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Hip Alignment

Discussion in 'Coach Forum' started by coachmolly, May 8, 2017.

  1. coachmolly

    coachmolly Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    I have 2 girls with a similar but opposite problem regarding hip alignment and need some new ideas.

    Kid 1 struggle with flexibility, has worked really hard to get her split almost down. She works lots of kicks working on not letting her hips swing out, but still really struggles- split leaps, split jumps, even stepping out of handstands. She also has feet that turn in. We have a PT that comes into the gym periodically and I had him take a look at her once to try to get some ideas as I have a hunch much of it is structural- he just told her she needed to squeeze her core during skills :confused: Needless to say, I'm looking for some more ideas- especially as we plan to spend the summer working really hard on split leaps & jumps.

    Kid 2- Super flexible with no control over her flexibility. In a bwo her legs just sort of fall into an oversplit, knocking her hips out of line in the process. I've looked into some end range hip strength drills from SHIFT, but she's only 7 and I'm not entirely sure she'll really grasp the concept. Currently she's working on single leg lifts (foot starts up on a block & taps, holds the last one) to work on control- any other ideas?
     
    PinPin likes this.

  2. eucoach

    eucoach Coach Coach Judge

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    Kid 1: Keep working, be patient, it will come. Some kids take forever to develop proper active flexibility and even longer to figure out how to use it in jumps and leaps. Look for proper take-off positions and yes, a tight core!

    Kid 2: She's only 7....don't let her do too many things where she can easily turn out her hips. Spot her back walkovers if you have to do them. Don't let her do splits with turned out hips at all. Make sure to work on her core strength. I have a kid like that who is already 10 and the main reason for her problems is a lack of core strength and core control. She cheats on core conditioning a lot so I hope that's not the case with your gymnast.
     
  3. coachmolly

    coachmolly Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    Thanks. Kid #1 is almost 11, she is a great, really hard working kid. Pretty strong, great body control, good at squeezing- I just worry I'm letting her down by not addressing the issue more. Her split jumps are actually pretty good (which is the one skill PT asked to watch). Stepping out of handstands on beam is a disaster which is my primary worry at the moment. Also injury. She has complained a little about knee pain and I worry the turned in feet/wonky hips are contributing factors.

    Kid #2 is also a great worker, not a cheater at all. She absolutely does need to get stronger- she was a late addition to her group and has some catch up work to do. That group doesn't do a ton of walkovers, but I do spot them and try to stop and point out when her hips turn. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything crucial.
     
  4. eucoach

    eucoach Coach Coach Judge

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    Ok, then I would watch Kid 1's take-off position on split and switch leaps carefully. Is she leaning forward? Not jumping before she tries to go into a split? I'm not really sure what you mean by stepping down out of handstands.....is she not trying to splitting her legs before stepping down or is she not holding up her back leg?

    With Kid 2 I would also look carefully at her hips when she steps in and out of handstands. I feel that most kids with either too much or limited flexibility turn their hips out a lot on this.
     
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  5. coachmolly

    coachmolly Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    I've been watching Kid #1 carefully on handstands, and it's even worse than I had realized. Essentially, as soon as her first foot leaves the floor for a handstand her hips twist several inches. When I pull her hips back into line she can feel the movement, but says she can't feel it when she just does her normal handstand without correction. I don't know that I've ever seen anything quite like it.
    I'm thinking some more active flex might help at least a little? Maybe working not just front/back/side kicks but also adding in more needle kicks?
     
  6. eucoach

    eucoach Coach Coach Judge

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    That sounds as if she might not be engaging her butt when lifting/swinging her back leg. Watch out for that on her leg swings. I would focus on doing bw. leg lifts and make sure she is using her muscles and not momentum. Needle kicks are fine, but it is very easy to turn out the hips without neither the gymnast nor the coach noticing.
     
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  7. coachmolly

    coachmolly Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    Thanks! I'm the only coach while the girls are warming up/conditioning, so my attention is very much divided and things get missed. I've been watching her closely for the last few practices which is discouraging for her to have the coach following her around. I'm really hoping the summer schedule allows for some changes so I can monitor girls better on stretching and strength.
     
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  8. txgymfan

    txgymfan Moderator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Coach Proud Relative

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    Could you pair all the girls to monitor certain things that need improvement? For some it could be hips, others flexibility, etc?
     

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