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Floor exercise is a sequence of tumbles, leaps, and balances, which make
a gymnastics performance. No equipment is used, only a mat and open space. At
competitions, judges look for good posture, proper technique, continuity, and
Floor exercise builds confidence and character. Your self confidence
increases as you learn body control. As you become involved you will gain self
discipline. You will learn valuable lessons about exercise, eating correctly,
and getting the proper amount of rest, leading to a healthy and longer life.
Competitive acrobatics have various levels at which people can participate and
gain recognition for achievements. Most important, floor exercise is fun. More
challenging the than other activities. Tumbling is considered the basis of all
acrobatics. Although it is not one of the four Olympic competitive events,
tumbling is important because the skills you learn will help you perform the
other events. For example, the basic forward roll can also be performed on the
balance beam and in the floor exercise, and is important even when learning the
vault and the uneven bars.
The best way to learn floor exercise is through progressions. A
progression is a step by step method of learning skills, beginning with the easy
ones and gradually mastering the more difficult ones. If you wanted to learn a
forward somersault, you would not just start out trying to do the somersault.
Instead, you would learn a whole series of skills one by one, moving along to
the next one only after you mastered the first. It is important to be patient
when learning floor exercises through progressions. Do not move on to the next
skill in the progression until you and your coach have determined that you are
ready. This method will allow you to learn a large number of skills while having
fun and developing confidence. If you find a skill to be particularly difficult
to learn, perhaps you are trying to take too big of a step, or too many, in your
progression. Ask your coach for assistance. She or he can almost always give you
smaller steps that will help you reach your goal. In learning acrobatics or any
other sport it requires that you also learn the language of the sport. The
language of acrobatics is quite complicated. For example, a forward roll is done
on the ground, but a forward somersault or salto is done in the air. Someone
might think that you have learned a front flip, but you will know that this is
really a salto.
Floor exercise is fun and one of the best overall physical fitness
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pay attention to the rules of safety. This sport involves flipping and twisting.
Therefore floor exercise carries a risk of physical injury. No matter how
careful you and your coach are, no matter how many spotters are use, the risk
cannot be eliminated. Reduced, but never eliminated. The risk of injury in floor
exercise includes minor injuries such as bruises and serious injuries such as
broken bones, dislocations and muscle pulls. Unfortunately, as in practically
every sport the risk also includes very serious injuries, such as permanent
paralysis or even death from landing or falls onto the back, neck, or head. It
is important for you to learning floor exercise from a good coach in a well-
equipped gym and to listen carefully to your coach and follow the safety rules
that your gym has set. There are things that you can do to make sure that floor
exercise is safe:
1. Never participate unless you have a proper supervisor. Every floor exercise
class, practice, or workout should be supervised by a trained teacher or coach.
2. Dress appropriately. Use chalk, handgrips, tape and protective body
equipment where needed. When in doubt, consult your instructor. 3. Communicate
clearly with your coach. Make sure that you both know exactly what, when, where,
how, and why you are to perform a particular skill and how you will be spotted.
If you have questions, ask. 4. Be sure that you are feeling physically, as well
as mentally, at your best and ready to perform. Total fitness is very important
for safe floor exercise. 5. Master the basic skills first. Do not try to skip
ahead and move too fast. Follow the steps your teacher lays out for you to learn
skills. Be sure to know the skill. This includes having a clear idea of what the
skill is and knowing how to begin, execute, and complete the entire movement. 6.
Always follow through. Once you commit to performing a skill, follow through to
its completion. 7. Finally, know your limitations. You should develop a healthy
awareness and respect for what you can do and what you cannot do in learning and
performing floor exercise. Don't be impatient. There is plenty to learn and
plenty of time in which to learn it.
The Forward Roll 1. Start from a squatting position 2. Place the hands at
shoulder width on the ground. 3. Duck the head under, while pushing off with
N.B. The weight of the body should be carried by the arms as long as
possible, until the upper back and shoulders make contact.
The Backward Roll 1. Start from a squatting position with hands at shoulder
with on the ground. 2. Rock forward, and then push off backwards quickly. 3.
When the hands leave the ground, move the arms backwards while rolling, and keep
the knees and chin tucked. 4. Place the hands above the shoulders, and roll
over onto the feet.
The Back Extension 1. Start in same position as backward roll. 2. Raise the
legs upward, and lift yourself onto the hands. 3. Snap out of the position by
lowering both legs at the same time.