A horizontal bar is an apparatus used within various elements of artistic gymnastics. Examples of such are Uneven Bar (WAG), High Bar and Parallel Bar (MAG). Whilst competition bar units need to conform to FIG specifications, home use bars are made in smaller sizes (width and length) to suit the needs and space limitations of the home environment. Most of these bar units are portable and height-adjustable, enabling them to grow in unison with your gymnast.
For practising bar skills at home, having a gymnastics bar to work on basic elements, and core and arm strength will make a difference to your gymnast’s rate of progression. Pullovers, casts, single-leg cuts, kips, and front hip circles are just some of the basic skills that can be practised on a home-use bar unit. To read about these movements in-depth, check out the blog here.
Now let’s take a look at the numerous bar options that are available in the Australian market.
Kip Bars are designed for little ones. These are budget-friendly bars for younger gymnasts just starting out. Lightweight and height adjustable, they are also easily dismantled and put away. Movements that can be performed on a Junior Kip Bar include glide swings, pike ups, pull ups, glide pikes and glide pike jams. For kip variations, check out this blog.
The Junior Horizontal Bar is ideal for the junior gymnast who is wanting to continue their training at home, and who needs a bar unit with a little extra weight and stability to cater to more energetic movements. These are heavier in deadweight (50kg+), and with a longer base than the kip bar. They also have a high quality fibreglass-core rail, which replicates the style of rail used in club training, with the same diameter ( 40mm). Adjustable in height to 150cm.
You can learn how to cast on these bars, as well as perfect your underswing dismount.
Best suited to mature and growing, female and male gymnasts. This bar has an adjustable height (150cm - 195cm), and a fibreglass core rail of 170cm in length. Movements that are best performed on this bar include cast to handstands, clear hip to handstands, flyaways, and stems. Click here for more high bar drills and skills.
This versatile unit can be used as both a Parallel and Uneven Bar. Twin fibreglass rails, that can be adjusted in both height and width, to a max height of 150cm. ¾ Giants, Gliding, Pirouettes, and handstands are just some of the movements that are performed on this bar. For uneven bar training drills, check this blog.
When choosing a gymnastics bar unit for home use, it’s important to take into account the purpose, the space you have, the size of the bar (height and weight limits), its features, the warranty, how it’s constructed and the overall build quality of the bar. Always consult with your child’s coach as to what exercises are appropriate for his or her skill level and age.
Keep your gymnast moving with Gymnastics Direct's wide range of bar and mat combos! Check it out here.