Training Bars – Back to Front

August 26th, 2008 by Tom

Through out my coaching career I spent a tremendous amount of time watching videos of the best routines in the world. I was not only watching the skills but trying to notice any trends the world class gymnasts might be doing. As the saying goes, “The cream floats to the top”, and the saying is true however it might be more accurate if it were, “The cream floats to the top and it all looks the same.” Watch the best gymnasts in the world with analytical eyes and you will see that almost all the routines are constructed the same.

In the case of bars you will notice that all the best gymnasts in the world have a strong dismount. No giant full pirouette immediate double tuck here. “D” dismounts are a minimum so that is what you see. How do they do this after their incredibly difficult and sometimes very long routine? I can’t speak for all of them, but what I did was train the routine from back to front.

Every day we would start bars the same. Simple warm up complex that covered basics. The elite compulsory routine is about as good as it gets to warm up with. Then start with dismounts. Everyday we trained dismounts first. Then we trained last halves. Then we trained full routines. Our dismounts were trained three times more this way. This is how the best gymnasts in the world develop the endurance they need to finish their routines with a strong D or higher dismount. What often separates the best Level 9 and 10 gymnasts from the rest of the field is their dismount. The winners are almost always the ones that finish with a bigger, better bang than the rest. I have seen many impressive routines at big JO meets, but the routines that win the most are the ones that finish with high difficulty.

You might want to implement this concept with all your optional teams since someday they will be competing “D” dismounts – hopefully.


August 24th, 2008 by Tom

Thanks for coming to my blog! I will do my best to keep up with any questions you have and discuss any training ideas you want!

Happy training! Tom Forster