How to properly train for a “Full Out”

How To Properly Train For A “full Out”


By Matt Kelley

Published on December 6, 2018

One of the biggest & most controversial questions in the Cheerleading World….”How to properly train for a Full Out?”  There are so many variables that come with this question:

All while needing to maintain TECHNIQUE!   As a Cheerleader my self for more than 15 years, and a Coach of 15 years, these are some of my suggestions to help!

Safety Mobile

One of the most important things to maintain, Safety, is to properly have the skill before performing it in a routine/practice.  Being able to do the skill multiple times, while maintaining technique!

As a coach, I make my athletes over rotate their skills when training them in a Private Lesson or Tumbling Class.  Weird right?

Here is my theory:

If I am training to stick & stand a Standing tuck in my tumbling class, but in the routine, the Standing tuck is 45 seconds into the routine…I might fall forward.  So I suggest, training the Skill to OverRotate.  This also helps with getting your chest up when landing the skill.

Preparing the body physically

is MAJOR KEY!

 As stated above, skills can be performed separately, with ease.  But as we know, a cheer routine is 2 minutes and 30 seconds of Non Stop Physical skills.  I am a firm believer in making sure the athletes body is Physically Strong enough to do the skills.  Working out (depending on the level) 2-3 days outside/after practice are incredibly important.

The higher the level, the more conditioning you should do for your body.  In a perfect world, it would be great to land that 3 to double full to the front every time.  But when running multiple sections and/or full outs, it doesn’t always work out that way. Your body must be strong enough to with stand some of those (hopefully never) incomplete spins.

Strength
Strength

What body parts should I focus on to work out?  I suggest Core, Explosive Leg movements, Arm Strength and also Calves.  I post different work outs & conditioning drills on my snapchat Mkells5891 every week.

Higher level gymnasts will condition 30-45 minutes before their practices 4-5 times a week.  Not only does this help them gain New Skills, but also be strong enough to perform the ones they are currently competing.

Speaking of gymnast…I reached out to my long time friend, Olympic Gymnast Jonathan Horton, to ask him how he trained.  If you don’t know who he is, here are a few of his stats:

Jonathan horton

  • 2-Time Olympian (2008 & 2012)
  • Bronze & Silver Olympic Medalist
  • World Bronze All-Arounder
  • 2-Time US National Champion
  • 6-Time NCAA National Champion
  • 4-Time American Ninja Warrior Competitor
  • NBC Broadcast Analyst
  • Author

Jonathan horton

  • 2-Time Olympian (2008 & 2012)
  • Bronze & Silver Olympic Medalist
  • World Bronze All-Arounder
  • 2-Time US National Champion
  • 6-Time NCAA National Champion
  • 4-Time American Ninja Warrior Competitor
  • NBC Broadcast Analyst
  • Author

Here were a few questions I asked him, when it came to preparing to do his full out routines properly:

Here were a few questions I asked him, when it came to preparing to do his full out routines properly:

When you trained your floor routine (tumbling), did you always do it straight on the floor…or onto Mats or into a pit?

75% of my tumbling was done with safety measures. Either I was tumbling into the pit, resi pit, or I used mats on the floor. Tumbling takes an extreme toll on the body over time, and although our pride wants us to go all out on the real surface, it’s important to protect ourselves first. If you do enough repetitions onto safe surfaces, most athletes won’t feel like it’s necessary to do as many numbers later.

How often did you Practice?  How often did you condition your body?

In my prime I trained twice a day. I did morning conditioning for 2 hours on M,W,F, but 6 days a week I did a 4 hour routine training workout in the afternoon. Even on days that I didn’t have morning strength and conditioning, I did some light conditioning in the afternoons everyday. It’s important to keep every muscle group moving. Even on light days it’s important to stretch muscle groups or even do a couple of light reps just for muscle memory.

Was your conditioning things directed towards strengthening things to improve your floor routine & keep your body safe?

I did a lot of “get stronger” conditioning, which involved some brutal workouts that tore me down pretty bad, but the majority of my strength and conditioning was for general body strength and cardio ability. It’s important to cycle in an out of different types of conditioning. Athletes that are always trying to see “gains” will eventually injure themselves because our bodies have to recover.

Yhz Jonathan
How often would you do a REAL Full our floor routine? Monthly, Weekly etc?  And why that number?

We tumbled 3 days/week, but we only did routines when we were in season. During season we would do anywhere from 1-3 routines in a 45min session. Off season training just required a lot of strength training and tumbling into the pit to learn new skills.

How often would you do a REAL Full our floor routine? Monthly, Weekly etc?  And why that number?

We tumbled 3 days/week, but we only did routines when we were in season. During season we would do anywhere from 1-3 routines in a 45min session. Off season training just required a lot of strength training and tumbling into the pit to learn new skills.

Going back to question 4, did that give you the longevity in gymnastics and the ability to compete in the Olympics 3 times?

My longevity came from a well thought out game plan that relied on putting how my body felt over results. Results ’now’  driven people will burn out versus someone who sees the long term game can last a long time. No matter what, our bodies will break down overtime, but being smart and listening to what our bodies are telling us can keep us in the game a while.

Awesome to get some tips from a former Olympic Gymnast!  .

Moving forward, let’s talk about Mental Toughness.  Some Coaches & Athletes would agree this one is the most difficult to master.  I believe it’s Extremely important to have a Balance of Physical Strength & Mental Strength.  

What are the best ways to Master the Mental toughness that a certain Skill or Full Out brings?

  • Proper Progression of the Skill
  • Good Reps—Do the skill multiple times with perfect technique

Once you have mastered those things, it’s time to start training them with small routine sections.  Here are a couple examples:

  1. Cut the routine into 5 different sections.  Do each one 2-3 times with perfection. Throughout practice, note what section had mistakes, and at the end, focus on details with the skills in that Section.  As these 5 sections get easier, break it down to 4, then 3, then 2 & then 1.
  2. Divide the Routine into a Stunt Routine & a Tumble Routine.  You can do 3 of the Stunt Routines, then 3 of the Tumble Routines.  You can also do the Stunt Routine, then Tumble routine back to back multiple times.
  3. Let’s say you are a level 5 Worlds Team.  You could do Tucks for all tumbling and do the stunts & jumps full out.  This is a great way to push your endurance and focus on building elements.
  4. Some coaches like to make it a game, which makes it more fun for the athletes.  You could have a wheel to spin, and have different elements of the routine on the wheel:  All Stunts, All Tumbling, 1st half, no jumps etc.
Mental Toughness

Those are just a few examples.  Closing out, I wanna conclude with some of our main points when Preparing Properly for a Full Out  

Perfect
  • Perfection of each skill individually

  • Proper Progression of the routine, which will help with building confidence

  • Strength & Endurance of the body.  Making sure to condition outside of practice.  

Shout out to Jonathan Horton for the interview.  

 

Be on the look out for his new book coming out December 4th,

“If I had known”

 

Thanks again for reading my article.  

Hope this helped everyone! Message me what you would like to have me write about next!

Matt Kelley Signature Full

PHOTO CREDITS:  ADRIAN KRAUS

Matt Kelley Contributor
Owner , Karma Returns
Matt Kelley is the proud Owner of Karma Returns Clothing and one of the most talented cheer coaches in the Houston area with over 16 years of experience. Woodlands Elite is excited to have him join our staff family! Matt started cheering at Northwest All Stars and went on to compete with Texas Lonestar Cheer from 2000 to 2003. He was a part of Team USA in 2003 and Cheer Athletics Cheetahs (L6) from 2003 to 2005. Matt also attended the University of Houston from 2003-2005 and cheered during his time there on their competitive team. He then went on to cheer at Hawaii Pacific University and was a 3x NCA Collegiate Champion. He helped Texas Lonestar Cheer Red-i Bronze at Worlds in 2011. He is funny, hardworking and puts his heart into everything he does!
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Matt Kelley Contributor
Owner , Karma Returns
Matt Kelley is the proud Owner of Karma Returns Clothing and one of the most talented cheer coaches in the Houston area with over 16 years of experience. Woodlands Elite is excited to have him join our staff family! Matt started cheering at Northwest All Stars and went on to compete with Texas Lonestar Cheer from 2000 to 2003. He was a part of Team USA in 2003 and Cheer Athletics Cheetahs (L6) from 2003 to 2005. Matt also attended the University of Houston from 2003-2005 and cheered during his time there on their competitive team. He then went on to cheer at Hawaii Pacific University and was a 3x NCA Collegiate Champion. He helped Texas Lonestar Cheer Red-i Bronze at Worlds in 2011. He is funny, hardworking and puts his heart into everything he does!

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