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(It's harder in a


by Jon Aitken Special thanks for our performers: Dianne Grayson - SIU; Beth Sheppard - SIU; Lisa IrwinTumble Town. It's ano th er day o f workout and Bertha But z is going through her bars routin e. Halfway throu gh is her hands tand pirouette. Here comes th e hard part, front hip circle, (coac hes eyes are gla rin g!) cast to handstand (coac h clinch es fi sts) she's alm ost there, - - she 's wavering, - - alm ost - - th en barely sho rt Berth a plops d o wn to suppo rt. Get Up There and Don 't Come Dow n Til l Yo u Make It O ver Butz! The sa m e story happ ens every da y in every gym around th e co untrY, and I've seen 28,816 routin es bl ow n on th e sa me trick . So with summer co min g lets look at the o ld routine wrecker and teach th e gy mn as ts a very important basi c that will all ow our best girl s a whole new co ncept o n top bar comb in ati o ns. It is generall y agreed th at any p art perfo rm ed co rrectl y f ini shes in such a way that o th er parts ca n b e perform ed immediately co nn ecting . Try to ima gin e all th e part s that ca n b e d o ne f ro m a good glide kip! The Great Banana Switch A fe w yea rs back the Japane se men bega n to perform with straigh t b od ies and opened the eyes of th e gymn ast ic wo rld w ith new and impre ss ive parts. Most eve ryo ne jumped on th e bandwagon and for yea rs now I've been seeing some prett y straight ha nd stand s. The girl gymn ast will say th at it 's ea sier to hold w h en you 're straight o n top of it. (U nl ess yo u want a build like a male ring perfo rm er) A straight handstand not o nl y lo o ks good, but it is the easiest and mo st e ffi cient po sition to swin g and turn in . (Eve r try to ro ll a banana down th e table?) So we are back to Bertha But z, class 1 gymna st, w ho does a strai ght handstand o n beam, on the f loor an d h as fairl y straight position on her h and spring va ult. Bertha's Bar Break Berth a can n o t ho ld a hand stand on th e low bar. Sh e ca n 't even ge t up to th e h and stand most of th e tim e, and w hen she does she is banan a b acked and feels in d anger o f crumpling d ow n and smun ch in g her nose flat. The coach says: 1. You ' re 5 pounds too fat. 2. Berth a is not str o ng enough to cas t up th ere. 3. Sh e hasn ' t learned h ow Yet or 4. Girlies can ' t do th ose thin gs. Wh il e I do worry w h en I see a blimp o n bars (new rails are ex pensive) I usuall y tend to think that th e girl hasn ' t sp en t proper training tim e o n thi s "Adva nce d Skill. " Let 's loo k at 2 "easy" skill s and see how much tim e and how many attempt s are mad e before th e skill is p erform ed consistently technically correct. Both skills require so me strength and good coo rdination o f timing and direction. A comp lete beginner tries 15 glid e kips a day for 6 months usually and about th e sa m e number of flip flops. A m o re difficu lt sk ill shou ld req uire more attempts, but Bertha on ly does hand stand s twice a week fo r the last 3 months.






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From the Side (Sequence A & BJ Comparin g sequel'Le A and B we ca n see what happen s during thewhole pirou ett e from th e side view. Our demo nstrator was as ked to perform an arched pirou ette fi ni shing lat e in a fa ll. W e w ill note simil ar positions of th e , seq uences . #1 & 14 Th e initial handstand - Both are reasonably straight , at this point either o ne co uld finish square o n top . #2 & 15 Shiftin g the we ight. #2 app ea rs unturn ed beca use th e we ight is shifted to th e side and remain s direc tl y over th e bar . #15 is the reason most pirouettes don ' t fini sh co rrec tl y. Turning before shifting th e we ight sideways w ill ca use th e pIrouette to fini Sh crook ed. Allowing th e ba ck to arch at this point ca uses th e weight to start falling into th e downswing. #4 & 18 In #4 th e feet still rema in in the same position directly o n to p o f th e bar. #18 is the result, no t th e ca use . On ce the feet bow into an arch (#15) it is extremely hard to straighten out the bod y, and imposs ible to finish anywhere but in th e downsw in g.




From the Front (Sequences C & OJ #6 Shows th e initial starting p osition , the hand stand is straight and as tall as possibl e. #7 Subtl e, but the weight is shifted co mpletelY o n to the pirouett e hand . M y persona l thoughts at this moment are - pu sh hard direct ly to the side without turning , a definite piked fe elin g. (A fee lin g of straight here usuall y results in an arch! ) This m.ust be don e while in the hand stand, no t whi le falling. #8 St aying w ell over th e pirou ett e hand , kee p th e bod y straig ht and tight. At this point I st ill try to pike and push down with m y pirouette hand. #9 & 20 The weight in both cas es had been shifted well , but #20 is falling because there is littl e or no pu sh with the pirouette arm. Constant press ure now is c riti ca l to keep the bod y as tall above th e bar as possible. Do not change th at hand Ye t, kee p pushing yo urself ove r to the finish hand as in #10. #11 & 22 Both pirouett es fini sh squa rely, but #22 has o nly o ne possibl e co nn ecti ve fro m this position! GYMNAST Apr. '75

Profile for USA Gymnastics

Gymnast Magazine - April 1975  

Gymnast Magazine - April 1975