Uneven bars is a women's artistic gymnastics event. It's the second apparatus, competed after vault in Olympic order (vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floor). It is sometimes called the "uneven parallel bars", "asymmetric bars", or simply "bars".
The Uneven Bars:
Types of Uneven Bar Skills:
In a release move, a gymnast lets go of the bar and then regrasps it. She can perform a release move from the high bar to the low bar, from the low bar to the high bar, or within the same bar. Common release moves are the Jaeger, Tkatchev/reverse hecht, Gienger, Pak salto, and Shaposhnikova. Skills are named after the first person who submits it and successfully performs it, so these release moves are named after past gymnasts.
A pirouette is when a gymnast turns on her hands while in the handstand position. She may use a variety of different hand positions during the turn.
A Bar Routine:
- The Mount
The majority of gymnasts simply hop onto the low bar or high bar and get started. Sometimes, though, a gymnast will do a more interesting mount, such as jumping over the low bar or even doing a flip to catch the bar. (Check out this cool montage of uneven bar mounts.)
- The Routine
A bar routine consists of about 15-20 skills and should flow from one move to the next and use both bars. There shouldn't be any pauses or extra swings. There is no time limit on bars, but routines usually last about 30-45 seconds.
Combining two or more skills together earns the gymnast a higher difficulty score, and you'll see many gymnasts attempt pirouettes immediately into release moves, or even pair multiple release moves. Good form is important throughout -- the judges are looking for straight legs, pointed toes, and an extended body in handstand positions.
- The Dismount
The gymnast lets go of the bar, performs one or more flips and/or twists, and lands on the mat below. Both height and distance from the bar are judged. The goal of every gymnast is to stick the landing on her dismount -- to land without moving her feet.
The Best Bar Workers:
Perhaps the best ever on bars was Russian Svetlana Khorkina. Khorkina won two Olympic golds (1996 and 2000) and five world golds (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001) on the event.