walking in ‘bridge’

I’ve never liked this drill. Especially NOT the GAME of racing in bridge position.

It has little value for gymnasts. Encourages bad form, bad technique.

And some kids have been injured while attempting it.

I’ll always recall when the great Russian Power Tumbling coach, Skakoun Senior, told us at a clinic in Canada:

“If you can do a bridge, get out of my gym. You can’t tumble.”

His demonstrator, a 3-time World Champion, did not even know how to get into position to try a back bridge.

That’s going too far, in my opinion. There are powerful tumblers who can do a back bridge, but it’s not essential.

related – discussion on Chalk Bucket

teaching forward layout

Don’t miss the latest excellent tutorial by Lee Woolls.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Be careful doing forward layout into the pit, however, in case of injury on landing.

The “two” techniques could just as easily be considered a continuum of take-off position from one extreme a priority on rotation (“whip”), the other height.

Mai Murakami – double lay, 3/1 twist

Rod Floor on to pit mats.

Kazukuni Ohno’s VIDEO on Facebook.

China calls out FIG after injury

The most successful gymnast in Chinese history, Cheng Fei, snapped an Achilles at age-24.

Full Twist:

President of the Chinese Gymnastics Federation, Ye Zhennan told Xiuanet.com:

“Despite wearing tendon protectors, Cheng still tore her Achilles during a training session.”

“Not only China, but other teams including Russia and the United States face injury woes.”

“It’s time for the FIG to make some changes to the rules.”

They have a good argument, … if talking about Amanar being set at too high a value. That can be changed.

But when it comes to Achilles rupture, I can’t think of anything FIG could do to reduce the number of injuries. They are just as frequent in the NCAA where female gymnasts are not competing FIG rules.

Allowing — once again — a lunge after landings would reduce injuries, I think. But not Achilles injuries. That wear and tear happens mostly on take-off.

The only hope is a change in Floor apparatus specifications, perhaps to something like the Weller Spring. Unproven, so far, in preliminary research by Bill Sands.

But it seems to me that Power Tumblers have fewer Achilles injuries despite doing more reps of more difficult skills. Softer takeoff surface. Softer landing mat.

More time on the trampoline and Rod Floor, fewer repetitions on hard tumbling surfaces, might help. Achilles tendon damage is normally long, slow onset.

Leave a comment if you’ve got any recommendations.

related – Brigid – So Sad About Cheng

Andrew Egyed – Playin Around

I’ve known Andrew his entire career. Great Power Tumbler. Excellent coach.

Now ‘retired’ (so far) he put together a mixed edit. Some competition. Some FUN clips.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

FunEgyed (a) hotmail.com

most back flips in 1min?


The most standing back somersaults in one minute was 36 and was achieved by Ziyi Zhang (China) on the set of Zheng Da Zong Yi – Guinness World Records Special in Beijing, China, on 17 December 2010.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

No doubt other acrobats have done more. Power Tumblers, most likely. Leave a comment if you’ve seen higher than 36.

Here’s Alicia Sacramone doing, I think, 31.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Kalon Ludvigson US DD Record

Power Tumbler Kalon’s two passes from the Stars & Stripes Cup in Cleveland Ohio gives him the USA Record for highest degree of difficulty in two passes.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Congrats, too, to the new Canadian Tumbling Champ, Jon Schwaiger, who had an excellent competition this past weekend.

photo by Grace Chiu GraceClick on Facebook