Today’s post is about teaching gymnasts to pirouette on bars. I’m one of those people that think the process should be started AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Mind you I don’t want 5 year olds gymnasts doing pirouettes per se, because I don’t want them learning bad shapes. What I do want is little ones learning to shift their weight, take a hand off the bar with straight arms etc. Needless to say I think a lot of coaches start this process too late. But here are a couple videos that might help your kids.
The first thing I tend to work on is weight shifting. The kids don’t need to be in handstand to do this, so I start it really young. When your kids can handstand with good shapes this is similar to the drill I start with. It takes A LOT of strength and needs to be spotted at first. An easier variation of it is to just have children touch their shoulder and then put their hand back on the bar. Again, SPOT FOR SHAPING at first.
This is a second one I like. Mostly because you don’t need to spot it and it gives kids a sense of where vertical is. This is one I don’t think gymnasts or coaches use enough.
Lastly, this is a nice drill because you can get a million repetitions in of it. Coming from a tuck encourages kids to use their hips to get upside down, and having a mat/wall on the other side discourages that late turn that we all hate.
The one thing we should all remember about pirouettes is they are a progression, and they take time. If you teach a pirouette overnight, it often comes out looking like it was taught over night (shapes, timing etc). So start them young, and start them right.
I hope some of these help!
Not to worry!
The full 45 minute lecture of Bars Shaping from Pre-Team Up is now available for download, along with the full powerpoint and all of the videos!