Parallel Bars A Skills


Back off (piked or layed out)
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  • Drill: Stack mats to the level of the bars. Have gymnasts swing off to land on their backs on the mats. They should stay as extended as possible and land high on their backs. As the gymnasts displays improvement raise the height of the mats to help develop height in the dismount.
  • The release should occur as late as possible to generate height and rotation. An early release will cause the dismount to travel forward.
  • A deep shrug through the bottom followed by an aggressive pop at the release point will increase the height of the dismount.
  • If the gymnast intends to do twisting dismounts, they should dismount to the left for right twist, and to the right for left twist. This is so that the twist is towards the bar.
Back uprise straddle cut
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  • A heel tap will enable the gymnast to clear their legs while keeping the hips as low as possible.
  • An aggressive throwing of the bars is necessary to get the shoulders back and legs forward.
  • The gymnast must cut their legs as fast as possible to be ready to catch the bars for a swing or L.
Cast to upper arm
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  • The key to success in this skill is aggressively turning over early.
  • Most gymnasts tend to turn over too little and/or too late, resulting in the skill traveling forward instead of upward.
  • The shoulders need to drop back aggressively while the gymnast keeps their head in at the initiation of the skill.
  • The gymnast also needs to compress the pike as much as possible early on to allow for an explosive cast.
  • The bars should be thrown back as the gymnast passes between them.
Front uprise
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  • The most common error in this skill is to lift the toes and pike in the front.
  • The shoulders need to be away from the hands as in the back uprise.
  • The hips and chest should be lifted in the front, no piking should occur unless the uprise ends with the gymnasts hips above their shoulders.
  • The gymnast should think about leaning back during this skill.
Half pirouette
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  • Work handstand pirouettes on low parallel bars. Initiate the pirouette immediately upon reaching handstand to simulate doing the pirouette immediately out of the swing.
  • Work 1/4 pirouette to 1 bar and hold. This will help develop stability. (keep tight)
  • Keep tight and hollow. The tendency is to arch on this skill. Keep the handstand extended and tight.
  • The skill should be done in two quick steps, not slow.
  • Work the skill immediately out of the swing. Working it out of a still handstand is not the ideal.
Kip (between the bars)
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  • The most common error on kips is attempting the kip motion too early in the swing cycle. The pike should occur after the back swing has begun, and the kip should occur after the swing passes vertical.
  • A kip on P-bars turns over more than a kip on a single rail. The gymnast should compress to basket position. This will enable the kip to generate sufficient swing to lead to other skills.
  • Work repetitive drop kips to develop a stronger kip.
Kip to L
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  • No drills yet available for this skill.
Peach to support
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  • A peach to support is very much like a clear hip on high bar. During the initiation phase the body must be kept tight and hollow, head in as the shoulder are dropped back aggressively.
  • As the body passes vertical the bars should be thrown back aggressively to generate lift.
  • Working clear hips on a low bar over exaggerating the wrist shift will help to develop the feel for a peach.
Rear stutz (for right twisting stutz)
  • Work this skill on the floor with tape lines first. The gymnast should start in a push up position with their hands on parallel tape lines spaced as their bar setting. Then the gymnast should push off their left hand reach it across to the right tape line, immediately push and reach their right hand back for the other line. The end rear support should be fully extended, and no piking should have occurred during the drill.
  • Once on bars the key is to complete the skill quickly during the transition phase of the swing. It should be initiated just before the peak of the swing so the skill is completed as the swing peaks.
Reverse pirouette (discussion based on pirouette initiating with right arm)
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  • On low parallel bars work reverse 1/4 pirouette to hold.
  • An aggressive push of the left arm is necessary to initiate this skill.
  • Keep on top of the bars. The most common error is to shift too far to the right and pike down.
  • It is very important to keep the shoulder angle open and head neutral. Piked shoulders will result in falling off to the right.
  • A common error is to pike down over the left bar. It's important to keep the shoulders open and weight over the bars.
  • The gymnast needs to push off the right arm aggressively.
Straddle cut
  • The swing prior to a straddle cut should be small. If the swing is big a significantly more aggressive block off the bar is required to rotate the shoulders back enough to complete the skill.
  • Start in an arched prone support on floor. Pop off the arms and straddle cut to seated pike.
  • The swing for a straddle cut should involve a slight pike on the rearward phase of the front swing followed by a heel drive to give loft to the rear swing. Then the gymnast should pop off their arms aggressively and excecute the straddle cut.
  • Quick legs are essential for excecuting this skill.