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The Young Gymnast.

Tumbling Tactics

After reading Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug's story, you might want to turn a few somersaults, too. The Young Gymnast, from Dorling Kindersley Publishing's line of sports introduction books, will show you how to get started.

Ever heard of a flic flac? What about a back walkover? The Young Gymnast will show you how to flic a flac and walkover your back with the best of them.

Designed to get you off to a fast start, The Young Gymnast is a great beginning for every beginner. From warming up to cooling down, you'll learn from clear text and sharp photos just what you'll need to compete. And check the "Starting out" pages to see what sort of equipment you'll need.

Young gymnasts will start with making body shapes, and advance through rolling, headstands, cartwheels, and walkovers, until they're ready to put together a gymnastics routine for a meet.

Flic flacs and walkovers

As you make progress with your training, you will sears to learn some more advanced moves. All the work you have done so t:ar will help you now. At first the idea of falling back and landing on your hands may seem frightening. Backward movements such as the walkover and flic flac are difficult to learn. but they are essential moves if you are to continue improving your gymnastic skills. With help from your coach through all the preparatory stages, you will find them exciting skills to master.

Back walkover

The back walkover is usually used in conjunction with other moves, and can be performed quickly or slowly.

1 Start with your leading leg raised and more your arms backward, letting your head drop between them and arching your back.


2 Lift your leading leg high and when your hands reach the floor, push up through your supporting leg.


3 Your legs should be very straight and reach a splits position as you come over into a handstand.


4 Keep the second leg high and straight as the first leg comes down to the floor. Then carry the second leg down to finish the move.


How do to a flic flac

Never try without your coach. All gymnastic aim to do a flic flac, but is an advanced move and there are many preparatory skills to learn first. The flic flac is often used to build up speed for another move, such as a somersault, as well.

First flic flacs

At first, you will be taught to flic flac from a standing position to finish standing on two feet. Then you may learn to do it from a back walkover or a round-off.

Preparatory skills

Do not attempt the flic and flac until you have mastered all the preparatory skills and your coach is there to help you.

1 Start in a standing position with your feet together, and bend your knees. Lean back in an off-balance position. taking your arms back behind you.


2 Spring off the with a strong push from your feet and legs, and swing your arms upward over your head. Straighten your legs and let your hips lift up.


3 Let your legs drive your body upward and backward, but make sure you keep your head back between your arms as you start to reach for the floor.


4 Keep your body arched as your hands touch down, with your legs and lower body still following through on the line of your flight.


5 From the arched position, swing your legs and feet over, and snap them down sharply toward the floor. Keep your upper body straight.


6 As your feet touch the floor, let your knees and ankles flex to cushion your landing. Standup straight to finish.

COPYRIGHT 1997 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Children's Digest
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1997
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