For Coaches Looking for "fun" bars activities for L1-L2 girls

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Coach/Proud Parent
May 14, 2007
We're short staffed at our gym. I'm finding myself alone on bars more often than not lately.

I'm getting better at knowing what the L3-L4 is supposed to look like, and adding/learning a little more of the corrective action stuff as I go. Keeping these guys busy isn't too difficult.

I'll also add that our head coach does have a posted "day 1, day 2,", etc. workout posted at the event to follow.

I'm struggling a bit with the little ones. It's a pretty small group (4 or 5 girls usually), which helps.

The problem I'm finding is that we blow through the posted/required stuff pretty quickly. They are a pretty happy/smiley bunch, but being a little younger, boredom sets in pretty quick. This is compounded of course by my own developmental needs.

I guess I'm looking for tips in working with the youngest ones, and maybe a few "fun" activities/drills I can mix in along with the required daily drills.

Thanks in advance!


Try doing a game type workout, making a challenge, or having a contest with the gymnasts.
Jan 1, 2007
Hi, My daughter just turned 5 and one of the highlights of their workout is the handstand queen. they practice their handstands then at the end do a step kick handstand, whoever holds the longest is the queen and is the leader that class they LOVE this!
Jan 1, 2007
Ok with my above post lol. I forgot to add you need to adapt this to bars, in my daughters class they sometimes hang with their knees like a table with a foam block on top, i would say whoever holds this the longest is the queen of the day, builds strength and makes is more "fun"!


we have a hanging competition. 2 girls at a time. they can try and shake hands, or change position. our girls like this one.
Jun 29, 2007
I'm not all that familiar with your level system, but when we are at bars we set up a circuit and have the girl's rotate through different drills/ stations to keep them busy...some on actual bar and some on equipment....a lot of handstand work, even with the lower levels, on floor bars, against boxes,walls....body position drills...and then we work on our regular "bar" training...we also use foam block to aim for, bean bags...anything we can think of to be creative and fun!
Jun 13, 2007
My dd is 5 and is in a level 1-2 class, some of her favorite things to do on bar are the strength training drills. she loves to do bellybutton push ups and the switch arm monkeys (they use their hands to hang and monkey across the bar and when they switch arm position they turn from the front then to the back) does that make sense? :confused: Our gym doesn't promote the I am better than you attitude so they don't do contests with other gymnasts they challenge the girls to improve on their own skills and say "OK, if you can hold the handstand for 5 then try to add 5 more the next time" and the girl with the most improvement for the month is rewarded. It is still like a competition, but the girls feel more like they are in charge of the outcome, and they all have the same chance, instead of having 1 kid in the class who is the strongest and always wins. It seems to work great because each of the kids has been honored at least 1 time. also to promote the team spirit they let all the girls count for the one doing the challenge.
Jul 29, 2007

At my daughter's gym, they have 3 sets of bars. With the level 1's and 2's, they rotate to each bar. On the first, the coach is there to help with the routines. On the second set of bars, the girls practice their casts (10 or so) with a mat to stand on so they can just jump up to the bar, instead of doing a pullover. On the 3rd bar, they work on chin-up's. The 4 year olds do pretty well with the rotation (attention span), but the 5-7 year olds do great. Hope this helps!
Jun 20, 2007
Sydney, Australia
Games are a great idea, and competitive is good too.
(Carmansunshine, I can nod with what you're saying about I-am-better-than-you, which is what I fear when I play competitive games, but kids are pretty good at being positive competitive. They get over loss/victory pretty quickly. But if there's a bully situtation in the group, I'd pull it straight away).

*L hang/tuck hang monkey walks challenge.
*One on high, one on low (face each other): in L (or hang for HB), have a ball bean bag between their ankles, and they have to pass it.
*Set up a station for cast ons onto a crash mat (from front support):
Firstly on a line on the floor, then floor bar to mat, etc.
*Have them work with a buddy to 'check' their doing it right, also takes up time :D
*Circuits are the best idea. Maybe use:
1) the LB for casts, forward Roll to L.
2) HB L hang hold, or walking across the bar changing direction and grips (overgrip, 1/2 turn to mixed, 1/2 turn opp direction etc).
3) strength on mat
4) floor bar (buddy)- hands on bar, in front support. They have to keep a flat back, and practice different leans, to get used to the of leaning their shoulders over the bar (so small walks with feet).
5) Anything else you can think of (with so few gymnasts you may not need it).
This circuit also doesn't need a coach in any one spot.

I love using laminated pieces of paper and a white board marker so I can write down each station (so kids don't pester me with what they need to do). I explain at the start, give them the numbers (and they also like ticking off their tasks) and off we go.
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