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Category Archives: Basics
It is wise to spot a novice gymnast attempting front hip circles down until she can demonstrate control to lower down at a safe speed. At the beginning, the coach holds the nearest forearm to assure that he will have a firm grip on the gymnast encase she lets go or rips off the bar. He places the other hand on the back of her legs to help the athlete slow down the skill.
Before attempting fast front hip circles down in preparation for the whole front hip circle back to support, the gymnast must master a slow front hip circle down.
Shrugging the shoulders down a little brings the hips and center of mass lower so the skill can be performed without the body falling down as fast as when the hips and center of mass are higher up. A good goal for gymnasts is to try to lower down to hanging “L” position before bringing the feet down to the floor.
One of the main differences between spotting a front hip circle down and a whole front hip circle to support is that for the complete skill the spotter places himself on the same side of the bar that the gymnast starts the skill.
Notice how after the back pull over the coach switched sides to spot the front hip circle to support when the gymnast begins to speed around. The coach standing on the left side spots the hamstring area with his left hand and his right hand spots the gymnast’s back. If he is just spotting a front hip down he switches to the other bar side again.
In order to spot a front hip circle, the coach stands on the same side of the rail as the gymnast does when in front support. As the athlete falls forward, the coach moves his arms under the bar. He places one hand behind the knees or lower hamstring and the other on the middle of the back. The spotter keeps his hands behind the knees to keep the gymnast from moving away from the bar during the circle and uses the other hand to help the gymnast come back to a front support when she is finished.
Though this is not a perfect front hip circle example, notice how the gymnast raises her center of mass forward to begin falling down without changing her body position. Then, when gravity starts to accelerate her fall, she pikes slightly to add some extra circular momentum while keeping pressure on the legs to allow them from moving away from the bar even at the moment that she briefly lets go of the bar to shift her grip around to prepare the hands arrival to a full support.
Once the gymnasts can make their front hip circles to the support by themselves, two important goals are to minimize bending of the arms when coming back to the support and to begin connecting their font hips circles to a nice cast.
This used to be an old common way to begin the front hip circle. Starting with an arched position before falling down to a pike in order to speed up the skill. Although some gymnasts still use this initial approach, the pike to speed up the circle can be initiated as well from a body falling down in a hollow position which is the more accepted present approach.