Bars - Counters Without Tapping!!!

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Nov 29, 2008
Minn eee sooo ta! :)
So i'm 14 and i have done counters for like... 4 years i think, and i still can't do it without tapping. Also, i'm really short and so i have problems going to a handstand. I have a problem with my pelvis that makes it really easy for me to tear muscles in my hips, so i can't do any v ups or straight leg raisers. Another coach that i talked to this about said it was all timing, but my coach seems to be obsessed with the idea that it's strength. i have done lots of kips and glide swings with weights, but didn't help at all. I have my feet in front of me, and i'm trying really hard to keep them up, but it just doesn't work. If you have any ideas, that would be great. :)
Counters = straddle backs.

The truth is somewhere in the middle-- you would have to be incredibly strong to kip out of a straddle back that catches with your feet in front, but IMO, it's almost all in the timing.

There are different ways to do straddle backs, but I found that most girls who catch the low bar with their legs in front have a hard time holding their feet up. I do a different kind of straddle back that has more rotation-- I release in a straddle, but then I snap my feet together as my hands catch the bar. I catch the low bar with my shoulders in a planche over the low bar and with my legs somewhere between horizontal and 3/4 handstand, so then holding my feet up is just like coming out of a cast.

If you catch the low bar with your feet in front of you, you have to be able to circle your hips almost immediately. I find this method much easier to learn, but it's much more difficult to kip out of without hitting your feet (as you've discovered). When you catch with your feet in front of you, you have more force dropping straight down, whereas if you catch with your feet behind you, that helps to stop the rotation.
makes sense, gymkat. if you can catch somewhat planched, you can slow down the momentum created and make the swing down controllable. catching behind and it's just too much momentum. men do similar things on ring giants.
Well, it's a little more than where your shoulders are. On straddle backs, your body generally follows where your feet are going, so even if you catch in a planche with your feet pointed straight down, it'll be really hard to hold your feet up. I've seen some girls catch their straddle backs in practically a stalder position, and they could hold their feet up because they caught with their feet already in a fairly compressed straddle and could roll their hips up immediately. However, you do need hip flexibility and strength for this (there's a reason that I don't use this technique!). Also, I see a lot of straddle backs that kind of go up and drop straight down, and almost no one can hold their feet up on those (even if their shoulders are over the bar) because they have so much force dropping straight down.
Can you do kip-cast kip well? The second kip is going to be similar to the kip after the counter. If you have hip strength issues, I would also recommend the leg circle to keep your feet from tapping rather than trying to use strength to keep your legs up.

Are you trying to take the counter to handstand? If you're just doing a straddle over the bar, pulling the bars way in (so your butt will just clear the bar when swinging on the high bar in a straddle pike) to force you to have a very piked straddle may help. If your hips are very open as you go over the bar it's hard to then use strength halfway through the move to lift your legs up. Better to start with them up. I don't have much experience taking this skill to handstand, but I feel like pulling the bars in, but I feel like swinging back in a straddle pike before opening up to hit the handstand might give you better control over where your legs are at the beginning of the skill which may lead to better control at the end.
Thanks for all of your replies. :)
It is competition season and right now i'm working on a straddle cut on the high bar (so i don't have to worry about keeping my legs up) and it is going fairly well, so i'm going to work on that for now, but i will probably go back to working on counters later, like this spring. I'll save your ideas so i can come back to them later, and once again, thanks for all of your advice!!
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