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Gymnastics/Half pirouette control


Hi, I'm a new level 8 gymnast and I'm having trouble controlling the exit out of my kip cast handstand half pirouette on low bar into kip cast squat on (hopefully that made sense). Anyways do you have any tips for me on how to slow down the exit of the handstand into a kip? Right now I end up dragging my legs on the mat into another kip.

Hello Hayley,
         I am very glad to help you.  First of all, it is important to be square in the pirouette……meaning do not move the hand on the pirouette before the body finishes the pirouette.  Understanding the square pirouette will give you the best chance to control the down swing for the kip.  Ideally you want to bring your ankles/shins to the low bar to an under swing extending your feet to the end position of the glide.  The last part has to do with hip flexor strength.  Lower ab/hip flexor strength is best improved by doing stall bar leg lifts.  Now that you have kip…….you have to be stronger the demanding kip of a handstand drop to kip.  Keep a journal and push yourself.  You can do it……you just have to get angry strong.  The best of luck to you and take care – Jack Leonard


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Jack Leonard


Former 5 time Natl. Tumbling Champ, 3 time Natl. Vaulting Champ, Natl. Floor Exercise Champ; Ass`t coach of Dominique Dawes for 6 years; Owner/Director/Head coach of Kauai Gymnastics Academy on the island of Kauai in Hawaii; Retired Physical Ed teacher; Childrens Fitness Expert; Expert Consultant for gymnastics litigation; Retired Mens & Womens HS Gymnastics coach for 32 years. National coaching honors for Men in 1981 & Women in 2001.


I value the following awards because they were given by acknowlegement through my peers: The Nissen/Grissold Award given to the outstanding Tumbling and Tramp Athlete(1972), National High School coach of the year in 1981 for men and 2001 for women, 10 time County Coach of the Year. Medal Award given at the first World Tumbling Championships in London, England for dedication to the sport. Lastly, having the opportunity to coach Wes Suter(1988 Olympian)in his intermediate years and Dominique Dawes(1992 & 1996)

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