Hi, I was just kinda browsing the internet and I saw your site so I figured that I would go ahead and ask my questions!
* How do I get my body to stay hollow when I'm doing a layout? (my layouts are bad!)
* How do I get a faster spin on a full? (my fulls are better!)
*Why is it easier to do a full than a layout?
You've asked three great questions. I'm going to answer them in reverse order.
NOTE: Without actually SEEING you in your twist I can only guess at your exact challenges. These answers are based on 'most commonly seen errors'.
When skills are well-formed (safe, beautiful, consistent, progressive)... they require the least amount of effort... because you're using the fewest number of muscle efforts to achieve the greatest outcome.
If your FULL feels easier than your layout it's probably because you're using a better body-form when you have to twist. Most likely when you're just doing your layout... you allow yourself some leeway for a sloppy form... perhaps an arch in the back, a toss of the head or some other error? But when you twist, in order to actually spin, you must straighten your body out... thus your layout-form is improved & it feels easier. Twisting does increase the speed of the rotation in your layout, also.
Which leads me to the second answer... you make yourself twist (spin) faster by holding your body STRAIGHTER throughout the twist... (aligning all your body parts in the narrowest possible position) avoiding any arch or bending.... and by PULLING harder (wrapping more tightly) with the arms.
Think of a figure skater on ice initiating her spins. She starts spinning by standing on one leg with the other leg held straight out and her hands held far apart... to make herself spin more quickly she will bring the extended leg inwards... aligning it with her support leg. That will make her spin MUCH faster. Finally, she'll wrap her arms in around her upright torso or head ... as she does that her spin speeds up to a whirl! To slow back down she simply opens her arms up... or arches her back ... or squats and extend one leg. All those BENDING and ENLARGING or LOOSENING movements will slow her twist down. STRAIGHTENING, TIGHTENING and NARROWING movements ... (making her body as narrow as possible)... will accelerate her rotation.
Try it yourself. Put on some socks... find a slippery floor... and spin yourself on one foot... with your arms out wide... once you are in rotation bring your legs together and wrap your arms tightly against your body. You'll feel your twist accelerate! You can open the arms apart and you'll slow your twisting.
Another option, to slow your twisting, is to SQUAT (bend your knees and hips) ... or... stick one leg out... or arch your back... or stick your head out... bend to one side...or just be VERY loose.
All those techniques for accelerating or decelerating your twisting can be used when you're upside down in your layout.
FINALLY... if you feel like you have to arch to get your layout around... it probably means your layout is LOW... and UNDERPOWERED. Arching is NOT an option for a fast twist... remember arching is how you SLOW your twist down!
You MUST learn to perform your layout with a HOLLOW body. You'll FEEL more confident about having the air-time to maintain your straight (hollow) body if your saulto is HIGHER in the air. Improving your round-off and handspring and REBOUND-SET will add power to the layout.
A good rule of thumb to tell whether or not your layout is high enough is this: When you are UPSIDE DOWN... the TOP of your HEAD should be at the SAME HEIGHT as the top of your head when you are standing on the floor. SO... if you are 5'2" tall... the LOWEST part of your layout should be at LEAST 5'2" off the ground when you are exactly upside down. Have a coach MARK the level of your head when you are flipping.
The rebound-set (out of the last handspring) is the place where you adjust your body for the flight phase of the layout. I HIGHLY recommend the following for daily practice in your workout.
Before you attempt any twists.. MAKE SURE you have ACCURATELY and CORRECTLY performed at least THREE layouts from the round-off-handspring. Minimize your horizontal travel and increase the HEIGHT of the skill.
Before you attempt ANY layouts... MAKE SURE you have ACCURATELY and CORRECTLY performed at least THREE tucks (or pikes) from the round-off handspring. Again, minimize your horizontal travel to IMPROVE your vertical HEIGHT.
In short... the hurdle, round-off, handspring AND rebound-set will be ALMOST identical for all three skills.... BUT it's EASIER to make corrections in the simplest combination... the RO-HS-TUCK. Get THAT one right FIRST... then BUILD on it.
By taking time during EACH workout to review & enhance the foundation skills you're building upon, you'll advance more rapidly and hold onto those advancements more confidently.
Have fun, be safe, push HARD.
Coach Wayne was 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 worldwide since 1991. Coach Wayne is available for tumbling instructor certification training. For booking information, coaches/owners should text or call 912.238.1747.