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  • Rick Mc 3:03 am on May 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Safety at Recreational Gymnastics 

    Good tips from Gymcats Gym Dance Cheer. Of course this was before COVID-19.

    Don’t PUSH DOWN on children when stretching.

    I like their recommendations on foam barrels, too.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

  • Rick Mc 3:03 am on April 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Introducing ROTATION to Bridge 

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

  • Rick Mc 3:01 am on December 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    teaching BRIDGES in Gymnastics 

    Many children can do a back bend before they get to your first Gymnastics class.

    click to see larger original

    click to see larger original

    Some cannot. Some are not strong & flexible enough. Some are still nervous about falling on their backs.

    Never force a group of kids to do Bridges. It can be a BIG disincentive for participation.

    Instead challenge children to do Bridge activities. Start with activities lying over soft equipment in a Bridge position. Encourage them to work towards Bridges balancing on head, hands and feet (Wrestler’s Bridge).

    The final goal is an elevated Bridge. Hands on the floor, feet up on something higher.

    Never spot beginners into the Bridge position. Let them discover how to get into position on their own.

    Certainly some children will never be able to achieve a proper Bridge. That’s OK.

  • Rick Mc 3:02 am on August 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    learning backward walkover 

    The best way is with the feet elevated. This puts most of the weight on the shoulders and upper back, protecting the lower back.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

  • Rick Mc 3:03 am on July 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Neck Stretch 

    by site editor Rick McCharles

    Kids should know what to do if ever they fall backwards on the neck. Introduce this stretch gradually.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

    See ALL the Games posted so far (over 100) on the Rick McCharles Tumbl Trak Fitness Games YouTube channel.

  • Rick Mc 3:03 am on April 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    limbers and walkovers 

    Many of our once-a-week kids will NEVER do a walkover or limber – forward or backward- in their lives. And that’s OK.

    But for those who do, best are drills with the feet elevated. Most of the weight should be on the shoulders and upper back, not the lower back.

    Click PLAY or watch some drills on YouTube.

  • Rick Mc 3:03 am on October 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    introducing backward handspring 

    In an advanced recreation class it’s not possible to spot every child, even though they ALL want to work towards backward handspring.

    In fact, I ask my instructors to NEVER SPOT … with the rare, odd exception. 🙂

    Tumbl Trak founder Doug Davis shows some activities kids can do safely and without spotting. A high level of physical preparation is required, of course.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

    • Colleen 9:25 pm on February 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I love this video! I would love to learn more techniques for LESS spotting!


  • Rick Mc 2:50 pm on June 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    more drills build confidence 

    You could SPOT a beginner on backward handspring. 😦

    Far better is to set-up dozens of progressions without spot. Let the child move step-by-step at their own speed. Have success at each. Dozens of successes.

    Let them take ownership of the skill. 🙂

    Carrie Lennox:

    In last month’s Tumbl Trak newsletter Doug Davis wrote about how progressions build confidence and reduce fear. Just thinking about an athlete “balking” in a round off-back handspring, or other tumbling series is enough to make me shudder.

    Connecting the Dots” is a way to describe all the steps involved in the physical preparation of an athlete and offering an athlete frequent opportunities to feel confident in every step in the process. In a recent video session filming skill progressions, we worked with a young athlete who has good basic training combined with good genes from her parents. The video session focused on cartwheel, handstand, and back handspring progressions from jumping to limbers to fly-backs to work in the pit, (which she had done in many workouts previously).

    After filming more than 30 different progressions that lead to a back handspring, our session ended in the pit where we saw in her a confidence and will to move on to her very first back handsprings!! Wooo Hoooo!! We cheered and celebrated with hip-hip-hurray’s and it dawned on me…..we had spent the last two hours “connecting the dots” for this athlete. All the preparation she had done in her classes, put together in a sequence, helped to give her to confidence and success.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

  • Rick Mc 9:33 am on April 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Yoga for kids 

    Calgary Herald:

    Bikram Yoga Northwest offers two different summer camps designed to teach kids the basics of yoga through fun, games, music, dance, crafts and play.

    Little Sprouts runs from July 16 to 20 and teaches kids age four to six about movement and posture through games involving storytelling, mimicking animals, drumming, chanting and role playing, among others.

    For the older kids, age seven to 11, Sprouts runs from July 23 to 27 and offers a more in depth focus on proper yoga technique though still with an eye towards fun.

    Read more …

    A new friend is recommends the training courses offered by Rainbow Kids Yoga out of Vancouver, Canada.

  • Rick Mc 3:01 am on November 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    old gymnasts never die … 

    Power Stretching and Easy Exercises by Shiro Tanaka

    In his late 50s, one of my first gymnastics mentors published his personal training program. He demonstrates all exercises himself in the home or office, using no special equipment.

    I asked Shiro he’d ever done Yoga. “Never.”, he replied.

    Like most of the old school gymnastics folks, he considers Yoga inferior to traditional gymnastics stretching. Shiro grew up with Tsukahara, one year younger.

    Shiro’s book is not available for sale anywhere, unfortunately. It was published by his University for internal use.

    But I’m inspired … just as Shiro inspired me as a gymnast and young coach. (In the late 1970s, he insisted we stretch every morning in the shower, to save time.)

    my photos of Shiro

    • Holly Manchester 4:01 pm on November 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That’s incredible. My daughter can do over splits too.


    • james 7:31 am on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I am James musau,living in Embassy South.iam well trained and have perfect moves,though I only have a ghetto experience,I need to join you


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