The perfect pike jump is a simple move consisting of a straight jump which, at the peak of your bounce, sees you bring your legs up in front of your body to form an L-shape, as you stretch out your arms to touch your toes.

It’s an easy process to both learn and teach, with a difficulty level of 0, making it the ideal next step up from a tuck jump, and relatively similar to teaching a straddle jump.

Here’s how to teach a pike jump…

Step 1: Get Them Bouncing

The first thing you will need to get your students to start doing is a simple straight jump. As soon as they get into the rhythm of this and you know that they’re confident, encourage them to practice gaining as much height as possible.

Step 2: Teach Them To Extend Their Jump

Once they’re able to confidently bounce to a good height, they can start to master the leg action needed. As your students continue to bounce, you will need to teach them how to really extend their momentum and bounce to the maximum height using their arms. As they bend their knees ready to bounce again, they will need to swing their arms up and then down again. They should move their arms toward the top of their head as they peak their jump, and bring them down as they return towards the trampoline.

It’s important to ensure your students have mastered their straight jumping technique – if they haven’t, make sure you recap this until they are doing it confidently and well, to avoid any accidents on the trampoline.

Step 3: Have Them Lift Their Legs

Once your students are ready, you will need to go through the leg action needed to create the pike shape. As they continue to straight jump and reach the peak of their jump, encourage them to raise their legs upwards, so that they’re at a 90-degree angle to their body. They will need to continue the arm action you’ve already taught them, but instead of lifting their arms over their head, they should raise their arms in parallel to their legs, reaching forward to try and touch their toes.

For the perfect Pike, make sure your students are pointing their toes during the jump.

Step 4: Help Them Stick The Landing

If they don’t already know, your students will need to learn how to land properly. Even if they have learned this well for straight jumping, it’s a good idea to go through it again for the Pike, as the change in position of their legs can throw them off balance.

As they come to land, their arms will need to remain parallel to their legs, as their legs move back under their body into a regular straight jump position.

Make sure that your students have a straight back and that their knees are bent as they land, as an uneven jump can cause damage to your students’ bones, and especially the spine.

Step 5: Work On Their Flexibility

One good area to work on to help your students develop this skill is to have them continue to practice until they can finally touch their toes. Initially they will need to aim for their shins, gradually extending until they can reach their toes. Flexibility is really needed in your students’ hamstrings to do this, so it is important that you work on this with them.

To help them further with this, you can take them through some stretching exercises to increase their flexibility. If you do this with them consistently then within a few weeks their flexibility will increase, and with it their ability to perform their core trampolining skill correctly.

Quick Trampolining Teaching Tip

Trampolining can really help to build core strength, which will help your students to achieve better health and improve their abilities in other activities. Make sure your students are fully aware that working on their core strength has a lot of great benefits – this is key to keeping them interested, especially in the beginning when they are learning basic skills like the pike, tuck and straddle jump, but are impatient to learn more interesting moves.

If you’re looking for more advice and teaching tips, we can provide you with high-quality teaching that will enable you to keep your class safe in making those moves, energised, and easily progressing from one level to the next. Book now for one of our Trampolining and Gymnastics Level 1 and 2 Courses for teachers, or get in touch for expert advice on how to take your trampoline teaching skills to the next level…