The standing tuck is another important milestone skill in cheerleading. Standing tuck is a defining skill of level 4 and vital to success at level 5 as part of a jump-tumble sequence.
Today we are going to look at three drills to help make you tuck the very best it can be.
Drill #1 – Jump to a tucked position on an elevated surface.
Set up mats and blocks that are about as tall as your athlete, have them do a straight jump and then lift their knees and hips so they land on their backs in a tucked position. If they get good at this drill either make the mats higher or have them do a backwards roll after landing on their backs. Make sure to stress to not grab their knees during this drill, the athlete should be keeping their arms by their ears to promote rotation and from their hips and getting into a tucked position using their core and hip flexors and not relying on their arms.
Drill #2 Standing Tuck timing drills
Have the athlete lay on their backs on the floor with their arms resting beside their body. Have them count 5…6…7…8 and then on 1 they should snap their arms up to the floor beside their head. On 2 they should lift their hips and knees up so they are in a tucked position with their hips off the floor. On 3 they can then grab their knees. Again pay particular attention on when the athlete is trying to grab their knees. You are looking to promote rotation coming from the hips and to be able to get into a tucked position by using their hip flexors and core muscles rather than their arms.
Drill #3 Standing Tuck onto a soft mat from a height
Find a nice squishy mat, stack up some blocks in front of the mat so that the blocks are higher than the mat. I would recommend making this at least a foot higher if not more to start. Have the athletes stand at the edge of the block and do their back tuck onto the mat. Once they land consistently make the distance between the mat and the blocks lower until they are doing it on an even surface. After this step is complete they should be able to land it on the floor now it turns into a mind game…Good luck!
Note* At our gym we do not specify where the athlete should be grabbing their legs, some coaches teach behind the knee and some coaches teach in front. Both work as long as the athlete does it the same way each time. There are valid points as to why each one is good so as long as the athlete is comfortable and doing it the same each time it works out.
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