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Kip help?

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Billy

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Can anyone give me suggestions on helping my DD learn her kip? She is determined to get it and has been trying to teach herself. As she is only a level 2, her coach has no interest in helping her, so I'm trying to. (We have a bar and mats in our basement gym where she works out.)

So, she can jump, catch the bar and glide swing (although she doesn't always get completely out straight). She pikes her feet up to the bar nice and straight then I support her bottom and lift her hips up while she swings her legs down and pushes up to a "strong arm" position on the bar.

She cannot do it without that spot but what I do is so little that I can spot her with one hand. Any advice on how to get her through the actual kip part?
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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I'm not sure that I like the idea of a kid training skills like that at home. I don't know how much coaching knowledge and experience you have, but many skills are easier to learn from scratch than they are to fix if they're learned with poor technique. Unless you have a very strong understanding of proper technique for the skill, I would not advise teaching or spotting your daughter at home.

ANYWAY, to give a more direct answer to your question: this is a phase that every gymnast goes through while learning kips. Typically, a kid will be extremely close for months, or sometimes for more than a year, before actually getting the skill. I'd have to see a video to be sure, but it sounds like she's at this stage. She might get it next week, she might get it next month, she might get it six months from now, she might not get it for another year.

It's not at all uncommon for a kid to get and lose this skill several times in the process.

But don't worry; almost everybody goes through this on kips.
 
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Billy

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I can certainly understand your point and I am definitely NOT a coach. But, I can't bear to hold her back and I don't want her trying to do these things totally unsupervised so I'm trying to learn all I can. I've purchased the 2005-2013 routines book from USAG for levels 1-6 so I can know the proper way to do the skills. Luckily she's not doing anything that I'm not strong enough to spot (yet!). But, these things are why we're looking into changing gyms. She's clearly ready to advance faster than she is right now.
 
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KBT

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My first thought was that a kip is a pretty advanced skill for at home, too. I'm glad you're looking for a new gym as it's pretty obvious your daughter is ready for something higher than level 2. Even with the USAG level books, it's hard to know exactly what the problem is if you haven't spotted and coached hundreds of whatever skill you're working on. As a coach I practiced spotting all the time (on kids who could already do the skills!) and would read every technique article I could get my hands on.

The best conditioning move I've found is tricep extensions. Have your daughter stand on a stack of mats holding the bar with her arms at about a 30degree angle to her body. Her arms should be straight. Then have her jump off the mat (her knees may bend to do this) and using a STRAIGHT arm, push down on the bar to front support.
This is the exact motion that is used to finish a kip so increasing this strength will help. Sometimes a kid just needs to get the feel of the end of a kip and this exercise will do it. The feel of finishing a kip when someone is spotting you is different enough from the feel of finishing on your own that a kid who barely needs a spot may still struggle with kips on her own.
 
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BlairBob

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While you're doing this, you might as well spot drop or short kips. From a support, she leans back piking her toes to the bar. She will stay in the pike shape moving in the swing and focus on pushing to the support.

Try to have her keep her head in and work on just being able to hold the toes to the bar ( v shape ). Letting her swing her legs down is not training a kip that will be very useful to connect to anything.

You can also try knee uprises. Not comfortable, but a good skill for that level. hang upside from the bar by one knee and two hands. Swing the free leg to generate swing and get to support from there.
 

Aussie_coach

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Just remember that kips are probably one of the most frustrating bar skills for young kids. Because they take a lot of strength and a lot of technique. Not many kids have the strength and it takes a while to develop but even longer for them to understand the technique. Don't let her get too worked up about this skill, because gymnasts do. It is one of those skills that often drives level 4 gymnastics to quit the sport because they just think they will never get it and be able to progress to level 5.

But as others have mentioned be super careful too. Even a small mistake she might be practising at home will become ingrained and could totally stop her from doing this skill for years.

Glide swings are great drills, try putting a large ball in front of the bar like those exersize balls and she has to glide and push the ball away. Lots of tummy conditioning like V sit ups and leg lifts. Have her practise holding her fett to the bar and her knee's and her hips as these are the stages a kip passed through and again takes a lot of strength. Put a box or something dow so that the bar is at her shoulder height and have her practise jumping to front support on the bar with straight arms.
 
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Billy

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Thank you, everyone. You've given us some "fun" things to work on without the pressure of actually trying to do a kip. I can probably keep her satisfied with these exercises for awhile. We'll probably be changing gyms and moving her up to level 4 in May and then she'll have coaches to help her with it. I appreciate all your suggestions.
 
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