The reverse hecht is a complex skill where the gymnast swinging up on the back giant direction suddenly must be able to change this directional motion and release the bar flipping on the opposite direction. Any drill that can help an athlete to begin understanding and reverse it toward a front flipping action is enhancing the approach to eventually master this release.
This tumble track drill is another possible introductory approach to some of the reverse hecht technical actions. The gymnast's goal is to fly back toward the resi-mat at the same time that her body stands up and aims to create forward rotation.
Although the gymnast demonstrating the drill has not mastered all its technical details correctly and is still showing too much pancake position, the final goal is to turn over forward the whole body in one single unit with the straddle legs moving backwards and closing without the gymnast getting stuck or exhibiting a very deep pancake.
These two reverse hechts were performed by a junior elite gymnast still in the process of learning the skill. He misses the first turn and catches the second, and it seems that one of the main differences between both attempts was related to the direction of the arm throw to begin the flying phase.
When athletes miss their reverse hecht releases, if possible, they must aim to land flat and try not to use their arms which can result in an injury to an upper limb bone or joint. Check how this gymnast aims for a proper whole body flat landing.
These are a few video examples of pike reverse hechts performed by junior athletes starting the skill. Regardless of the body position, all great reverse hechts require a sudden stop after the tap kick to a candle stick. Gymnasts should demonstrate high straddle hechts before mastering pike and layout hects.
Besides the larger amount of power required to perform a layout reverse hecht compared to a piked reverse hecht, the main difference between both skills is given by the way the bar is cleared during the flying phase. A true layout hecht clears the bar in a straight or hollow position without exhibiting any obvious hip flex.
Once the gymnasts are demonstrating some improvement on the basic beam walks they may progress to start training little beam hops. This kind of challenge must be introduced on a low beam first and only practiced on the high beam when the gymnast shows safe and fair consistency.
These kind of hops require a good balance control and must not be attempted by novice gymnasts on a high beam. After the athletes have demonstrated acceptable proficiency on a low beam they can progressively move a skill to a medium beam and later on to a regulation height beam. Any type of basic drill hopping on one single leg should be trained on support feet.
Gymnasts at all levels benefit from practicing connected tuck jumps even if they have already mastered them. The jumps can be performed moving forward across the beam like in these examples or connecting several jumps in place without traveling forward, taking off and landing in the same place.
Gymnasts that have mastered straight body jumps moving along the length of the beam can start training this variation where they combine tight arch jumps with hollow shape jumps.
These kinds of activities are good challenges to master during warm ups or gymnastics dance periods. During each jump the legs straighten and the feet switch back and forth to end in the same position that the jump began. After several repetitions the gymnasts change the feet position so they can practice the other side.