swing her all the way to a hand stand. Doesn ' t a good pirouette rea lly start with a good cas t ? Now co m es th e good part. Afterworking a few years with girl s, I began to expe rim ent with tri cks that are perform ed in both men and wo mens gymnastics . The most o bvious difference is the mu sc le st rength men can u se. Ne xt thing to do then is determine the minimum amoun t of strengt h necessarY, and whi c h muscle gro ups are important. A cast to hand sta nd invo lves a good d ea l o f exp losive st rength w h en performed just by itself. What mu scle groups are most important? Coaches please exa mine #41 and #42 where All of t he initial power is created. The act ion o f exp loding from ti ght p ike to an ex ten sio n is co mm on ly ca lled Kip . Th e muscl e gro ups used are the back o f the thighs , g lutea ls and lower back . Th is action is identical to every kip on back as we ll as hechts, eag les, fal se eag les, fu ll twi st catc h. Development of thi s exp losi ve opening power is about the best thing you teach a gi rl on bars. Ju st as a flip flo p is much easier from a roundoff than f rom a stand, likew ise a k ip cast is easie r than a support cast. If I want to make girls strong on flip flop s I make t hem work rows of sta nding flip flops. Casting fro m a support wil l also make a girl wo rk hard eno ught 0 show signifi cant results in just a few weeks. Sequence E shows a drill that is fun for g irls, and develops the fo ll owin g areas. 1. Casting power and d irection . 2. Tim e in a handstand position. 3. Control li ng a downswi ng ( a very usefu l adva nced sk ill ). W e omi tt ed o ne photo just after #44. The hand stand sho ul d ba lance momen t aril y then fall aga inst th e top bar. Bring down one foot to stabi li ze and th en try to hold th e second han dsta nd 5 seconds befo re dropp in g. When assisti ng with thi s drill, control th e sho uld ers with one hand and add to the exp los ive opening with the ot her hand . H elp yo ur girl down th e first few tim es until she becomes fa mil ia r w it h th e sho ulder position o n the drop.
In The Middle
Starting Position Th e re' s not a lot to be sa id h ere, eve ryo ne ag rees that straight and tall is a good way to start. The main p rob lem is ev idenced by #301 . We had thi s subj ect come up from a minimum cas t to crea te t he effect of a " muscled handstand " . Any girl can find her se lf in ex actly this bad starting position if her cast d oes not
GYMNAST Apr. '75
#303 is obvio usly a con tinuati on of 301 . We co mm o n ly see a hop perform ed here whe n th e gy mna st has fa llen co mplete ly over without an y weight shift. H alfway thro u gh th-e pirouette it is importa nt to push very hard with the pirouette arm . Sagging at this point is co mmon , and if the piro uett e started wi th reg ular overg rip it req uire s effort to stay stret ched tall. Keeping th e body straight during th e turn will be fe lt b y most people as a sli ght lY pik ed turn . Sequ ence F is a fun way to spen d so m et im e practi cing the middle of the p ir o uette. Bo uncing from the mini tramp puts th e gymnast in a fas t
handstand, then slow motion pirouettes stressin g th e weight sh ift and body position are co ntro lled by the spotter. The re is a mat on top the trampo line to finis h thi s dril l with a straight bo dy swi ng down , the hea d remains in a neutral position. Most girl s have a fun tim e with this drill , and soon can practi ce alone. Continued on next page