Subject: Strap Bars
Do giants on a strap bar have to be done on a metal bar w/ the loose pipe on it? Couldn’t you just strap onto a regular women’s high bar? And where can I find straps? Can I make them?
Just a coach
Not only do you have to use a high bar, but it needs to be a relatively new, clean metal bar. There cannot be too much pitting or rust on the bar or any chalk or chalk residue. The problem with a chalked, pitted or rusty high bar, or trying to use a regular women’s high bar, is there is too much resistance and the straps are liable to catch and stop short. This can cause some seriously ugly hand, wrist and arm injuries as the body continues to circle the bar but the hands are stuck.
You can get a set of 8 bar straps in all different sizes and colors from GMR Gymnastics (1-800-241-9249) for $50.00 (plus shipping). Different gymnasts will require different size straps.
We do know of coaches who have had straps sewn locally but to get all the standard sizes all in different colors so they can stay paired up easily is just so convenient that we can’t really recommend not buying a set. They have to be sewn on a commercial/industrial sewing machine to be strong enough to handle the g-forces of doing giants.
There are two ways to use straps – with the plastic pipe on the high bar or without. Some gymnasts seem to prefer not having the plastic pipe and use old beam shoes (with their polypropylene soles) to keep their hands from heating up. They just kind of fold the beam shoes over the bar and strap in and hold the shoe and the bar.
If you use a 30 inch plastic pipe, it is small enough to slide out of the way so gymnasts can use straps without the plastic as well. You can also use two 6 – 8 inch plastic pipes so gymnasts can grip the bar as far apart as they want or need (like, for example, on elgrip giants).
Another great strap bar concept is to put a strap bar on a regular set of unevens as the high bar so gymnasts can work giants between the bars on exactly their own setting. You can put a strap bar as the low bar as well for fast strapping in for skills like free hips and front and back stalders.
We have another article on Strap Bar Gymnastics Training available if you have not already read it.
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