Top 23 Gymnastic Moves on Bars

Every gymnast looks for new moves to learn and ways to keep their beloved activity fresh and interesting.

Maybe you have already mastered all the cool gymnastic moves on the floor.

Maybe you already looked up an ABC gymnastic moves list to complete the gymnastics moves a-z challenge. 

If you’re bored of your beam skills gymnastics and hard gymnastics moves on floors, then maybe this list of “Top 23 Gymnastic Moves on Bars” will be just the thing for you. Although this is not a comprehensive gymnastic skill list by level, there is something here for everyone of all experience levels. 

1. Pull Over

There are 10 basic levels in gymnastics. Beyond basic level 10 is junior and senior elite. A great place to start if you have no experience or you are looking for some gymnastic moves for kids is level 1 gymnastic bar skills. The pull over is one of the requirements for level one.  To see all level one gymnastic bar moves you can find a lot by looking up “gymnastic videos level 1 bars” such as Fit and Fun With Coach Meggin’s video “Gymnastics Level 1 Bar Routine With Coach Meggin!”  

A pull over is where you start with grabbing the bar with your fingers facing away from you and kick your legs up, legs straight and toes pointed. Your momentum will help you flip over the bar. Once you are completely over, straighten your arms to cause your torso to be over the bar. You should finish looking like this:

2. Cast

If you are looking for more gymnastic bar skills at home, another level 1 gymnastic move is the cast.  This is a move that is needed to do many other more complex moves. This move you start in the support position. Again, with pointed straight legs you are going to swing them forward in front of you some to give yourself some momentum while your arms are straight in preparation to swinging your legs backwards. This should pull your hips off the bar. Although if you’re just starting out your body may not come nearly as far off the bar as the girl featured below, this is what you are going for. Immediately after you return to the same support position you started in. 

3. Backwards Hip Circle

Another easy gymnastic bar trick is the backward hip circle. Before we can do a backwards hip circle we have to know how to do a hip circle. The hip circle is where the gymnast circles the bar with their hips against the bar. The hips can also be away from the bar, where it will be called a “free hip circle”. Although the below image shows starting at a more outstretched position, you should start learning this move from the front support position where your torso is above the bar, hips touching the bar, and arms straight. Backward hip circles are just another form of hip circles where you are going, you guessed it, backwards. Instead of going around the bar with your hips touching head forward, you would be going around the bar with your hips touching but head backwards.

4. Underswing Dismount

Like the name suggests, an underswing dismount is a dismount where you swing under the bar. A good way to get to this move is by using double back hip circles. Once you are able to smoothly do two of these back to back, try pulling your body away from the bar on the second back hip circle, and swing out from under the bar and land. This is another level 1 requirement. 

5. Leg Cut

The leg cut is a gymnastic move required to be able to do the following two moves. This is how you get one leg above the bar while keeping the other leg below the bar. In the forward support position (arms straight, torso above the bar) you lift your leg to the side and up and around the bar while keeping your leg straight. You do not want to move your hips too far from the gymnastics bar. Although these may not seem like the best gymnastic moves, they are the fundamentals that let you continue on to bigger and better things. 

6. Single Leg Basket Swing

The single-leg basket swing is very useful for helping to transfer to more “above the bar” moves (where much of your body will be above the bar instead of below it or only hip height). You begin with one leg over the bar while holding the bar with straight arms and get there with a leg cut. With your knee hooked over the bar, you swing backward until you are upside-down, then back up. This small taste of “above the bar” moves is probably why it is a requirement for level 2.

7. Mill Circle

This is another level 2 gymnastic move to help introduce gymnasts to “over the bar” moves. Again, you start with one leg over the bar. This time the leg over the bar is going to start parallel to the ground with the other leg pointing down in a 90-degree angle. While keeping the torso straight over the gymnastic bar, you swing forward and around back to the position you started in. The legs will leave the 90-degree position towards the end to a smaller angle but will never be straight together nor hooked over the bar like with the single-leg basket swing. 

8. Long Hang Kip 

A long hang kip starts from a hanging position on the bar and transitions into a front support position. This is done by bringing your legs up to the bar first, then your hips while still rotating, then pulling the upper body and torso over the bar as you become upright again. 

9. Backwards Sole Circle

Some of the best gymnastic moves are found at mid-levels. The backward sole circle is a level 5 gymnastic move and starts completely above the bar. The gymnast places the soles of their feet on the bar with straight legs along with their hands. In this folded position they then swing backward and completely around the bar. 

10. Blind Change

During a blind change, the gymnast switches their grip so they can change the direction they are facing. A blind change is also called a blind turn. A blind change is used in a backward giant with a half twist, a great move.  When the blind change starts, the gymnast will switch their grip from one where their thumbs are pointed in towards the center of the gymnastic bar to one where they are facing out. A lot of versatility can be put into routines once this is mastered. 

11. Cast to Handstand

Now we move on to hard gymnastic moves. We already know what a cast and handstand is, but they are much more difficult when combined. The gymnast must ensure that they keep their body straight and tight. Casts to handstands are found in many level 7 routines. When this is done the cast transfers into a straddle position before extending into a headstand position. 

12. Giant

Another common level 7 gymnastic move is the giant. This is where you circle the bar completely outstretched in a handstand position. You must be sure to keep your hips in line with your shoulders and build up momentum. Your abdominal muscles will contract some on the upswing to complete the full 360 degrees. 

13. Stalder Circle

Like the giant, the stalder circle goes completely around the bar 360 degrees with the arms outstretched. The big difference is that instead of being in the handstand position, the gymnast will be in a condensed straddle support position, like the girl shown below is doing on a beam. Of course, you will be on a bar and circling it, not a beam, but the position is still the same. 

 

14. Toe Hecht

A toe hecht or toe shoot is a way to transition from the low bar to high bar. You start in a handstand on the low bar, swing forward and toe on before pushing your body out straight while directing your toes to the high bar. As you release the low bar, you go into a straddle position and then bring your legs back to straight behind you as you grab the high bar. 

 

15. Salto Dismount

Salto dismounts are a requirement for level 10, the last of the basic levels. Salto moves are where the gymnast keeps their body in a tucked position and does a flip over an imaginary bar instead of the gymnastics bar. For example, you could do a flip in the are in a tucked ball position over the low bar after releasing the high bar like the dismount in the video below. To gain full points in competitions where you use this move, you have to ensure that you do not sway forward or backwards when you land and that you land with both feet on the mat. 

 

16. Tucked Jaeger- 

Gymnastic high bar release moves are, without a doubt, difficult and the tucked jaeger is particularly so. The tucked jaeger requires the gymnast to swing backward and on the upswing release the bar, do a backflip, and grasp the bar again. The tucked jaeger is considered a C value skill in competitions. 

  1. Flyaway with 360 Degree Twist. 

A flyaway is where you start with a forward swing and release from a high bar or uneven bars and as you are going to land you finish with a backflip off of the bar like shown in the image below. When doing a fly away with a 360-degree twist, you are going to do the same thing but except you will be twisting 360 degrees as you flip.  This is considered a B valued salto dismount. 

17. Straddle Back

The straddle back is a flight skill. To perform a straddle back you start on the high bar and swing backward. When you gain enough momentum you release the high bar and push backward going into a straddle positing while “flying” over the low bar. You grasp the low bar as you fall down the opposite side of it. 

18. Backward Giant Circle to a 180 Degree Twist. 

A backward giant is the same as a giant except you’re going backwards. When you add a 180 degree twist, also known as a half twist, you will do a backwards giant until you are completely upside down in the handstand position, do a blind change, then complete the giant. 

19. Cast to Horizontal

A cast to horizontal is a clear support skill finished with a horizontal or higher. Casts are fairly difficult to get to horizontal or above and require a lot of core strength. The girl shown hereonly made it to about 45 degrees where you have to get it to 90 degrees or more to pull this off. 

20. Endo with Half Turn

An endo with a half turn is among the most difficult moves on bars. Starting at a handstand position, the gymnast goes backwards as if starting a backwards giant but instead folds their body into a condensed straddle position before opening it back into the handstand position at the top vertical position before doing a blind change. 

21. Piked Stalder 

The piked stalder is much like the stalder except for that the body can only be bent at the hips. During the piked stalder the legs are kept together but the body is folded together just like it would be for the normal stalder. This means that the legs, since they are longer than the arms, will be between and through the bar and your body. 

22. Round-off, Arabian Salto Over Low Bar to Hang on High Bar

If you thought it couldn’t get any cooler or more difficult, you were sadly mistaken. The round off, arabian salto over the low bar to hang on the high bar is considered a G valued mount. This starts with a round off, then starts the arabian salto with a backwards take off, twists 180 degrees, making it a forward salto. This is preformed over the low bar to hang on the high bar. WHOA!

 

 

 

Sources:

Gifs were taken from here https://wagymnastics.fandom.com/wiki/Uneven_Bars_Skills

Pullover photo taken from here https://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Pullover-on-Bars

Cast photo taken from here https://gymblogcentral.com/whats-your-bar-angle/

Single leg basket swing photo taken from here https://www.chalkbucket.com/forums/threads/single-leg-basket-swing.36293/

Giant photo was taken from https://gymnasticsprogressions.mykajabi.com/

Remaining still images were taken from here https://sportsaspire.com/gymnastic-moves