10 Creative Bar Drills

Summer is a great time for gyms to work on all the things they don’t have time to focus on during competition season! Whether that is going back to the basics, cleaning up form on old skills, or learning upgrades, we have a drill for you to incorporate into your summer practices. Here are 10 drills to work on bars for various skill levels. If you have a good one we missed, link a video in the comments.

1. Clear Hip Shapes

This drill takes more work because it needs one-on-one spotting from a coach, but it is a great one to work on with kids learning clear hips! Showing kids the right shapes and talking through how their bodies should look during a skill can really make a difference. 

2. Clear Hip to Handstand

Once kids get the correct body shape to keep in a clear hip, this drill is great to teach them how to hit a handstand out of the skill. It might take a bit of practice, but this helps keep arms straight and teach the shoulder positions needed to get the skill around. If gymnasts aren’t quite ready to learn a handstand out of the clear hip, it can also be used to teach just a clear hip itself by shooting over into a push-up position. 

3. Giant Drill

Gymnastics coaches know that teaching a giant on bars is not an easy task. Thankfully, this drill can help! Showing gymnasts the right shape to have and to keep their arms pushing against the bar until the are completely in a handstand is very helpful when they transfer to a real bar and do the skill on their own. This drill could be combined with others in a day totally focused on working giants, or used as a side station while working on other tasks. 

4. Flyaway Drill

For gymnasts with a fear of flyaways or those who just need extra practice with them, this is a great drill to get them comfortable with the skill! It has the added bonus of being very safe and something gymnasts can do completely on their own to work on the mental and physical elements of the skill.

5. Jump to High Bar Shape

Summer is a great time to work on the small things, no matter how little they seem. The silliest things give away points, and most can be easy to fix! This drill works on jumping to the high bar in a good position, and it forces the gymnast to be in the correct shape upon reaching the high bar. Give it a try with the setup in this video, or try it with mats set up a different way and let us know how it goes. 

6. Kip Drills

Kips are such a frustrating skill for young gymnasts, and also one coaches can run out of drills for. Using many different drills for this skill is important, because different drills will help the skill click in different kids’ minds. My personal favorite is the first one shown in the video, because it helps with the extension at the beginning of the skill and lets the kids do most of it on their own, but all of these drills are worth a try. 

7. Casting

There are plenty of casting drills out there, but this one is especially good because it provides a fun incentive for gymnasts to cast high enough to have a friend roll the mat underneath them. Sometimes gymnasts have the ability and skill to cast higher than they currently do, but they are afraid to get higher. This drill takes the fear out of that idea by giving them something to land on and a fun reward of working with a friend to accomplish that goal. Gymnasts can do this in pairs or a group, or have a coach put in the mat when first learning the drill. 

7. Blind Change Breakdown

Blind changes are a big skill to learn on bars, and one that can cause a mental block for many gymnasts. This drill works on the skill itself, but also overcoming that fear! In this video it is spotted by a coach, but after awhile could be done with a partner. This gymnast is showing great form and how to work on body shape, realistically preparing to move the skill to a real bar. 

8. Learning Pirouettes

This genius pirouette drill can be used as a station on bars and done independently. By keeping the area they have to use small, it teaches gymnasts to keep their bodies tight and turn quickly. The pool noodles stop them from getting hurt if they don’t do it correctly, so even beginners can benefit from this station without fear. 

9. Tkatchev Timing/Catching

This Tkatchev drill is very helpful in teaching gymnasts the correct timing of the skill. It also helps them prepare to catch the bar, and know how it will feel on the real bar. Their attempts likely won’t look this good or be this close to the bar at first, but practice makes perfect! If gymnasts are afraid of the landing or you suspect they might not land that nicely at first, you can always put a sting mat on the landing side of the Tumbl Trak for awhile. 

10. Tap Swing Body Shapes

Tap swings are easy to teach, but clean ones that don’t get deductions are a little tougher! This drill is an easy one to set up and have gymnasts do alone that can help remind them of clean lines. Especially if it is done right before or after a turn, it can help young gymnasts keep those positions fresh in their minds—or remind older ones of the basics!

Sunisa Lee Wins Floor Silver, Simone Biles Breaks More Records

The second day of event finals had so many memorable moments it was difficult to narrow down the biggest headlines of the day. Although there were many more exciting moments, here are the three biggest headlines of the day from the final day of the 2019 World Championships. 

Simone Biles, Carlos Yulo Make History In Worlds Event Finals

The first day of event finals at the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships was historic and exciting for both the men and women. Simone Biles continued to set new records as she added to her record-breaking medal haul with vault gold. Carlos Yulo became the first Philippine gymnastics world champion with his win on floor. 

Worlds Men's All-Around: Nagornyy Wins, Mikulak Narrowly Misses Podium

The top 24 qualifying men competed in artistic gymnastics all-around finals at the 2019 World Championships, and the competition was an exciting one down to the very last minute. Here are the top three headlines from this competition! 

Simone Biles Makes History With Fifth World All-Around Title

Winning her 22nd World Championship medal, Simone Biles earned women's all-around gold at the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships with a score of 58.999. Tang Xijing of China and Angelina Melnikova of Russia were the silver and bronze medalists, respectively.

Russia Wins Its First Men's Team Gold At World Championships

The men’s team final at the 2019 World Championships caused a ton of excitement as the top eight teams came together and battled it out for the title. Here are the top three headlines from this competition, which was close all the way to the finish. 

USA Women Triumph In Gymnastics Team Finals Again

The first medals of the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics Championships were awarded today with the women's team gold going to Team USA for the fifth consecutive World Championships. But that's not the only top story of today's competition.

Top Storylines From Men's Qualification Day 2 At Worlds

Day Two of men’s artistic gymnastics qualifications certainly had its surprises, but now that all the dust has settled, teams, all-arounders, and event finals are decided and the men are preparing for finals on Wednesday. 

Russia & Chinese Taipei Lead The Headlines For Men's Day One At Worlds

The men's competition has officially started in Stuttgart for the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Although the men have competed only one day so far, it has already been an eventful meet.

T&T Gymnasts Soared At Valladolid World Cup

The 2019 Valladolid World Cup took place this weekend, and these T&T gymnasts soared high towards huge scores! Some of the world’s best competed there, and it was an exciting weekend for all. 

USA Women Finish First In Qualifications At Gymnastics World Championships

The last six subdivisions for women’s artistic gymnastics qualifications were today, giving us who will advance to the all-around, event, and team finals. There was a ton of action in the arena, but here are the top three biggest headlines from day two.