Whether it is a handstand, front walkover or round-off, athletes must execute the lunge correctly in order to gain the maximum power needed to perform the skill. The Lunge can start from a stand or can have an approach but no matter the start the lunge technique is the same. One leg is in front and bent with the knee over the toes, not in front. The other leg is straight and in back. Both feet are facing forward, all the weight is on the front leg, which is in a plie. Arms and palms are facing in, covering your ears. There should be a straight line from fingers to toes. Then we lean forward into a T or lever position. The distance between your feet is the same length as it is from the ground to your waist. Both hip bones are facing forward which is called being square to the front.

Incorrect Lunges

Small LungeSmall Lunge – In this lunge the lunge is not big enough. The distance between the feet needs to be the same length as from your hip to the floor. This type of lunge is very common in tumbling and leads athletes to perform other skills incorrectly. A possible reason for such a small lunge could be that the athlete did not fall into the lunge so there was not weight transfer from the back foot to the front. In this case the athlete steps forward to soon creating weight on both feet and a small lunge.

Vertical ChestVertical Chest – In your lunge there needs to be a straight line from your finger tips to the heel of your back leg. In this lunge the line is curved due to the chest not being forward. This type of lunge indicates there was was no transfer of weight from the back leg to the front. The athletes weight is equal on both legs and the weight needs to be only on the front leg. A possible reason for the chest being vertical is that the athletes hurdle could have been to high causing the chest not to lean forward. The Hurdle needs to be long and traveling forward not up.

Knee Over Front FootKnee is over the front foot – In this lunge the athletes keeps a pretty straight line from the back foot and the hands but because the lunge is not big enough the knee goes in front of the front foot. This type of lunge will not produce a correct tumbling skill it will instead dump the body down into the floor. The athlete needs to fall into the round off and step the front foot out more.

Arms In FrontArms in front – In this lunge the athletes arms are down in front of the face. In a lunge the arms must be behind the ears so that there is a straight line from the back foot to the hands. When I travel this is the most common mistake I see. This mistake cases tumbling to be high, slow and less powerful.