BAR STRENGTH EXERCISES
Gymnastics is known for flexibility, balance, acrobatic skills, and coordination. What some may overlook, is that gymnastics also takes core and upper body strength. A good portion of gymnastics classes are spent building the muscles necessary needed to complete all the different skills in gymnastics. What this blog will focus on, is the exercises that will help with the pullover.
If you are fortunate enough to have a bar at home, then your first goal should be completing a pull-up. If you are not able to pull yourself up quite yet, then rest your feet on an object so you are laying horizontal, and try to pull up from there, as shown in the picture below. In either case, attempt to hold your chin up to the bar for 5-10 seconds, building the stability strength to complete the pullover.
If you do not have a bar, try parent pulls! This game involves you and a parent, or friend. Have your partner sit on the couch, and grabbing their hands, pull them until they are standing up. This mimics the same action as pulling up on the bar.
Next, on a bar, attempt to hold your knees up in a tucked position, again, for 5-10 seconds. If you can have your chin above the bar and your body tucked, then that will be most beneficial. If you do not have a bar, try flutter kicks, laying in a hollow body position, with your feet 6 inches off the ground. Have your feet alternate kicking, moving about 16 inches up and down. Another way to build core strength would be to start laying flat, and slowly bring your feet up till you are in a candlestick position.
As for the second half of the pullover skill, you will pull your head up and push on the bar until you are in a front support position. If you have a bar, start in a front support and lean forwards till you are hanging, doubled over the bar. Then, bring your head and upper body up to the front support again. Without a bar, the best you can do for that section is to work on push-ups, simple as that.
If any of this does not seem achievable, pace yourself! Build your way up to each of these exercises and the pullover will be possible. Click here to watch the video explaining these drills, and you’ll get stronger in no time!