These 8 gymnastics round off drills can be practiced during floor or vault workouts. The drills below address different importance’s of the round off.
8 Basic Gymnastics Round Off Drills
Gymnastics round off drills should be practiced daily while learning and competing the Yurchenko vault. (Our USAG optional level 7-10 vault training includes hurdle and round off drills everyday: either in the warm-up of the event or worked as a side station throughout the event workout.)
1. Straight Cartwheel-Round Off Drill Circuit
This cartwheel and round off drill circuit starts next to a wall with a line about 12 inches from the wall. The athlete will perform this circuit standing next to the wall, keeping their hands in-between the wall and the line. The focus is on the athletes’ body staying straight over the top with a tight straight core and the hands contacting the ground in a 1-2 rhythm remaining in-between the line and wall. Every drill goes both directions to make sure the athlete stays straight over the top throughout the cartwheel or round off. We usually do this drill one time per week in vault warm-up as shape reminder.
2. Gymnastics Round Off Shape Hold
A simple yet effective gymnastics round off drill. This round off drill takes up very little space and is quick and easy to setup and can have multiple reps completed in a short amount of time. There is a lot we can have the athletes be aware of throughout a simpler drill like this one. Starting with the arms swinging up and forward in the hurdle (upford – made up word we have used for years). We get enough rise in the hurdle by going up onto the panel mat. Next, we like the athletes to focus on the 1-2 hand rhythm and while the hands strike to look for the ground (springboard) where the feet will land. Lastly we like our athletes to work on maintaining the round shape of the “round” off.
3. Cartwheel and Round Off Drills Over Blocks
The emphasis for this drill is to have your athletes maintain a round shape while blocking/lifting the body over the blocks. Remember to continue the emphasis on the 1-2 hand rhythm when contacting the ground.
4. Round Off Drill – Mountain Climber Cartwheel with Sliders
Here is a “fun” yet productive drill teaching the correct body weight transfer and foot pressure from the hurdle into the cartwheel or round off. Notice that the athletes have carpet sliders under both feet and when this drill is performed correctly the carpet sliders should shoot back where you started from. We buy our carpet sliders on amazon.
5. Side Cartwheel Round Off Drill
This round off drill is used for the feeling of block/bounce off the hands trying to not allow a “sag” in the shoulders when the hands contact the ground. This drill is broken down into 3 parts:
- Blocking side cartwheel
- Side cartwheel turn
- Side cartwheel to round
The athlete must work to maintain a square cartwheel with late leg closure. We also focus on the sight of the round off. We have the athletes look at where their hands are going and as their hands are contacting the ground their eyes are going to their feet. (This would be their feet hitting the springboard on a real vault).
6. Hands Down Fast for the Gymnastics Round Off Drill
This drill is used with our advanced athletes to teach them to accelerate how fast their hands come down after the hurdle. We are trying to avoid the “reach out” or diving onto the hands. We work to accelerate the hands down action to help accelerate their whole-body turn-over.
7. Round Off Rebound Backward with Block
This drill is a round off drill I we like to work once a week during our vault warm-ups. We focus on the 1-2 hand action and picking up the block teaching the athletes how to keep their arms tight to their head and not float out or “stay” on the ground. We also like to have our athletes see the block as they are putting their hands down and then look inside to watch their feet hit the ground or springboard or the end of beam on a dismount. Last item to emphasize is having the athletes hold their tight round shape keeping their arms parallel to the floor pushing their shoulders back as they rebound backward.
8. Round Off Rebound Snap to Back
This drill is like the last gymnastics round off drill however the block is close to the mat requiring the athlete to snap their feet down at a faster pace and scooping to their back.
Final Thoughts on Round Off Drills for the Yurchenko Vault
The round off needs to be continually worked on to give athletes the opportunity to better perform all back tumbling including: Yurchenko entry vault, beam dismounts and floor tumbling. I recommend addressing: the hurdle, the round off, the back handspring (whip), the block, the salto, and the landing positions every day during your vault workouts.
**Check out our “secret sauce” to vault awareness** – The Back Kaboom on Trampoline
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