For Coaches Kips - straddle vs. no straddle

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Sari

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Do you teach kips with a straddle during the glide or with the legs together? Are there pros and cons I should be aware of?

I have a few girls who straddle way too early and lose all momentum so I'm thinking about switching them over to no straddle.

Only obvious thing I can think of is the amount of abdominal strength needed to hold up their legs.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Where possible I always teach a gymnast to kip with their legs together. The straddle is generally easier, and requires a little less strength. If the gymnast is not strong enough to kip with the legs together, I feel it’s a better move to spend more time building the strength than teaching a short cut.

However, with a fairly tall gymnast I do allow them to straddle, as most find it easier to get their longer legs and torso under the bar without overly piking. These much taller gymnasts are going to need to learn to use a well timed straddle in other skills (like giants) anyway to make their bars work.
 

gymisforeveryone

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Pike, if you ever want to spot them on kip cast handstands! But if they are likely not going to ever learn those (more like rec level gymnasts) then I don't think it matters.

Some of my taller girls sometimes straddle when not spotted but they need to be able to do a normal kip too when spotted.
 

Sari

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Thanks everyone!

Gonna at least switch the little ones to a piked kip. Bars is our weakest event. Cast handstands might not be in the near future but certainly down the road.

I joined an existing team of coaches late last year and they'd been teaching an extremely early straddle in kips (still are actually but that's another topic).
 
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Jard.the.gymnast

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I teach both piked and straddled glides first and then start them on whatever kip works best. Most drills are still legs together
 

Sari

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Never straddle ..... as others have said . Not to mention hip flexors ....
What about hip flexors? I'll be the first to admit that anatomy is my weak point as a coach.
 

coachp

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What about hip flexors? I'll be the first to admit that anatomy is my weak point as a coach.
The glide its self is hard on hip flexors, the straddle adds a dimension of rotation onto hips. While in some instances it can lessen the strain on the hip, in many instances it can actually increase it because of the rotation and add other hip problems. (people are built different). We don't straddle for a number of reasons , first and foremost is ... We spot. If you spot bars (which you should). Then a straddle glide eliminates your ability to position yourself next to a child and have her glide. Second is potential Hip problems after years of straddle glides, particular out of a bail or PaK. Sometimes the torque and rotation of the hips through the bottom is great and certain kids will get a clicking feeling in the hip, pull a hip flexor, thread a tendon etc... Not good. So anything I can do to reduce prolonged hip problems for the Masses I do. Obviously a feet together glide can also create the same prolonged injuries , but the hip rotation is at least eliminated. just remember The body can only take so many impacts or unnatural movements. those are my thoughts and beliefs. everyone is different.
 

Sari

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The glide its self is hard on hip flexors, the straddle adds a dimension of rotation onto hips. While in some instances it can lessen the strain on the hip, in many instances it can actually increase it because of the rotation and add other hip problems. (people are built different). We don't straddle for a number of reasons , first and foremost is ... We spot. If you spot bars (which you should). Then a straddle glide eliminates your ability to position yourself next to a child and have her glide. Second is potential Hip problems after years of straddle glides, particular out of a bail or PaK. Sometimes the torque and rotation of the hips through the bottom is great and certain kids will get a clicking feeling in the hip, pull a hip flexor, thread a tendon etc... Not good. So anything I can do to reduce prolonged hip problems for the Masses I do. Obviously a feet together glide can also create the same prolonged injuries , but the hip rotation is at least eliminated. just remember The body can only take so many impacts or unnatural movements. those are my thoughts and beliefs. everyone is different.
Thank you for your insightful reply! I appreciate it. Bars is not our strong suit right now so I'm really striving to become more knowledgeable.

(I do spot of course. And spotting kips currently involves a lot of jumping back and forth to make room for straddled legs. That's one reason I want to eliminate the straddle.)
 
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