This article contains the most efficient cast handstand drills for women’s uneven bars.
Daily Cast Handstand Drills
As part of our uneven bars system we address *the 4 basics to uneven bars* everyday; either in the event warm-up or throughout the workout in a sequence or as a side station. The other tip to the cast handstand drills is that we have our athletes do most of these drills in both over-grip and under-grip.
Cast Handstand Shaping Drill
There is a beginner and advanced version of this handstand shape hold drill/station. The beginner version has both legs tucked into the block. The gymnast should have their thumbs around the bar, shoulders fully extended, hollow upper body, legs tight together, toes pointed with the entire body “stacked” on top of the bar.
The advanced version of this drill has all the same form and shape expectations. The physical change is to extend one leg straight up above the bar. This should be performed equally on the right and left leg. (Don’t forget under-grip)
Cast Handstand Lean Drill
We use this drill as a side station for younger athletes to learn the lean or “tip” over the bar. We also use this cast handstand drill for front giants, so that makes it worth adding to your list of cast handstand drills. If you have a channel bar in your gym: this drill is a great side station for the next athlete waiting in line since they can usually just do this right on the side of the channel bar.
Stacking the Bar
The term “stacking” the bar is common lingo for our uneven bar workouts. Our definition of stacking the bar is putting the shoulders on top of the bar and unrolling or rounding the entire body directly on top of the bar. Hands, head, shoulders, back, hips, and legs all directly on top of the bar with the thumbs around the bar giving the athlete complete wrist control and the ability to hold the handstand in a stretched tall position.
- Slider Stacking – We start stacking the body with slider press handstand drills: stacking their body directly on top of their hands. (We buy our carpet sliders on amazon)
- Standing Stack on a Floor Bar – This drill we can really emphasize the unrolling of the body slow until the athlete understands her shapes and positions. Once this is accomplished, we increase the speed to make this drill simulate a real cast handstand.
- Standing Feet in Front Stack on a Floor Bar – This cast handstand drill is much more advanced than previous drill and will take some time for your athletes to find the correct upward push and hip/leg rotation.
- Round up Stack on a Floor Bar – This straddle cast handstand drill gets multi use as we use this drill for cast handstand half pirouettes which you can learn about in another post.
Cast Handstand Block Stack Drill
This is another version of stacking the bar, but I kept this cast handstand drill separate since this is one of my favorite handstand drills to help athletes find and hold their handstands. We use this drill for staddle cast handstands, cast handstand half pirouettes, and front giant half pirouettes. This cast handstand stacking drill adds the addition of the block on top and behind the bar requiring athletes to straddle and rotate their legs back together at the correct time. Remember to do these drills in both over-grip and under-grip.
Wall Handstand with Active Legs
This is a nice side station that helps the athletes to keep their legs active while they hold and maintain a proper cast handstand shape. The foam roller helps the athletes from pushing into the wall and helps keep them on top of the bar. This cast handstand side station is written into our lesson plans once per week.
Octagon Straddle Cast Handstand Drill Series
Step 1 in this drill series is the beginner step of leaning over the bar and traveling forward. This starts with straight arms and beginning that stacking shape by pushing the bar down and underneath the body as the athlete rolls over the bar maintaining clean form throughout.
Step 2 the intermediate portion looks like step 1 however we have our athletes get close to a 90-degree pike on top of the bar. We do not go to 90 because we want to reinforce the round stacking shape and not allow a pike/arch in the lower back.
Step 3 the advanced version of this drill again starts the same however now we go through step 2 and add the straddle stack to handstand and continue to fall over.
Cast Handstand Hold or Save Drill
This drill is a great drill for finding the cast handstand and getting athletes comfortable on top of the bar and slightly past handstand. We have the athletes stay stretched tall as they go past handstand and then lift their bodies straight up to handstand on top of the bar and pause. We want the athletes to keep their eyes on the bar in their hands and not pull their head across the bar.
Jump to Bar Cast Handstand Drill
This is my all-time favorite cast handstand drill for your athletes working and maintaining their kip cast handstands. The jump to the bar simulates the kip so we teach a straight arm pull to the bar. The feet must pike under the bar in front of the athlete with the toes pointed in a strong compression. Then the cast handstand is a matter of stacking the bar the way we have taught the athletes through the previous cast handstand drills.
Final Thoughts on the Cast Handstand on Uneven Bars
The cast handstand is something that can separate your athletes from everyone else doing the same skills or routines on uneven bars. Your athletes should be challenged to improve their cast handstands daily, weekly, monthly, forever.
Other events from How To Gymnastics:
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