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Bars skill - Hop Turn?

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teslarma

New Member
Jul 19, 2007
9
Melbourne, Australia
I came across this skill as a bonus in a particular Competition Code my rec kids use, and I have to admit that I have no idea what it is.
It is a bonus on bars, and it says "Grip Change (hop turn)".
Can anyone explain to me:
- What exactly this skill is?
- How one would teach it?
- And how you could incorporate it into a routine (in other words what could you connect it to)?

Thanks :)
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Jul 5, 2007
5,115
I came across this skill as a bonus in a particular Competition Code my rec kids use, and I have to admit that I have no idea what it is.
It is a bonus on bars, and it says "Grip Change (hop turn)".
Can anyone explain to me:
- What exactly this skill is?
- How one would teach it?
- And how you could incorporate it into a routine (in other words what could you connect it to)?

Thanks :)
Sounds like a cast hop pirouette to me. As you cast HS, you release the bar and "hop" your hands from regular grip to undergrip. When you reach handstand (like a front giant handstand) you do a pirouette.

If it is indeed this (I'm not positive) it's relatively difficult. USAG JO code rates it as a "C" release, which is equivalent to a straddle back to handstand, or a shootover (bail) to handstand (not coming from handstand on the high bar, which makes the skill a "D").

I've been doing it for a few years. You have to have relatively "quick" muscles. After that it takes most people a long time to get the right timing to consistently get a good handstand they can work out of. It took me about a year to finally be going over on it consistently. It's a pretty good, underused skill, IMO. Because if you can do it, it is easier than other C release. The catch is that people seem either able to do it or not, pretty much from the start.

The best drill is to start on a floor bar: in HS, support by pulling up on the legs, as they change grip (to make sure they can do it sufficiently fast and land correctly without their wrists turned or fingers caught under. I automatically hop and wrap my thumbs which is probably a terrible habit). After that they should learn it "on the way up" to HS. We did this by using the floor bar and punching off the floor to HS and then doing the hop. After that we did it with a mini tramp under the bar, jumping to HS, and then doing the hop. Then do kip SMALL cast (legs together) pushaway as they do the hop. As they get comfortable, be more aggressive in working the cast up (the mini tramp makes it easier to do that).

Working a strong, fast straddle cast to handstand in necessary. But if they can get that and hop their hands fast, it's mostly mental like anything else. Some people just don't have the fast enough reaction time on the hop. Straddle cast HS (as opposed to legs together) is almost a necessity to get the "pop" as the legs come together. I have never seen anyone do it on unevens without straddling.
 
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hammy

Guest
I agree--floor bars are key when learning bar skills. Also, try doing them with spot. Great advice gymdog!
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Jul 5, 2007
5,115
I agree--floor bars are key when learning bar skills. Also, try doing them with spot. Great advice gymdog!
Hard to spot a cast hop to HS on the actual bar, because of the straddle cast aspect and because the hop happens before you hit HS (basically before you could facilitate it). You could safety spot it, but I would say if that's necessary you aren't ready to move to the next step (because of possible hand/wrist injury from the nature of the skill, if done without complete confidence on the gymnast's part. No halfway hopping). That's where the floor bar has to come in. Honestly the first day we started learning them we just did kip, small cast (legs together) push away, then hop the hands before coming down. Pretty much everyone could do that. Have them do a few times of doing the cast and just picking their hands up quickly without switching them first. After they get the hang of the hand switch, then do it in HS on the floor bar, then do it coming up to HS (using a mini tramp or punching up to HS on the floor bar). I hop kind of early, but you can do it later. The earlier, the safer is though, because obviously if your hands slip the less inverted the better. I hop once my hips come up and my legs are a little above bar height.

This is Amanda Stroud. If you watch at about 15 seconds, she does a cast hop to HS on the high bar, into a straddle back HS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX9GZE0QmxM
 
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hammy

Guest
My coach spotted me on hop changes/turns, but I didn't do a straddle cast. I think a spot is a good idea because I've experienced first hand what happens, even if the gymnast is confident, when the hop is done at the wrong time or if the gymnast misses the bar. If the gymnast is a fraction of an inch off theycould be seriously injured. It is possible to facilitate it before handstand, however that all depends on the coach's and gymnast's ability and how well they work together.

It's always a good idea to do progressive steps as you've described. That's the nice thing about having a spot--the gymnast can be more confident to be aggresive, and it can add to the progression.

either way, a gymnast can learn this skill. It's not a too terribly difficult skill.
 

teslarma

New Member
Jul 19, 2007
9
Melbourne, Australia
Actually, I don't think what you have described could be the skill I am referring to because the other bonus skills in this level include:
- cast feet on jump to catch high bar
- Toe shoot from high bar
- cast to horizontal
and a couple of others..
It seems that what you have described would be a little too difficult to fit in with that.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Jul 5, 2007
5,115
Yeah I think so. I'm at a loss for what else "hop turn" could describe though. Is there any other description? I guess another thing it could be is the mount where you face away from the bar and then do a jump half turn, catching the bar to mount (most likely a kip or one of those swing cut throughs) before your feet hit the floor? You can also do it with a full twist but the half is easier of course. We teach that in high school sometimes.

Could also be what the level 5 USAG dismount is but with more flight. It's a super early blind change action but you can get some flight that could be consider "hop".
 
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hammy

Guest
I wonder if it means this: do 3/4 of a front giant but before completing it (on the way up, just beore handstand) change your grip from front giant grip to regular grip. Perhaps, as gymdog said, it could also mean the level 5 dismount.

What program are you working with (EX: USAG, USAIGC, etc)? The code of points that contains the skill should also provide a description of the skill. Let me know what you come up with; i'm curious as to what this is. A lot of times a skill found in the code will be described in wording that doesn't really make any sense.
 

teslarma

New Member
Jul 19, 2007
9
Melbourne, Australia
Unfortunately there is no description of the skill in this "code".. as in fact it is not actually a code. I am from Victoria Australia, and we mainly follow the WAG and MAG code of Australia for out competitive kids, however quite a few years ago someone started up another stream of competitions for the Recreational kids.
It is purely for the kids that aren't good enough to compete in the WAG or MAG stream, and has a lot lower expectations and focuses more on giving things a go.

It is called "Gymstar" and there are 6 level progressions. Each level has skill and composition requirements for each routine, as well as a list of about 5-10 "Star skills" (Bonuses). Usually these Star Skills are fairly self explanatory but this "Grip change" it seems is not.

Don't worry if you arent sure of the answer, I will ask someone at my gym who went to the last updates meeting for Coaches as I was unable to make it.
 
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hammy

Guest
Sorry I'm not much help; hopefully someone at your gym will have the answer for you. Please let us know what it is after you figure it out!
 

teslarma

New Member
Jul 19, 2007
9
Melbourne, Australia
I have the answer!!!!

ok.. The reason we couldnt work out what it was is because it stems from the Mens Highbar, as these competitions are for all Women and Men!!

The actual skill is a swing.. where, when at the highest point at the front of your swing you do a half turn "hop grip change", to swing back facing the opposite direction. I hope that makes sense.

To be honest, i would probably never teach this skill and just stick to the easier bonuses that can lead on to bigger skills.. such as cast to horizontal, cast feet on jump to high bar, long swing pullover, toeshoot from high bar.. etc..

Thanks for all your help anyway!
 
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Zarina

Guest
just out of curiousity, what gymstar lvl is it? it sounds like kind of like gymstar 4 but not quite! ^^;

and, for clarification... the swings are on high bar right? is the hop a full release of the bar?
 
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hammy

Guest
Yay! I'm glad you figured it out! It doesn't seem to be too difficult, but I think the gymnasts would have problems not getting their hands all mixed up when first learning it. I don't think it would be too hard to learn though, might as well give it a shot at some point, just for the sake of trying it. Like my mom used to say "You never know until you try."
 

teslarma

New Member
Jul 19, 2007
9
Melbourne, Australia
Yes it is Gymstar 4. The kids only compete Uneven Bars, not high bar as a separate event, so it isnt done on the tradiational mens highbar as such, although the judge i was talking to said she mainly sees it done on the top bar with large long swings.

We were in dispute as to whether the change was a full release of both hands or just one hand, more like a pivot, however the same judge told us that it is a full release of both hands, a complete half turn whilst in release, and then complete the swing in the opposite direction
 
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Zarina

Guest
that sounds pretty hard for gymstar 4. fun though. its a shame our one male ex-gymnast coach left, he could have shown us how to do it.

so what club are you at? if i can ask >_>
 
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