Casting Help

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I've been trying to get my cast to horizontal. I pike around the bar more, swing my feet back harder, and condition with push-ups, planks, and hollow-ups. So far, my efforts have got me a straight body in a low cast and bruised hips. There's no foam pit under the bar so maybe being scared too lean to far forward is the issue. Or maybe I'm not strong enough. I've always had trouble with my long arms and torso and the trouble seems to be all the worse when I work bars. :mad:
Are there any conditioning exercises I should try? Self-hypnosis against leaning-over-the-bar-fear, perhaps?
You could practice falling forward. Have your coach spot some casts with your shoulders over the bar where you do fall forward so you can learn how to safely bail out of a cast-gone-wrong.
Your fear is pretty common, people are afraid to get their shoulders over their wrists and get to horizontal because it puts their head so far forward it creates the illusion of falling forward. My solution is to take out the height and have people get used to the feel of weight bearing in a horizontal position.

If you have a floor bar get to it and grip it in a push up position, maybe slightly piked to allow you to move freely for the drill. Shoulders over wrists. Roll back and forth using the ball of your feet, maintaining a hollow body. Get your shoulders past your wrists so you know the feel of how far is too far. Learn to not trust what you see from that position, but what you feel and let that dictate your comfort instead.
Uneven Bars Casting Help

There have been good suggestions so far. There is another conditioning drill that may help you overcome your FEAR. My coach would have me kick to a handstand on a floor bar, in a tight, hollow handstand position (no arching allowed!) then he would have me come down slowly, spotting me the whole time, while leaning over the bar with my shoulders (arms straight!)all the way down until my hips were on the bar. It is a reverse action of a cast handstand done very slowly. This strengthens all the muscles that are used to cast to a handstand (including the back and stomach). Remember that a cast handstand is not all swing and heel drive. You must learn to lean over the bar and OPEN up your arms from your hips to overhead at the same time as the swing & heel drive! A good drill for this action is to stand with feet together, arms down with hands by your thighs, and lift weights up over your head with straight arms. I used to hold a dowel stick with ankle weights attached to it in the center. As you get stronger, add more ankle weights to the dowel stick. This really strengthens those arm and shoulder muscles that are used to cast to a handstand. Keep working hard, never give up. You will get it! :)
Does your gym have a set of p-bars? If so, would you be able to work swings on those?

P-bar swings are an excellent way of getting comfortable with ballance in a support; they force you to ballance your shoulders against the rest of your body (ie lean forward on the backswing), which is essential for strong casts.

If you've never done these before, I'd reccomend against doing them without somebody there to spot.
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