Interested in tumbling? Yes it is a lot of fun! The idea of throwing yourself through the air while doing back flips, front flips and spinning sure is tons of fun, until you learn what eating the mat is.
Tumbling is the major gymnastics part of cheer. You have to have a great amount of strength to lift yourself and flip yourself. You arms will looked jacked after a couple months from tumbling. Your core has to be extremely strong and you most definitely need strong legs. The stronger you are the more power you have.
A tumbling sequence is when you link a variety of skills together to get a cross the mat. Most tumbling sequences start with a round off. A round off is like a cartwheel, but you land on two feet instead of one at a time. The round of should be strong and powerful so that when you land the roundoff you find yourself jumping high or falling backwards because of the force of power you put into it. The major power comes from your shoulders. When your arms hit the ground you have to push off extremely fast and hard to get a good landing.
Once you have your roundoff nailed, you can start adding a second skill. The point of having so much power after the round off is so that you can use that power for your next skill. For example, most people will first link a back handspring after the roundoff. A back handspring is when you jump backwards on to your hands, making the body position of a bridge, then swing your feet up into the position of a handstand, and then you drop your feet making your self land back up on your feet, right side up (this is demonstrated in a video at the end of the blog by Logan Keegan).
Another skill that can be linked to the tumbling sequence we have right now ( a roundoff back handspring) is a back tuck. A back tuck is a standing back flip in other words. To get this skill you need the ability to jump high and rotate yourself quick in the air, tight like a ball (this is also demonstrated by Logan Keegan in a video at the end).
Tumbling is great fun once the skills are learned, but it takes a lot of practice. When learning to tumbling you will eat mat a lot. You tend to land on your face when tumbling because of all the rotating of your body. Which makes you look like your are literally eating the mat. Please be careful if trying this at home. I suggest you don’t, but if you are interested in learning them you can get involved at a gymnastics gym and there they will provided you with the proper lessons and techniques. Check out our local gymnastics center at the Tournament Capital Center on Thursday nights for drop in for tumbling practice.
Roundoff Back tuck