Tag Archives | Trampoline

Trampolining and Tumbling

Trampolining and tumbling go together hand in hand. Trampolining involves doing all sorts of acrobatic tricks on a trampoline which provides much more height. Tumbling involves doing the same or similar moves on the floor (and with gymnastic spring floors more height can be had).

I’ve mentioned this before. When I first started doing gymnastics I never really used the trampoline. My idea was that I should be able to do all the moves without artificial apparatus. Basically I wanted to be able to do every move outside.

The problem with this idea is that the trampoline is such a useful tool. Although it easily allows you to get tons of air without needed to generate it yourself (by jumping off the ground for instance) you need to control your body in the air. The same control and acrobatic ability in the air is applicable to being on a trampoline or not. It doesn’t really matter.

So even if you only want to do moves outside like I did, the trampoline is a useful tool for getting there.

Just ask Damien Walters. One of the best out there in free running and all manner of acrobatic stunts. One of his primary training methods and tools is the trampoline even competing in the trampoline world championships along with doing all manner of stunts in the gym and out.

For this reason you should use everything available to you. Set goals for tricks you can do on a trampoline. If you need ideas on getting started check out the Trampoline Handbook. In it you’ll find 48 different moves to work on. These range from basic to intermediate. From there the world of trampolining really opens up. Work on doing more complex tricks as well as stringing several more basic tricks together.

Here’s a video showing some amazing trampolining stunts from Adam Menzies along with some other moves at the end.

Want to do a twisting backflip? Do it on the trampoline first and nail it down, before moving onto the floor. Not to mention a trampoline can just be a lot of fun.

When it comes to tumbling on the floor you should follow the same progressions. Work on what you can and build from there. For a wide range of moves (248 to be exact) check out Tumbling Illustrated. And again, do more complex moves and focus on stringing moves together.

The truth is just about anyone can build up decent acrobatic skills if they work on it with persistence. You may not be trying out for Cirque du Soleil anytime soon but you’ll master moves few people can do.

Walking and Jumping On Your HandsWalking and Jumping On Your Hands on Amazon

Trampolining and tumbling skills are well worth going after. Working on one will help the other and vice versa. Use the combination and get better starting today.

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Second Day at Gymnastics

Yesterday was my second day back at gymnastics.

Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days
Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days on Amazon

I have to admit it’s a lot of fun. Join the class and do a series of drills across the floors. Different kinds of cartwheels. Handstands. Handstand roll out. Handstand rollout to standing. And so on.

The different people there have different strengths and weaknesses in these drills. Some are easy. Some are not, but you try anyway, and even if you fail in many cases you are getting better.

After the various warmup drills we were free to work on what we wanted to.

I didn’t do any back handsprings the previous time so I figured that was a good place to start. It’s nice to come back to gymnastics rather than starting from scratch. Much easier this time around.

A few preliminary drills, a spot on one back handspring and then I was doing them by myself. Couldn’t quite get the ideal form I was trying for but I was getting back to my feet. Will have to work on those more for sure.

Backflip

Back to Back Flips

On to back flips. Although it wasn’t easy last time getting back into the motion, I had it down. Right away on the trampoline. Once again a few preliminary drills and I was ready to go.

This is why training in a gymnastics center is so great. One of the drills involved stacking a whole bunch of pads, including a wedge shaped pad at the top. This was close to shoulder height. The objective was to jump up and back. As soon as you touched the pads, or even before, you would tuck and roll back (the wedge helping you to do so). This allows you to work the jump and tuck while eliminating the entire second half of the move.

Wish I had taken a picture. Where else are you going to be able to do this?

I get a spot on my first real back tuck. It’s done off of raised mats onto a pad. Success. I find often times a single spot is all that is needed, not so much to help in the move, but to calm your mind, and allow you to do it without fear. After that you’re good to go. Just replicate the same action.

Gradually I lowered the mats until it was even. Then I did away with the mats and pads altogether and did a back flip on the floor. Back in action.

Seeing as I easily did these before I knew it wouldn’t be much trouble. Just had to get back into it step by step as I describe in this article on back flips. This time the steps were a lot quicker then when I first learned.

In a few sessions I’ll have all my skills back (and even be better in some ways.) I look forward to the new skills I’ll be learning how to do and sharing that all with you.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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First Day Back

It’s the first time I’ve attended a gymnastics class in around two years, maybe longer.

I expect that I’ll be able to get back into it quickly, at least for the most part. I don’t plan to rush things.

On this first day back, we start up on the trampoline. After a few regular bounces and getting use to it I launch into a front flip. Over spun it. Land on my knees. But it was on a trampoline so no harm done. I repeat the process, mostly over spinning it. Eventually I get it down. If you know you’re over spinning every time simply spin less.

Onto some floor exercises. A few basic warmups. I get dizzy from rolling and cartwheels. Then round offs. Those come back as easily as if I’d been doing them regularly. Not perfect but in decent form.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

The instructor calls for a front handspring. I think back to what leg I normally go off of. Once I have that no more thoughts. I just run forward plant my hands and land easily on my feet. Once again not perfect but decent. A few more and I’m getting even springier.

We move onto the tumble-trak. A front handspring into a front flip. Here comes a problem. My strong suit in the past was never stringing moves together. I try this again and again but don’t quite get it. I can hit the front handspring but I often hesitate when going for the flip resulting in a landing not on my feet.

Trampoline

Trampolines are great to build your acrobatic skills.

Back to the trampoline. Back flips! I hadn’t done one of these in any shape or form in a long, long time, but I suppose that was true of every move on this night. The fear of hurting myself, even on a trampoline, by going backwards was back and prevalent.

I start with some basic lead-up drills like rolling over then bouncing over. I feel like my body has lost all control. Like all coordination leaves when I’m upside down. I keep working and I gain the coordination back.

Alright those drills are easy. With a spot on my first backflip I make it easily. From there its easy. Back flips, front flips. I work on them all going back and forth between them. Enjoying the freedom. Enjoying the rush of going upside down. Enjoying being back in gymnastics.

I’ve made the mistake of neglecting much use of the trampoline in the past but will not be making the same mistake this time around. You can read more about that and all kinds of trampoline moves here.

We mess around with some handstand stuff, specifically on press handstands and call it a night.

It was fun. I am definitely re-hooked. I also paid the price.

I knew it would happen. Anytime you engage in a new vigorous physical activity, or one you haven’t done in some time, you will end up sore the next few days. You may not think bouncing on a trampoline or springy floor use much muscle but you’d be wrong. My legs, every inch of them, were sore to the point that walking was a bit awkward.

Despite that I’ll be back soon. And I will also be practicing on my own each day.

Good Luck and Good Gymnastics,
Logan Christopher

P.S. This is day two of the 30 Day Challenge. So far so good. How about you?

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Back to Gymnastics

A few years back I regularly attended a gymnastics class. This wasn’t back when I was a kid, as is the case for 99% of gymnasts, but because I wanted to master gymnastic skills as an adult. I wanted to strength and skill that comes with it.

This fell away as I went to work on other training. But there is nothing quite like being in that class. Let me tell you why.

1. It’s a Dedicated Chunk of Time.

If you go to a class you’re going to be there for an hour and a half to two hours (at least that’s how long my classes run). That’s a lot of practice time. At it’s very much in contrast to the typical 15 minutes, maybe half hour, I’d likely spend on my own.

This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that it’s a long time and the more you practice the better you’ll get. Of course it can be too long to the point where you get tired, run down, and then you can’t get any better at the skills at hand.

But if you go into class full of energy and know how to rotate from one skill to another you can minimize this effect.

gym rings2. The Equipment.

If you want to get good at something you need to have the proper tools to do so. A gymnastics facility has the following: trampoline, tumble-trak, spring floor, rings, bars, pommel horse, balance beams various mats and pads, a foam pit, and much more. Depending on your goals you may need different tools.

For example if you take some one of the street who wants to learn how to do a back flip you’re much better set if you have these tools. It is possible to teach someone to do it just standing with the proper instruction and spotting. Better to have all that and tools so you can learn the skill on a trampoline first, then off or raised mats with padding and finally on the ground.

This makes it more step-by-step and of course much safer. Safety, or rather the feeling of safety, is a big deal when you first attempt many acrobatic skills.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

3. The Coaching.

If you practice be yourself, often times its hard to know what you’re really doing. A video camera can help you to SEE what you’re doing. But a coach can do that plus tell you what you need to do.

Even a half-way decent gymnastics coach is going to be able to help you get to skills much beyond what the average person would be able to do.

And as was mentioned before having a spotter the first time you try a move is very helpful.

Hand balancing skills can easily be worked at home. (Some equipment can be useful as well as coaching which is obvious.) But for acrobatic skills at least getting your start in the proper facility can be a huge help. It can be the difference between mediocre skills and really going far.

For that reason I’m going back. I’ll have the story of my first day back for you tomorrow.

Good Luck and Good Gymnastics,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For moves you can do at home and at the gymnast facility be sure to check out Tumbling Illustrated.

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What Trampoline should I use?

With the release of the Trampoline Handbook I’ve received a few questions on what type and size of trampoline I recommend.

To do the tricks in the book you’ll need to be able fully layout on the trampoline. For this reason I recommend a trampoline that is at least 10 feet wide. And the bigger the better. Just gives you more room to do the tricks safely.

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon

As to shape the standard round trampoline works fine, but the square or rectangular versions are great too.

As far as brands or where you get them a simple search on google for ‘trampolines’ will find you many places selling them. Or most likely you can buy them locally in your area.

And once you have it set up the real fun begins. See the Trampoline Handbook to find out how you can get started in tons of beginner and intermediate trampolining tricks.

Good Luck and Good Trampolining,
Logan Christopher

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The Trampoline Handbook Available Now

The new Trampoline Handbook is available now. You can skip right ahead and get it now.

Or read below to get the back story…

—–

I’m human. And because of that I make mistakes. But I like to think I quickly learn and fix them. However sometimes that’s not the case and it takes years to realize your fault.

As you may know a while back I attended an adult gymnastics class. Having no prior tumbling skills it was certainly a challenge.

But even from the time I was young I wanted to be able to do a backflip among many other tumbling skills. So I went and I slowly got better.

They had a giant trampoline as well as the tumble-track, basically a lane of trampoline leading into large pads.

Unfortunately I hardly ever used these tools.

You see, I had this idea in my mind that I wanted to only be able to do skills without the assistance of anything. I wanted to jump rather than be launched into the air by a trampoline.

And this was my big mistake!

I didn’t realize that using a trampoline I could better learn to control my body in the air. And that definitely translates to doing moves on the ground or anywhere else.

When you’re in the air you can work on flipping, twisting and many other skills. It really doesn’t matter how you got up there. Just what you do when you’re there.

But the trampoline allows you do to it easily without wasting energy. And that means more practice (not too mention safer too).

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon

Now I’ve learned from my mistake.

I discovered this book that takes you step-by-step through the most basic moves all the way to much more advanced tricks.

The Trampoline Handbook

So that you don’t make the same mistake I did, I’ve made it available once again.

I know not everyone has access to a trampoline, but if you do I urge you to get this book. And if you haven’t used a trampoline in a while you don’t know what you’re missing.

You’ll be able to use it to build up your skills to improve your tumbling whether you do gymnastics,  Parkour, tricking or anything else.

Plus it’ll be even more fun then just a little random bouncing. So go check it out.

The Trampoline Handbook

Sincerely,
Logan Christopher

P.S. You can read more about it at The Trampoline Handbook including a list of the 50 stunts you’ll learn and when you act now you’ll get $5 off.

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Current Attempt at a Backflip

Just thought I would put up a short video for fun.

Anyway, this is a backflip I did last night at my gymnastics class. I am doing it on level ground and getting to my feet so it is not too bad. But it still has a couple spots for improvement. And of course consistency is a big key.

Being able to do backflips has been a goal of mine since I was a young kid. Seeing as previously I couldn’t even go backwards on a trampoline, it has been a long journey.

I’d tell you how you could get there but you really need proper instructions and equipment to get started. So I must say do not try this at home.

Good Luck and Good Tumbling,
Logan Christopher

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon
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