Gymnastic Bar is an integral part of the gymnastics and several exercises include the use of bars and they have been used in the sports since the ancient Greek era. Usually there are two types of Gymnastic bars used in the sport – Horizontal Bar which is fixed and Parallel Bars which can be set according to the need and the requirements of the gymnast performing on it.
Horizontal bar is also referred to as high bar and is used by the male gymnasts. It usually consists of a tough metallic bar held at a certain height parallel to the ground with the help of vertical supports and cables. The routines performed with the horizontal bars are considered to be one of the most exciting events in Gymnastics. The technical measurements of a Horizontal bar are as follows:
- Length: 2400 mm
- Height: 2780 mm
- Diameter: 28 mm
The Horizontal Bars were used throughout the Middle Ages by the Ancient Greeks and Romans but was initially introduced in gymnastics in 1793 and later developed further in 1811 by Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. A Grip usually refers to the style in which the horizontal bar is held by the gymnast. There are several types of grips depending on the type of skills to be performed. However, when the gymnasts perform with two horizontal bars set at different heights, they are known as Uneven bars.
Parallel bars were also invented and developed by Friedrich Ludwig. They were further made transportable and adjustable by Herman Kluge who used them in his gym. They are usually used in performing artistic gymnastics. It consists of two bars held parallel to each other at a height supported by metal framework. The bars are made of wood or coated with a layer of wood above other materials. The vertical members of the framework are made adjustable so that the height of the bars can be configured according to the height of the performer. The technical specifications of parallel bars are as follows:
- Length: 3500 mm with a variation of 10 mm
- Width: 40 mm with a variation of 1 mm
- Height of bar from the floor: 2000 mm with a variation of 10 mm
- Distance between the two bars: 420 – 520 mm (adjustable)
- Rounded Profile: 50 mm with a variation of 1 mm vertically with 40 mm with a variation of 1 mm horizontally
A performance on a parallel bar usually comprises of swinging skills on the hand, hanging positions and upper arm positions and might vary according the competitive levels of the athletes.
A routine performed on the parallel bar must contain one of the following elements:
- Thorough support or elements in support
- Under swings
- Long swings in hang, on one or both the bars
- Elements that start in the upper arm position
Moreover, Gymnastic Bar plays a really important part in the history of gymnastics making it so popular throughout the world.