With all the craziness of COVID19 and the global disruption we're all experiencing, we have some extra time to reflect on what we do and how we do it.
We are always thinking about how gymnastics is coached and gymnasts train. The complexities of the shapes coaches try to describe and shape the gymnasts into doing, to build movement they can use for complex skills and movement patterns in the future.
From this deep rooted interest in the sport, we look for ways to help our customers achieve these shapes, and the gymnasts to be prepared for the progressions to ever more difficult skills.
Training the shapes needed when a gymnast is upside down is rarely trained, yet is called upon almost as many times as when the right way up in gymnastics. From handstands on floor, to vaulting, and all the other apparatus which requires a gymnast be supported or repel on their hands in a compressive manner, the athlete needs to be physically prepared. Our legs and bodies in general, develop all our lives, to withstand gravity while stood on our feet (predominantly) but always with our head above our heart.
When we turn upside down, there is a very different set of forces on the body even at rest, yet we train our gymnasts to achieve all sorts of complex movements while in this upside down state, which we hardly spend any time at all in. Its no wonder that a static handstand is so impressive, or that under developed athletes struggle with the huge forces of repelling the table on a vault when they progress to hand springs and beyond. When forwards and backwards tumbling progress into 2, 3 and more skills, they need the upper body to be prepared.
The shoulders and arms need time to develop, as do the supporting muscles to keep a shape strong and safe.
Its for these reasons we've added a Top Turn Trainer bar to fit our outdoor training bar kits.
This accessory allows the gymnast a new support to kick up to handstand, or to encourage time to be spent upside down, yet loading the hands, arms and shoulder to develop stronger. All this 'time under tension' builds strength like never before. Using a bar helps the hand and wrist to not get fatigued in the same way as being flat on the floor, where the wrist is almost at full range or motion (which can bring on increased risk of injury). Physical preparedness for sport is super important, and what we believe to be one of the THE most important areas to work on.
Being physical prepared will definitely help with avoiding injury, both overuse and accidental.
The name comes from a specific movement that's almost impossible to train without competent support. During a forwards or backwards giant swing, the gymnast is required to turn, while in a handstand shape. This should be achieved very quickly with a straight body and legs, which is extremely difficult without the body tension to not allow the torso and legs to go floppy mid swing (upside down). Training this is high above the ground or mats normally, with a coach stood on blocks or a platform, even right from the beginning its tricky to get a close comparison without hands on support.
Our bar is securely installed to the frame, and fits all the kits starting 65 and 75.
No longer does a parent or sibling need to risk being kicked, or a coach needing to handle a gymnast in those early stages of top turns. The gymnast can wear their hand guards, and get a real feel for what it's like to go from a straight handstand forwards, to turning into a backwards giant with minimal external assistance. All this safely close to the ground, and repeatable.
SO for those wanting to have a better stronger physique to take force through the hands and shoulders, the Top Turn Trainer is the perfect accessory for any aspiring athlete who needs to be better at being upside down.