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Fans Guide To High Bar

If you have not already read Fans Guide to the Code of Points - please do so as it will make this all much clearer.



High Bar is a perpetual fan favorite. Know for high-flying releases and heinous crashes, it's non-stop action. The metal bar is positioned 260 cm (~8' 7") off the mat and is generally kept very firmly in place using 4 cables that extend from its supports and bolt into the ground. The cables can be tightened/loosened somewhat to accommodate the preferences of different gymnasts.


In this most recent Code, it has become incredibly difficult to score well on High Bar for most athletes. A great HB routine will score around 15.5 or higher.


The 5 Element Groups that must be completed are:


  1. Long hang swings with and without turns (swinging around the bar)
  2. Flight elements (AKA "release moves" where the athletes let go of the bar, generally complete a flipping and/or twisting element and regrasp)
  3. "In bar" elements (easiest to identify when a gymnast straddles his legs and brings his feet close to the bar while continuing to rotate around)
  4. "Dorsal" hang elements or El-grip elements (put your hands over your head, palms facing in front of you. Now rotate your hands inwards until your thumbs are pointing away from your body and your palms face behind you. It's like that. Ouch.)
  5. Dismount


Also, connection bonus is achieved according to the following:


  • In-bar D, E, or F + Release D, E, or F = 0.2
  • Release D, E, or F + Release C = 0.1
  • Release D, E, or F + Release D, E, or F = 0.2


Here is a sample routine from 2007 World HB Champion and German phenom Fabian Hambuechen:







2007 World Gymnastics Championships
Men’s Horizontal Bar Final
A B   Score
1 HAMBUECHEN Fabian GER 7.000 9.250   16.250
2 PEGAN Aljaz SLO 6.800 9.025   15.825
3 MIZUTORI Hisashi JPN 6.800 8.975   15.775
4 ZONDERLAND Epke NED 6.900 8.800   15.700
5 WAMMES Jeffrey NED 6.400 8.750   15.150
5 POZZO Enrico ITA 6.200 8.950   15.150
7 MARAS Vlasios GRE 6.300 7.975   14.275
8 TOMITA Hiroyuki JPN 5.800 7.500   13.300



Notable Skills or Cominations performed in the 2004-2008 Code of Points:

  • Full Takamoto + Yamawaki. These are the fourth and fifth skills that Hambuechen does in the routine above. The first starts similarly to an "in bar" element and does a full turn on one are. It is then immediately followed by the release move where Hambuechen moves over the bar vertically and then does a half turn to catch the bar.
  • Kolman. This is the second skill Hambuechen does in his HB routine where he does a double back over the bar with a full twist and regrabs the bar.
  • Layout Double Double. This is the dismount also doen by Hambuechen. He will flip twice in with a completely straight body and also complete two full twists (720 degree turn).
  • Rybalko (Stalder Rybalko) to El-grip. This is a skill where the athlete does a 540 degree turn in total. An athlete will do 630 degrees, or so, and then place one hand on the bar and finish the turn as if it was a pirouetting skill. Fabian does a stalder rybalko to el grip after his kolman and a rybalko to el after his takachev release sequence.


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Gymnastics Huddle › Articles › Fans Guide To High Bar