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Tag Archives: Circle
Back hip circles begin from a regular cast when the gymnast leans the shoulder back off support. When the body is coming back to the bar, but before it makes contact, the gymnast’s aim is to complete the skill with a straight or hollow body that moves around in a single unit.
Gymnasts begin learning back hip circles from a small cast. Right when their bodies start coming back down to the support, the coach standing on the opposite side of the bar, reaches with his arms under the rail and places one hand on the lower back and the other on the hamstring area. The hand that was on the lower back then reaches under the bar to stop the gymnast from “over rotating” the skill.
It is very important to understand the dynamic nature of spotting any gymnastics skill. The spotting patterns must be adapted to what happens on each individual attempt. the coach must be ready to move his hands to different areas according to the occurrences of each situation.
Gymnasts having problems with leaning the shoulders back out of support and turning over in one body unit for under-shoot dismounts, may benefit from learning how to make a complete back hip circle without having any momentum from a cast.
“Throwing the head out” is a very common mistake that does not add any technical or presentational value to this skill.
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.