Sean on Walkovers

Whether you are going forward or backward, walkovers are one of the most basic, fundamental tumbling movements athletes start performing. Just as any other skill, the most important part of learning walkovers is the physical readiness of the athlete in both strength and flexibility, along with a good understanding of the prerequisite skills. Some of the prerequisites skills include handstands, back bends, front/back limbers, and bridge kick overs.

When dealing with either front or back walkovers, you want to pay close attention to the flexibility and positioning of the shoulder area.  Really focusing on active shoulders, and the open position of that area throughout either skill will help the athlete move through that handstand portion of both skills, with safety and efficiency. You will see, failure to do so will result in weak skills and an unnecessary compression of the other parts of the back which result in injury.

Just as with any other tumbling skill, breaking up the walkovers into pieces will help the athlete better understand each position, and aid in the timing of the skill. The entry, mid point (handstand position), and exit is just one basic, yet effective way of breaking down the skill.  Having a mastery of all 3 segments, will allow the athlete to move through the skill with confidence and complete awareness. As a coach our job is to always help the athlete have complete control through the entire movement. Going slowly and taking time will always benefit the athlete in the long run.