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.
Slow Motion: Notice how the coach is holding the gymnast’s forearm for most of the skill and how he catches her legs to slow down the decent toward ground contact. If the gymnast hits the floor too fast with straight legs, there is a risk of hyper extending the knees.
Gymnasts that show a good understanding of how to roll down may be spotted without holding the forearm. Standing on the left side, the coach spots the gymnast’s legs while the right hand assists on the gymnast’s back. As gymnasts gets better they can begin to handle a faster roll down. They can also start pushing the body up higher to a hollow support. Instead of rolling down with the bar closer to the hips, the bar comes in contact with the middle of the legs. This raises the center of mass, so when the gymnast begins to lean forward, there will be more weight on the trunk than on the legs and gravity will speed up the skill. Since the gymnast is moving faster the coach may decide to continue slowing down the ground contact.