Category Archives: Bars

Casting Drills

Whether is a horizontal cast, a kip cast connection, or a cast to handstand, the drills in this post should help you out! We spent some time compiling all the best casting drills we could find and put them in one place for you.

Horizontal Casting

Here is a great one that will develop the power and drive needed for a strong cast.

This video breaks down each part of the cast and provides plenty of progressions.

Kip Cast Connection

Sometimes a gymnast can have a beautiful kip and a beautiful cast, but then you put them together and suddenly all their technique vanishes. It can be frustrating, but be patient and work a lot of connection drills, and your gymnast will start to figure it out. Below are a few of my favorite ways to help develop the piked finish after a kip, which is detrimental to a cast connection.

This is one I haven’t tried before but seems like it would work great for rounding those shoulders over the bar in the kip while finishing with feet in front. You can also try this with a block as the “low bar”. Starting with a bar there might be scary during the reach from the first bar to the second. I love how there’s a handful of progressions you can do here, stemme rise to cast, one legged stemme rise with a cast, then adding the reach to the lower bar as the gymnast casts to handstand, etc.

Cast to Handstand

Here are a few ideas for developing the strength needed in a great cast to handstand.

This drill is awesome, if you have some really archy attempts at casting to handstand, set up this drill. It eliminates the bar portion and allows the gymnast to focus on using her hips rather than her toes to lead the cast.

Here is a great one that provides progressive steps.

If you’re looking for a fun one to add into your rotation, I like this drill. It helps get the straddle cast to handstand rhythm down while allowing the gymnast to have a little fun.

This one is great because it starts from their knees. I prefer starting this way because it requires more hip and shoulder activation to reach handstand, and because it eliminates gymnasts cheating by jumping into the handstand (something I see all too often when this drill is done starting from the feet). For some progressions, have the gymnast start from the ground, do it free standing without a wall for support, add pirouetting, etc.

Video Credits:
1. Daniel McCarty
2. GymTactics
5. Tumbl Trak
8. Gymnastics tutor
9. SuperDuperJudge

Glides

Today I’ve compiled some great videos that will help our gymnasts develop a beautiful glide like the one in this video.

 

It is amazing what a nice glide can do for a bar routine. I tell my gymnasts, “If the glide is sloppy, the kip will be sloppy.” This same principle applies to the run for vault, the round-off for the Back Hand Spring, and so forth. These videos are all about training and developing the perfect glide shapes so when you start kipping, the glide isn’t a problem.
Glide drills

This first video shows some great glide drills to use as side stations. And just as he says, taking the time to explain the shapes in the glide will pay off in the end.

0:00 – 2:56

This drill is one I see done all the time, and that’s because it works! The one thing to look out for is to make sure the gymnast is opening her his without overextending her shoulders and sticking her rips out. I’ve found having something in front of them to aim their toes at helps with that. It gives them a clear view on if their legs are too low (due to an excessive arch) or if their legs are too high (piked).

This is the same drill as above only with a foam roller and slider.

Here is a great bar complex to add into your pre-team, and levels 3 & 4 bar warm up. I especially love the bar blocks and the bar shakes, not only do young gymnasts find them fun, but they do a great job at developing the tension needed for a nice glide.

This next drill will work wonders for shapes in a glide. The key is to not let the feet drop. It takes a bit to figure out when they first try it, but the time is well worth it!

P.S. – Don’t forget to subscribe to the Swing Big Youtube Channel!

 

Video 1: Ziggyjzigs

Video 2: Nathan Comes

Video 3: Arizona Dynamics

Bars Side Stations for Shaping

Hi All,

Today I wanted to share a few more bars side station drills. The more you have in your arsenal – the better. That being said, when setting up drills I would pick a few (maybe up to 5) to REALLY focus on for a few months – that doesn’t mean that you can’t throw others in there – but make sure those five are your focus. That way in 2-3 months you can tell if those five drills are really impacting your gymnasts. If you do a different thing every day, you never really know what’s making the difference.

bars stations for shaping

This first one is one of my favorite drills – ever. And super, super easy to set-up if you’ve got a couple spare and/or old springboards. Getting gymnasts to be able to hold their chest in – while at the same time flattening their hips and fighting gravity is incredibly difficult, but you’ll see big results.

This second one is a variation of a drill I use quite often – but I like this version even more. What I like is that the stability ball requires an added dimension of side-to-side core stabilization.

Train hard!

Beginning Giant Drills (focusing on shapes)

Hi All,

Today I wanted to share a couple great videos that Gymnastx-ing shared from a Tom Forster and Neil Resnick clinic. These videos focus on beginning drills for giants that ensure that gymnasts are maintaining a good shape and pushing on the bar on the drop – and that they are fully releasing so that they can get the most out of their tap at the bottom.

Beginning Giant Drills For Shaping

I really like these first few drills for a number of reasons. 1) They help gymnasts feel how to push on the bar and fall without changing their shape and 2) it helps kids feel the FULL release of their shape without the fear of having to go around the bar. If kids can’t do these two drills well – there really isn’t a point to starting to work full giants because it will lead to bad habits and often frustration.

This second video is of a really nice baby giant. But look at the shape before she pushes back and on her down swing – so much pressure is on that bar. That’s what we really want. If you’re gymnasts can do THIS PART of the giant well their success with giants will be much greater.

Train hard!

Pull Down for Kips

Hi All,

It’s a new year, I know a lot of us have new goals, and resolutions that we want to keep to. But really, some things never change, and one of those things is that kips will always be a difficult skill to teach. So today I wanted to share a nice video Team Central Gymnastics put together about developing the pull down action for them.

WORKING THE KIP PULL DOWN

A lot of these drills can be done as side stations as early as in rec classes, especially things like jumping to front support with straight arms. You don’t have to do all of these, but if your gymnasts are able to do them all proficiency with good form, chances are that the pull down action of their kip will be pretty good too. Remember, it’s a new year. Start it off right by really enforcing shapes and form in all that your gymnasts are doing. Put in the work now, and you’ll be happy you did.

Train hard!

Video Credit: Team Central