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Floor Twisting Progressions and Overcoming “Twisties” with Adam Paterson

Today on the podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Adam Paterson, Head of Performance at Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre in the UK and MAG Lead England Coach.

As an accomplished MAG Coach, MAG International brevet judge, and personal coach to members of the GBR Development squad, Scotland, and England Senior squads, Adam shared his valuable insights on how to develop twisting on the floor exercise. 

We covered everything from building a strong foundation to overcoming mental blocks and fear.

Starting with the basics and drills, Adam emphasized the importance of vision and safe progressions. 

He highlighted the need for empathy and communication, allowing gymnasts to express their frustrations and fears openly. 

By understanding the individual’s challenges and providing a supportive environment, coaches can guide gymnasts toward mastering the art of twisting.

Adam also addressed the common issue of the “twisties,” a phenomenon where gymnasts experience a mental block and lose their ability to twist safely. 

He emphasized the significance of patience and taking a step back when dealing with the twisties. 

When it comes to athletes who struggle with twisting, Adam provided valuable insights on increasing their comfort level. 

Through targeted drills and exercises, gymnasts can improve their proprioception and spatial awareness, allowing them to feel more at ease while executing twists. 

One of the highlights of our conversation was exploring alternatives for those who may not have access to specialized equipment like trampolines or foam pits. 

Adam shared creative ideas and drills that can be done in a regular gym setting, making it easier for individuals with limited resources to work on their twisting skills.


We discuss:

  • The ingredients of a happy and successful club.
  • The challenges of coaching a younger athlete. Advice and tips!
  • Visual and head position. 
  • Coaching the cause, not the effect.
  • Step-by-step process of dealing with the twisties.
  • How growing can affect special awareness; what to look out for and how to manage.
  • How to introduce twisting to gymnastics.  And…
  • Tumbling and twisting drills to do with limited equipment.


Floor Twisting Progressions and Overcoming “Twisties” with Adam Paterson




In addition to the podcast episode, Adam will be delivering a lecture on twisting at the upcoming Shift Movement Science Symposium. 

This three-day event features a lineup of 33 speakers covering topics ranging from vault and bars to floor and physical preparation. 

If you’re interested in deepening your understanding of twisting and other aspects of gymnastics, be sure to check out the symposium at:



Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science