How to Split Leap

Gymnastics Girl Camper

It’s a “split leap!” Taken directly from Ballet and applied in gymnastics to Floor Exercises and the Balance Beam, this gymnastics skill begins with a leap forward where the athlete does a 180 degree split in the air, leaping off one foot and landing on the other.

The split leap is more that just doing a split in the air. Judges look for style, proper arm, hip and shoulder position as well. For example, it’s important to keep your shoulders and your hips square. This is a common error, in fact, because many young girl gymnasts have to turn their hips in order to do a split at all, and once they learn this, it’s difficult to “un-learn” it to do a split leap properly.

Of course, the trick to doing this gymnastics skill is excellent flexibility and strength, both of which come from proper form when practicing. It’s important to keep your hips and shoulders square as you stretch and improve hamstring, hip flexor and quadricep flexibility.

The Rockbrook Camp gymnastics activity is a place where girls can practice their split leap, improve their flexibility, and learn the correct techniques for this important gymnastics skill.

How to do a Handstand?

Camps Gymnastics

Can you do a handstand? Maybe not yet, but like all gymnastics skills, with a little practice, you’ll improve and be able to do it. Camps are the perfect place to try it, learn a few tips, and practice.

Here are a few tips to help you learn how to do a perfect gymnastics handstand.

  • First find a wall and use it to balance against. Stand back from the wall, plant your hands about a foot away, kick up, and lock your elbows.
  • Your arms should cover your ears. Your legs should be straight and together, and your toes pointed towards the ceiling.
  • Keep your stomach tight, and your back straight, not arched.
  • Look down at your hands, but don’t stick your head out too far.

When you feel your balance improving, you can try your handstand without using the wall. Here is where it’s good to have a spotter help you balance by holding your legs once you kick up.

Doing a handstand is one of those great camp gymnastics skills that’s fun to learn, exciting to practice, and super cool once you can do it.

Camp Gymnastics Instruction

Gymnastics Instruction

Elaine Trozzo is returning this summer to head our camp gymnastics instruction program. Elaine has taught gymnastics for the Transylvania County (NC) Parks and Recreation Department for 14 years. She has coached a competitive gymnastics team for 3 years, and has served as a gymnastics competition judge for 4 years. She has been certified by USA Gymnastics and holds the National Safety Certification in gymnastics. This will be Elaine’s sixth year as the head of Rockbrook’s camp gymnastics instruction.

Also returning are some of our awesome gymnastics counselors from camp last summer. You’ll see Karen and Abby down at the gym. We’re also happy to introduce Jess Watrin. She has many years of gymnastics experience and will be one of our gymnastics main instructors.

Yea Gymnastics!! 🙂

Back Bends in Gymnastics

Gymnastic Camp Back Bend Exercise

One important gymnasic excercise we practice at Rockbrook is the “back bend.” Strength and flexibility are naturally the foundations of gymnastics, and here flexibility is the idea. Work up to this exercise by first spending time warming up your muscles with stretching.  You’ll want to feel limber.  The next thing to try is to make a “bridge” where you lie down and press your hips up while extending your arms, arching your back into a bridge-like curve.  Practice this a lot to build up your strength.  A back bend is when you form a bridge from a standing position.  With someone spotting you (holding you up under your lower back), lean backwards with your hands extended ready to touch the floor over your head.  After developing the strength and flexibility to do this, you can move on to a “walkover” or, something even more advanced, a “back handspring.”  There is a definite gymnastics progression you can build upon.

Girls Gymnastics Camps

Girls at Gymnastics Camp

The gymnastics camp activity at Rockbrook is designed for girls who want to explore gymnastics as a sport for recreation and personal growth. It is one activity offered as part of our overall traditional summer camp program and is not really for girls who want to train for gymnastics competitions.

Instead we focus on offering instruction in fundamental gymnastic skills and techniques, activities that will be both fun and helpful no matter what your gymnastics background. Our instructors teach children’s gymnastics classes throughout the school year, so they are well prepared to design different lessons for the different age groups and ability levels. Ready… flip!

Gymnastics at Summer Camp

Girls at Gymnastics Summer Camp

Combine flexibility, poise, balance and some strength, and you’ve got an idea of the gymnastics program at Rockbrook Camp. We teach different classes for girls with different levels of experience so everyone can learn something and improve their skills. We use traditional gymnastics equipment like the beam, bars, and tumbling floor, but also enjoy fun exercises and musical/rhythmic gymnastics. It’s just one of the many skill-based activities available at camp each session.