In case you didn’t already know, pretty much every tumbling skill you have — or want to achieve — is built from fundamental body shapes. You can think of them like individual bricks; not too special on their own, but when put together by someone who knows what they’re doing, you end up with some truly breath-taking structures.

While my tumbling system is based around 12 shapes (Click Here to learn more), you can always add more. So it should go without saying that if you aren’t spending the time perfecting your shapes, you can’t expect to perfect your skills.

As an example, athletes will email me asking how they can fix the bent legs in their BHS. They’re looking for drills or the “magic pill” solution. Yet when I ask them to show me their bridge, guess what I see?

Yup, bent legs!

So the first step is to fix the shape. However, just holding a perfect bridge isn’t enough. That’s only training the shape in the 1st dimension! The 2nd dimension involves executing the bridge while doing some kind of movement.

That’s where shaping complexes come into play. A complex is a combination of shapes and movements combined together. An example of this would be the Back Bend (falling into bridge from standing). Again, if the bridge isn’t perfect in this dimension, the actual skill that needs it (the BHS) will suffer.

Here’s another example of a shaping complex

Once that’s mastered, it’s time to train the shape in the 3rd dimension — also known as drills. A good example of this would be to do the BHS over the Octagon barrel and see if your bridge is as perfect as it was in the 1st and 2nd dimension. If not, you’ve got some work to do!

So spice up your training by perfecting all 12 shapes, then mastering them in all 3 dimensions. If you can do this, I promise that you will not only notice a significant improvement in your technique, but you will learn skills faster!


About The Author

Coach Sahil is the founder of Addicted To Tumbling and TumblingCoach.com — two resources which have become the “go-to” destination for coaches and athletes in the cheer & tumbling community. His current Tumbling Tips newsletter is trusted by over 10k industry coaches & athletes alike. He is also a former gym ownerĀ and is the author behind the best-selling book The Cheer Diet.

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