build up my leg muscles? I have read your advice on the "gym
jump" and I am currently doing 25 of those a day.
Also, when I try the standing tuckback, I travel backwards far too much. I need
to convert this to height but I can’t change it. I train alone because
there is no coach to spot me.
Be very careful
working on the trampoline. You should ALWAYS have some one else
with you, at least as an observer. NEVER flip alone.
Learning to control where you land in the tuck is important. I suggest that you
make cross-hatch marks (like a tic-tac-toe board) in the center of the trampoline
of the nine squares should be large enough to put BOTH your feet into. You
can draw the marks with chalk, paint them, use a flexible adhesive tape or
sew a cloth tape onto the bed of the tramp. Practice flipping from any ONE
square into any OTHER square.
For example, start in square #5 and land in square #8. Or start in square #7
and land in square #3. You should ALWAYS be facing the same direction at the
beginning and the end of each flip. The easiest thing to do is to practice jumping
WITHOUT the flip. But use the SAME swing, set and power intensity. You'll find
that you can LEAN to one direction or the other to change your landing position
AND that by setting your arms in slightly different positions at the top of the
jump you'll be able to modify the direction your flip travels. Even a TINY change
in the correct direction is an achievement.
Start with 1" improvement, then try to get a 1/2 of one foot to land where
you want it, then try a whole foot. Pretty soon (500 reps?) you'll have great
control of your travel. This is illustrated in my "Benchmarks of Excellence" e-book
To get yourself ready for tucks on the ground I recommend that you DEADEN the
trampoline bed slightly. Your goal is to make it LESS bouncy. I usually drop
a big piece of tumbling-mat ON TOP of the trampoline bed. I don't know what sort
of equipment you might be able to use, but in a gymnastics school we have FOLDING
mats for tumbling. They are 1.25" thick (firm) rebound foam covered with
vinyl. A section of cheer-floor works too.
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Wayne is the Head Coach for the Savannah College of
Art and Design Cheerleading team and Executive Coach
of Olympic Gymnast Zuzana Sekerova. His articles, videos
and books have been used by students and instructors
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With the tumbling
mat one top of the trampoline you can STILL get SOME bounce but
it's MUCH harder to bounce. You'll have to work the jump and
the tuck much more agressively. After you've got that mastered
add a SECOND mat to deaden the bounce even more. By then, your
tuck should be ready to move to the floor.
ALSO... Here are a couple of variations you can work on so that you're more prepared
for tucks on the floor:
1) PIKE instead of tuck. Knees remain straight until you land. This, however
requires a bit of flexibility in the back of your legs. 2) Modify your timing.
Practice delaying the tuck to set it higher and rotate longer in a straight body
position, then, open OUT of the tuck quickly. In this way you ride the jump longer...
Tuck more agressively (rotating faster) and kick-out of the tuck early. This
can be seen in the E-book "Back Tuck Progression."