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For Coaches Will preschool bar make it harder to use regular bars?

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mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
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After much begging from A and her dad saying she could have one, I caved and found a little bar for A on Craigslist. It is a really nice bar, but I am worried because the bar is smaller in diameter than a regular bar (1" versus 1.5") and it is metal. She is almost 6 and training level 4.

She loves it as it is, but I can buy a regular size bar for it and am wondering if I should. She already has new blisters from playing on it so much, and I have to say I am pleased that she plays more on it than she practices. :D

This is the bar I got American Gymnast | Products | AAI Junior Training Bar only for WAY less, gotta love Craigslist. And this is the bar I could get for it, but it is almost as much as the whole bars was. Though I guess then it would last longer. And I did get a pretty good price to begin with, so it would be worth it. American Gymnast | Products | AAI Fiberglass Bar

I think she likes the smaller bar size because she has small hands, and my 2 year old who thinks she is a gymnast too, loves the bars. I just don't want to mess her up. I was against getting her the bars because I don't think she needs them, but she has begged and begged and DH was going to try to make a bar :eek: and that freaked me out. So I gave in and found this one cheap and he bought it for her.

Will her practicing on that make it harder for her to do bars at gym? I would rather wait to get a regular sized bar for her to see if she actually continues to play with this. She rarely uses her balance beam (but have to say she HATES beam, but I wouldn't get her a bar so she wanted a beam which her dad made for her, LOL) and she LOVES bars.

Thanks. And believe me, I know that it is pretty controversial to let kids have bars at home. I am on the side of no bars, but it was buy a safe one or my hubby was going to make her a bar and that scared me. He doesn't seem to be the worrywort I am. Plus, she does a lot of the conditioning things they do, basket holds, multiple pullovers, chin-ups, etc on it, much more than she does skills. She was super excited to get her shoot through with only one cast on it. :)
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Meh. Hard to say just from the point of view of diameter. I generally would not recommend it. When I swing giants on strap and then go right to the regular bar it usually takes me awhile to adjust but it's not like it messes me up permanently (I swing strap with gloves and think the PVC pipe is pretty useless although it does make the diameter the same to unevens. However as you aren't really shifting your hands with it, I don't see that it really matters anyway). On the other hand it might be harder if you are just learning. I really do not know because until I was 11 or 12 I did rec gymnastics and would have had no idea people had equipment to practice at home or whatever.

Anyway my main problem with it would be practicing poor technique in general or perhaps making changes to technique in order to accomodate a different bar. Actually my main problem would be that they aren't always terribly stable even if they appear to be, we have a similar bar at one of my gyms that we use for preschool because we don't have a "star bars" set up and sometimes lowering the single rail is too much trouble, but it's honestly pretty useless beyond pullovers and more static skills (ours is more than 1" diameter but maybe not the full 1.5"). That means that a gymnast will probably "hold back" or not go as aggressively as she would on a set of bars with cables, and that could create technique shifts over time.

I mean I played on playground metal bars all the time when I was younger but not doing actual gymnastics, just swinging, climbing, etc. All I can say is that I don't recommend practicing gymnastics skills outside the gym because of the increased risk for overuse or even traumatic injuries and because it can disrupt the progression of skills that many gyms have put a lot of time into developing.
 

elilla

New Member
Feb 22, 2008
40
Omaha, NE
We use this bar in our preschool program. We did end up buying the 1.5" rail for my bigger preschool kids. I do have to say that I like the bigger bar better. However, I don't really think it will "mess" her up at level 4. I don't really see it as a big deal at this stage in the game. I think she is probably gaining a lot of strength from it and if she is having fun....what's the harm. I agree with gymdog that they are not the most stable piece of equipment and I would supervise her to make sure she is not doing skills that would cause the bar to tip over. I honestly don't think the larger size rail would make an enormous difference. You could also ask her coaches about skills that they would not want her to do at home. I figure I am not watching every kid 100% at every practice anyway so kids are going to practice things on their own even in the gym. Now don't get me started on kids learning backflips on backyard trampolines.....:)
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,529
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Thanks. I am going to wait and see on getting the other bar.

She really is just having fun on it, the only "skills" she has actually practiced is her shoot through and a billion pullovers, she usually just front rolls out of those. :) According to her she is doing basket holds, skin the cats, L pull ups, no cast back hip circle, leg lifts and chin ups. Seeing her do them and thinking they are fun cracks me up. I would be in a ball on the couch crying if I tried to do any of that. LOL. She is having fun though and for now I am going to just see if she starts having any problems on bars at gym. I always watch the last 30 minutes of her practice and they are on bars at least 2 times a week for the last rotation, so I will just see how it goes.

Thanks again for your opinions. I appreciate when that there are coaches that are here that will answer the silly questions we sometimes have as parents. :)
 
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