The 10 Best Gymnastics Bars
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in February of 2016. If you have a tumbling tot in the family, you may be interested in these gymnastics bars. We've included affordable models suitable for home sessions and sturdier options that will work well for clubs, schools, and training facilities. If used properly and safely under adult supervision, these will help a young gymnast improve his or her overall skill level through practice and repetition. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 05, 2020:
Whilst prioritizing safety, in this round of updates we also tried to strike a balance between professional models, likely to be used in training facilities, and some less expensive varieties that would be suitable for home practice, as well as including selections that come with and without tumbling mats.
In the interest of variety, we removed the Gymmatsdirect Practice as it has a very similar design to the Z-Athletic Expandable, which we retained. Both sport a steel frame, a fiberglass bar and come with a mat, however, the latter offers far more color combinations and lists both its static load and working load capacity, which is beneficial information when looking for a safe piece of apparatus for your little one.
If you don't have the space to leave this equipment up constantly, a selection that is easy to store is well worth a look, as is an inflatable gym mat. We added the Pregymnastic Junior as its six-foot-deep base is consistent with other popular choices, like the Tumbl Trak Junior Pro, however, it can be folded into a compact form, and the inclusion of wheels makes it hassle-free to put away. We also added a budget-friendly collapsible option in the KidoGym Expandable, which replaced the Reliancer Tower as a sturdier selection than its predecessor.
The Milliard Professional was dropped due to availability concerns and this final removal made way for the Tumbl Trak 5-in-1, which caught our eye due to its versatility and thus its ability to serve both beginner and advanced gymnasts. You'll notice this company now grabs three of our ranking positions, the other two being the Tumbl Trak Junior Kip and the Tumbl Trak Junior Pro. Though they require a decent financial investment, their robust construction makes them ideal for professional training outfits as they are proven to stand the test of time.
August 15, 2019:
We removed a couple items due to availability issues, a lack of stability, and other quality concerns. In filling out the rest of the list, we included bars for different age groups, two models that fold up for storage and transport, and a few that come with a gym mat so you don’t have to purchase that item separately.
The Reliancer Tower is one of the aforementioned folding models. It’s quite affordable when compared to many of the other options, and it addresses slippage concerns with its skid-resistant rubber floor pads. In terms of non-folding bars, the Gymmatsdirect Practice is a nice value too, though we did come across some complaints about its paint chipping off.
We noted that the Shiwei Kip comes with a swing attachment that transforms the bar into a mini swing set, which is a feature we didn’t see in any other models. In reviewing the Milliard Professional, we learned that users love its vibrant range of colors, simple assembly process and impressive stability, so we moved it up a bit in the rankings.
Gibson Athletic This is no entry level series from Gibson Athletic — these sets of bars are geared toward experienced gymnasts who want to take their training regimen to the next level. You can choose from single, uneven and parallel bar models as well as a wall-mounted horizontal bar option. gibsonathletic.com
Health Benefits Of Gymnastics Bars
Gymnasts are well known for their flexibility, and it is their regular practice which helps to keep them so flexible.
A gymnastics bar is a key component in any gymnast's training arsenal. Gymnasts are typically very dedicated to their craft, and this dedication shows in how physically healthy they become while practicing.
Gymnasts are more likely to experience a higher number when using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale than with other exercises. Gymnasts will often experience increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, sweating, and muscle fatigue. This is why gymnastics is usually considered a heart healthy exercise.
Gymnastics also engages the mind. A recent study found that physical activity levels have a direct influence on the mind of young children. Researchers found that overall, children spend 75.5 percent of their day inactive. Only between one and two percent of the average child's day is spent doing real physical activity. This is unfortunate, because their research found that children with higher activity levels are more likely to believe that they can succeed in specific situations and participate in social behaviors than children who stay sedentary throughout the day. An increase in physical activity was also related to an increase in general self esteem. This is just one more reason why physical exercise is so important for children.
Exercises like gymnastics are also important to prevent disease. Preventative measures can be taken to fight health ailments like obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and asthma. In addition to exercise, people should also follow a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep.
Gymnasts are well known for their flexibility, and it is their regular practice which helps to keep them so flexible. Regular practice in flexibility allows gymnasts to regularly twist, jump, flip, and generally experience the full range of motion the body can offer. This increased range of motion helps to prevent common injuries such as muscle tears, sprained ankles, and strained joints and ligaments.
Increasing flexibility on the bar also promotes healthy joints by transferring stress from these joints to the well-toned muscles around them. Weight bearing exercises like bar gymnastics can also increase bone density and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in their later years. Because this activity involves only body weight, the stress to the joints and bones is greatly reduced when compared to weight lifting.
How Do Gymnasts Prepare Gymnastics Bars?
When first starting out, many gymnasts will note that the horizontal and parallel bars get slippery when the body begins to sweat. This can cause unnecessary muscle strain as the hands, forearms, and shoulders need to overly exert themselves to keep the body stable.
In order to alleviate this problem, it is common for gymnasts to use the typical white gym chalk. The small, absorbent chalk particles have a large surface area for their size, allowing them to absorb the most water possible.
Some people use maple syrup, soft drinks, and even melted gummy bears to get their hands to the perfect level of stickiness.
There are different types of powders and chalks on the market, though magnesium carbonate chalk is favored by many athletes. Everyone from weight lifters to rock climbers favor magnesium carbonate to dry out the hands to keep them from losing grip.
While this is a common solution for many athletes, professional gymnasts also turn to unorthodox ways to prepare the gym bars. Olympic athletes can often be seen adding sugary mixes to their hands to help keep their grip as they do full swings, flips, and handstands. Some people use maple syrup, soft drinks, and even melted gummy bears to get their hands to the perfect level of stickiness. However, the general consensus is that honey is the best preparation for the average Olympic gymnast's bar. Luckily, this messy mixture is usually only necessary at high levels of performance.
While understanding of the science of gymnastics grows around many different topics, the one that seems to be left out is the science behind the hand grip. This may be because it is just as much superstition as it is actual science. One thing is certain, gymnasts are creative when it comes to giving themselves a sticky competitive edge.
Things To Look For In A Gymnastics Bar
It can be difficult to choose the best gymnastics bar for your home or club needs. While different things matter to different users; there are some general guidelines to use when choosing a gymnastics bar that will guarantee satisfaction with your purchase.
Other considerations are the quality of the bar itself and the support structure underneath the bar.
The first and possibly most important thing to consider when looking for a gymnastics bar is the quality of material and the build of the bar itself. As the gymnast will need to feel very safe with this bar, it is important to make sure it is in fact trustworthy. High-quality screws should be in place at every joint, with washers to help protect the bar from unnecessary force. It may seem a small piece, but washers play a very important role in keeping nuts and bolts from loosening over time, especially when so much momentum and force is being placed on them. It is important to check these fasteners every day, as vibration can gradually loosen them, but it is at a slower rate than not using washers at all.
This is just one example of the importance of the structural integrity of a gymnastics bar. Other considerations are the quality of the bar itself and the support structure underneath the bar. The in-home bar should at least be based on the regular horizontal bar used for gymnastics. The high bar or horizontal bar in gymnastics is set 2.8m off the ground. It is 2.8cm in diameter and 240cm long. For the bar of a young athlete, these measurements may not be exact, but it should duplicate the look and feel of the standard bars.
The support structure underneath the bar is an important consideration when looking to purchase one for home or club use. Support structures must be stable enough to prevent undesired movement as the athlete spins and twirls on them. Yet they also must have a certain measure of give to them to handle the load of the athlete over time without breaking. Users should also look see how their mats will fit underneath or around the bar. As mats are important to keep the impact to the knees while dismounting at a minimum and reducing the rate of injury, they cannot be overlooked.