Gymnastic Leaps and Jumps – What Other People Are Not Telling You About These Gymnastic Moves

The name given to a leap or jump is normally indicative of the shape which the body adopts whilst in the air, and it is therefore necessary to be precise with the position not only of the body, but also of the arms and legs.

Some of the jumps and leaps which are commonly used and which form a fundamental part of the sequence are:

1. Tuck jump. Take off from one or two feet, bring both knees up high in front of the chest and land on two feet.

2. Komat jump. Similar to the tuck jump with knees up in front, but take off must be from one foot only, and the knees come up one after the other. Legs change in the air, so the landing is on the other foot.

3. Split leap. Leap forwards from one foot to the other, legs splitting wide, and reaching a horizontal position in the air, one forward and one backward.

4. Stag leap. Similar to split leap, but the front leg is bent under, the back leg remains straight. Take off and landing can be from one or two feet.

5. Side leap. The difficulty of getting both legs up to the horizontal position becomes very apparent in the side leap. From a forward take off, the body makes a sharp quarter turn and then the gymnast must consciously work to lift both legs at the same time, forcing them up in an obliquely forward position rather than a sideways position as the name implies.

As with all body movements, there is an infinite number of variations. This is evident with the leaps and jumps where both the take offs and landings can be performed using one or two feet, and the body position can be either tucked or wide or a combination of both.

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