Today I wanted to share a couple bars circling drills I think you should be doing. I’m a big fan of introducing lots of different kinds of circles to gymnasts fairly early on. I think getting them comfortable going around the bar in different ways is important, but also the more things you try the more likely you are to find something that you’re successful at. Sometimes athletes surprise us with strengths we did know they had. A gymnast who has a relatively weak clear hip may surprise you with a toe handstand.
I’ve talked about this a little bit before, but I find that most problems in the clear hip come from problems with the drop backwards. Gymnasts that don’t have a strong aggressive drop back are going to have a much harder time getting to handstand. I love this drill because it gives kids a safe environment to be super aggressive in their drop.
This second one is a nice way of introducing in bar circles. Mind you, not all gymnasts are going to have the flexibility to do this, but remember, we want to introduce all of the circles that we can, and this is a great way to do it. If your one or more of your gymnasts aren’t flexibly for this you can always try this stalder drill.
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Having trouble with gymnasts shifting for circling skills. Any drills for this?
I would start with double back hip circles. If they can’t do those I generally don’t let mine start clear hips.
How do you initially introduce this? From giant? From a block? From a kip? From a dead hang?
I would put them in a pike compression underneath a low strap bar (not up high like this) and start swinging them. Let them feel each side of the swing. Eventually they can go all the way around. The other way you can do it, is by having them hook their knees and go around it’s less scary for them. Again, LOW strap bar.