Hi Ya'll! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
I have been to quite a few trainings through USA Gymnastics (which I highly recommend!). In these courses, they would go over skills and drills, in addition to certain skills to avoid. They were super enlightening as many of the skills to avoid are things you often see in classes, including PE classes at schools!
Here are a few of the things I have learned:
1) I did a blog post a while ago covering the forward roll and tonic neck syndrome. You can see that post HERE!
2) Frog jumps are a negative!! Especially for preschoolers! Especially because they can't do them correctly. Here is a correct video for older gymnasts...but most youngers when they copy will have their booty either up high in the air, or it will be close to the ground with their knees over bent.
3) Along with the frog jumps...please watch out for W sitting children! Super bad for knees!
4) Back bend/bridges. These used to be an absolute NO-NO in USA Gymnastics. More recently, it's been clarified to be a "be careful and don't overdo it." I maybe do bridges with my 3-4 year old class once or twice a month. And with those, they are always unassisted (so only as far up as they can go on their own). This is fairly typical.
5) Hyper extending the back is a NOOOOOO. Now, you may think that this is the same as a bridge, but there are two main ways to avoid for hyper extension of a preschoolers back. First, is the fancy rhythmic looking move that I don't know the name for.
And one that is less known as being bad is what is typically known as a pike stretch. The way to fix this for younger ones is to not force pikes for one, and for two, try to teach it with a flat back where they stretch up tall first and then keep as flat a back as possible as they go down.
6) And last but not least is for the little ones. When I was growing up, I remember seeing pictures on the TV of Dominique Moceanu as a baby hanging on a clothesline. Something like this:
This one is good though, cause he has the parents supporting him under his arms. Children under the age of 18 months are not supposed to hang unassisted from their hands. Whether off a bar, clothesline or rings, Doctors have clarified for USA Gymnastics that children's shoulders at that age are not developed enough to do that safely.
Those are the main ones that I make sure to teach my new preschool staff and new parent-tot parents. Let me know if you have any questions about it!