As gymnastics enthusiasts, we are always looking for more training aids to develop gymnastics skills. We were thrilled, therefore, to be given the opportunity to experiment with Tumbl Trak’s Skill Builder Package, which has been designed to improve technique in a variety of areas. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing how we got on with the Package, and giving our analysis of the three pieces of equipment. So, without further ado:
The Skill Builders Package contains;
Two of the products were brand-new notions for us, these being the Shoulder Trainer and the Sticky Toes. Before we could put them through their paces, we needed some instruction on how best to use them: fortunately, Tumbl Trak have some great introductory videos on YouTube, which allowed us to confidently merge the products into our exercises in no time at all.
Tumbl Trak Sliders
Having previously incorporated Sliders into our training, we were particularly impressed with the quality of this offering from Tumbl Trak. In the past, we’ve known Sliders to be prone to damage after only a few uses: the very thin rubber sole has peeled away from the plastic, rendering the equipment inadequate for routine exercises. The Tumbl Trak Sliders, on the other hand, have been built to last. Even after a variety of tests, they look as if they could be fresh out of the box.
One of the best things about the Sliders was their versatility. In just a few minutes, we came up with multiple conditioning and stretching exercises, designed around using the Sliders to push gymnasts to their stretching limits. Here are some examples of the exercises we created:
We also took the sliders to a sister gym. After allowing them to experiment and come up with their own methods of utilising the Sliders, we asked what skills they had the most success with. Their unanimous response was that the Sliders were a benefit to ‘everything’. From strength training to stretching the gymnasts there were continually finding new uses for the Sliders, and were jumping at the bit to procure some of their own.
The only limitation we found, was that the Sliders weren’t functional on wooden or laminate flooring. Owing to this, while a great addition to the gymnastics hall, their use becomes limited in most other environments, especially in school gymnasiums where they could be a real asset to P.E. classes. If this factor were remedied, there would be nothing holding this product back.
Tumbl Trak Sticky Toes
The kids immediately took to this product. The concept of having ‘sticky toes’ gave them the giggles, and they were all interested in giving them a go. We used them for swinging: our crucial battleground when it comes to keeping toes together. I was a little dubious about the adhesion of the Velcro at first, however the pads stuck fast. In fact, they worked exceptionally well: when equipped with the Sticky Toes, our gymnasts had no choice but to keep their feet glued together.
We did wonder whether if, over time, the effect of the Velcro would weaken owing to natural wear-and-tear. However, we rendered the point negligible: with the obvious quality, any depreciation wouldn’t occur for a significant amount of time, and at such an excellent value for money, they would absolutely be worth repurchasing in such an event.
After an outright success on the bars, we have already decided to integrate the Sticky Toes into many other skills, such as Headstands, Shoulderstands, Handstands, Levers and many of the Jumping skills and drills.
Tumbl Trak Open Shoulder Trainer
In the past, we have settled on using a pole to create the effect of elevating the shoulders to an open position, and so we were thrilled to receive this new piece of kit. A pole pressing across the back of the neck is not at all comfortable, and this padded, curved bar is a vast improvement. The Open Shoulder Trainer has been designed with ergonomics as a priority. The product consists of a an aluminium bar, encased in a thick, foam padding, which curves around the neck. This allows the piece to be forgiving, as well as being tailored to rest comfortably on the shoulders.
To trial the Shoulder Trainer, we asked the gymnasts to use it during lunge prep skills for handstands. The idea that the product should instil a natural conviction in gymnasts to keep their arms level at all times was a real allure for us, and unfortunately, in this regard, the product could be further optimised: although certainly going some way to achieve this, we noticed that the angle of the shoulders wasn’t completely open during use, and we still had to remind the gymnasts to hold precisely the correct position. To establish itself as a perfect training aid, the Open Shoulder Trainer should create the exact position the coach is looking for, and in this respect, the product could be improved.
This is not to say, however, that the Open Shoulder Trainer isn’t a great product: the facilitation it offers is one-of-a-kind, and we still intend to make use of it for many of our skills. Coaches are constantly saying phrases such as ‘open your shoulders, ‘reach taller’, ‘head up’, ‘arms back’, especially to the more novice gymnasts. This bar comprises all of these phrases without a word having to be uttered, and we’ve been able to make a tremendous amount of use out of the Open Shoulder Trainer in relation to handstand training. It has already been added into our programme as a fun side-station.
To conclude, we feel that this trio of products is demonstrative of Tumbl Trak’s real dedication to gymnastics. The three pieces of equipment have evidently been designed with a keen, inside knowledge of gymnastics training, and act as excellent developmental aids. We extend our thanks to Tumbl Trak for providing us with the opportunity to try out these fantastic gymnastics products, and look forward to making the most of the equipment in future training sessions!
Coaches and gymnasts, grab your very own Skill Builders Package by visiting Tumbl Trak’s site at the following link – Tumbl Trak Skill Builders Package