10 Creative Bar Drills

NCAA gymnastics

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

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!


Leanne Wong Shoots For Big Goals In 2021 and Beyond

Leanne Wong

After a disappointing end to her most recent competition season, the 2020 Coronavirus meet cancellations were even more shocking for Leanne Wong, who was left with something to prove. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

USAG Sending Six Athletes To Nov. 8 Friendship & Solidarity Competition

USA Gymnastics, Friendship & Solidarity

INDIANAPOLIS, October 14, 2020 – Six U.S. athletes will join delegations from China, Japan and Russia for an international friendly competition Nov. 8 in Tokyo, Japan. The one-day Friendship and Solidarity Competition will feature two teams – Team Friendship and Team Solidarity – which will be comprised of a mixture of artistic gymnasts from the participating nations.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

William & Mary Reinstate Women's Gymnastics, Swimming, & Volleyball

William & Mary Gymnastics

On Sept. 3, 2020, William & Mary announced the decision to discontinue seven of its 23 NCAA Division I varsity sports — Men's and Women's Gymnastics, Men's and Women's Swimming, Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field, and Women's Volleyball — effective with the end of the 2020-21 academic year. The plan prepared by the Department of Athletics implemented discontinuations to address structural budget deficits exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and to begin remedying long-standing gender equity imbalances inconsistent with the requirements of Title IX.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

12 Things Chellsie Memmel Does In A Day That Most Elite Gymnasts Don't

Get The FloSports App

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Chellsie Memmel is just like any other elite gymnast working for a spot on the 2021 Tokyo Olympic team...oh, except that she’s 32, married with two kids, coming back out of retirement after eight years off...and a few other differences. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

25 Favorite Practice Leos: VOTE For Your Top Picks!

SB-1.jpg

GK Elite, Alpha Factor, Snowflake Designs, TumbleWear… these are just a few well-known gymnastics leo brands across the US. Leotard designs have the power to express so many things! Whether it be a classic leo or a statement leo, if you look good on comp day, you feel good. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Air Force Women's Gymnastics Announces Freshmen Class

Get The FloSports App

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – The Falcon women's gymnastics team has announced the addition of six freshmen to the roster for the 2021 campaign. The newcomers will join 15 returners from the previous season.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

William & Mary Are The Latest School To Cut Their Gymnastics Teams

Katie Waldman, bars

This year is a disappointing time for all sports fans, and gymnastics fans are no exception. After months of canceled meets, pushing back the Olympics, and training centers on lockdown, the latest 2020 gymnastics disappointment is multiple NCAA programs cutting their gymnastics teams. William & Mary cut both their men’s and women’s gymnastics teams in early September, just the latest of many announcements this year about cutting teams. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Rutgers Gymnastics Announces 12 Newcomers

Myra Daniels

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Head Coach Umme Salim-Beasley announced the addition of 12 newcomers to the Rutgers gymnastics program in 2020-21. The newest Scarlet Knights include Avery Balser, Myra Daniels, Kylie Haffner, Rees Hagler, Jordan Halcom, Emily Leese, Calah Newman, Jaidyn Raby, Kieran Ross, Christiana Thompson, Emily Wood, and Stephanie Zannella.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

How You Can Help Save Collegiate Gymnastics Programs

Bennet Huang, Iowa Gymnastics

With universities across the country facing budget cuts, college gymnastics programs are being eliminated or are on the brink of being cut. College gymnastics needs your help and support more than ever. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

USA Gymnastics Announces October 7 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Panel

USA Gymnastics DEIB

INDIANAPOLIS, September 28, 2020 – USA Gymnastics today announced the line-up for the first of three fall 2020 panels focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and bias in gymnastics. Panelists will discuss their experiences and insights, share their suggestions for the sport, and provide advice for community members who are hoping to create a more inclusive and equitable culture within gymnastics.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In