Gymnastics Corner with Coach Vahid – Toes-to-Bar
I think one of the biggest issue for people here is stringing them together with the kip. It’s super common to get an actual swing going, which totally kills your kip. How do you prevent this?
The overall goal is to keep as much of your body directly under the bar as possible. Putting too much of yourself either too far in front of or behind the bar will get you swinging. I’ve seen a bunch of cases where people go almost into a full tucked lever (left picture), getting backs almost parallel to the floor. While you may be able to string some together that way, you’re wasting a lot of energy at the bottom of the kip by stopping yourself as you come down.
Here are some tips on how to keep your lines straight:
• Keep your head in – don’t throw it back when your feet go up
• At the bottom, try not to throw your feet too far back. Use your lats here to pull down on the bar and prepare yourself to get your feet back up
• Pick your hips up as little as possible. This will be easier the more flexible you are in the hamstrings
Some good exercises/warm ups:
• Mini levers – this is the opening/closing shoulders part of the kips. Keep straight arms and flat hips, and open and close the shoulders as much as possible
• Strict toes-to-bar or tuck raises – if you’ve got the kip down, this will help you focus in on the core strength as related to the movement
• Hamstrings – any stretches you can do to keep your hips and hamstrings loose/flexible will help you tremendously (my favorite is a pike hang – hang on the bar, get your feet in between your hands, and make your legs straight)