One of the problems with the compulsory system is that it tends to mentally limit most coaches and gymnast’s in their choice of the skills they pick to work on. Kips are such an integral part of the sport in gymnastics on bars, that it is extremely difficult to put together any optional bar routine without them. Watch the video bar routine below to see just how difficult.
OK, this is really a link to a humorous compilation of an imaginary kip-free bar routine.
Learn Variations Early
In spite of how important kips are to bars, the USA Gymnastics Compulsories only teach two of the many variations. And while it is true that some of the variations, listed below, are now just for learning or overtraining, there are some other important kip variations that gymnasts should learn. And it is better to learn them sooner rather than later.
The Kips USAG Missed
The two main kips that gymnasts should learn that are not taught in USAG Compulsories are the glide-1/2-turn-glide kip and the jump-to-high bar kip. The glide-1/2-turn-glide kip is a necessary cover, if a gymnast misses a handstand pirouette in a routine in competition. The jump-to-high bar kip is a common bar mount that a gymnast may use in the future.
Old School Stem Rises
Women’s bars used to be so close together, that women could sit on the low bar, while holding onto the high bar. They could not only kip from this position (called short kip), but do some kip training drills called stem rises. Gymnasts could do single leg stem rises, in which one leg did the “jam” (the “put on pants” movement) and jumped off the other leg. Gymnasts could also do double leg stem rises, where they jumped from both feet to the high bar. These can still be good training devices for learning kips, especially if young gymnasts are having trouble learning kips.
- Drop Kip
- Short Kip
- Pike Glide Kip
- Straddle Glide Kip
- Pike Long Hang Kip
- Straddle Long Hang Kip
- Jump to High Bar Kip Mount (both directions)
- Reverse Grip Kip (Watch out you don’t hit your face on this one!)
- Mixed Grip Kip (both ways)
- Straddle Glide-1/2-Turn-Glide Kip
- Pike Glide-1/2-Turn-Glide Kip
- Jump 1/2 Turn Glide Kip
More Kip? Variations
- Straddle Glide Double Leg Jam
- Straddle Glide Jam
- Glide Jam Dislocate
- Weiler Kip
Lots of Fun and Useful Kip Variations
So there are literally more than a dozen variations of kips that most gymnasts never practice or learn (until necessary) that can add variety to a bar practice and make gymnasts a much stronger kipper. Try them out!
Comment Response on Stem Rises
Historical bar routines with single leg stem rise at about :30 second mark (it has one foot on low bar and the other leg with toe to high bar and then jumps up to high bar, with jamming action of the toe-to-bar leg).
It also has a double leg stem rise at about the :52 second mark (it has both feet on the low bar then jumps up to high bar).
In response to the comment asking about stem rises, here is a video with some kip drills, including a version of a double leg stemrise starting at about 2:45 (jump is off mat, instead of off low bar to high bar of p-bars set like unevens).