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For Parents Questions about Bars

MuggleMom

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So I have noticed that DD usually has her hands closer together on bars ( especially cast handstands and giants). She will often Shift her hands a bit closer together if they feel to her to be too far apart. Hers, I would say, are in line with her hips/shoulders so handstand/giants looks like a straight line. She says she prefers hands closer together especially when doing giants. Some girls on her team have them farther apart. So maybe a few inches out from the hips so it is not inline with shoulders when in handstand and doing giants (slightly more triangle in shape but not extremely so). This to me looks more uncomfortable/difficult. Is there any advantage to having hands closer together or farther apart? Farther apart looks like it would impact swing and power in giants but I could very much be wrong. I was just curious.

Separate but related quesiton...Her coach mentioned when she has to learn how to pirrouette next year for level 8 she thinks she will learn it easier than some of her peers just because she already is used to "shifting her hands a lot" I am thinking this is because she is comfortable adjusting in handstand or giants (to get her hands closer together like mentioned above) . Is this true, will it make things easier in the future?

Not trying to give daughter and tips or coaching advice but I find the mechanics of the sport especially bars very interesting.
 

gymjunkie

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Thumbs close to the thighs is the technically correct/ideal position for casting to a handstand.
 

JBS

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So I have noticed that DD usually has her hands closer together on bars ( especially cast handstands and giants). She will often Shift her hands a bit closer together if they feel to her to be too far apart. Hers, I would say, are in line with her hips/shoulders so handstand/giants looks like a straight line. She says she prefers hands closer together especially when doing giants. Some girls on her team have them farther apart. So maybe a few inches out from the hips so it is not inline with shoulders when in handstand and doing giants (slightly more triangle in shape but not extremely so). This to me looks more uncomfortable/difficult. Is there any advantage to having hands closer together or farther apart? Farther apart looks like it would impact swing and power in giants but I could very much be wrong. I was just curious.
Right next to the hips would be the correct spot. If a gymnast has less shoulder flexibility... then they might swing with wider arms.
Separate but related quesiton...Her coach mentioned when she has to learn how to pirrouette next year for level 8 she thinks she will learn it easier than some of her peers just because she already is used to "shifting her hands a lot" I am thinking this is because she is comfortable adjusting in handstand or giants (to get her hands closer together like mentioned above) . Is this true, will it make things easier in the future?
Yes... this is usually true.
 

wandrewsjr

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Arm position usually dependent on shoulder flexibility of the gymnast. And would agree that gymnast with closer hand position/good shoulder flex naturally generally have an easier time with pirouettes.
 

Pineapple_Lump

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I find that with younger/developing athletes that the arms will sometimes start to drift wider after a period of growth.
 

&bs

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A lot of kids with long arms relative to their body length will cast with their arms wider in order to keep their arms straight. For any turning skill they will need to shift the hand in so they can turn with their COM over the support hand.
 

JBS

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A lot of kids with long arms relative to their body length will cast with their arms wider in order to keep their arms straight. For any turning skill they will need to shift the hand in so they can turn with their COM over the support hand.
We teach both wider arms and bent arms for athletes like this. Here's a good example of the type of bars a person can swing with a bit wider and slightly bent arms...


EDIT: I guess you have to click through to YouTube to watch it.
 
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MuggleMom

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Interesting, I dont typically think of my DD as having good shoulder flexibility (I would generally state the opposite lol) but it has improved a lot this year.