Gymnastics and the uneven bars

I was watching a gymnastics contest the other day, and noticed that the uneven bars that those pubescent-stunted muscle-bound ladies are now too far apart for them to swing from the top bar and crush their stomachs into the lower bar… when did they change this? I don’t usually pay attention to gymnastics, so this change may have occured years ago… but if I remember correctly they once did the swing and stomach crush thing, right? Or am I dreaming?

And also, can you tell me why they changed this? (I mean other than the seemingly obvious health risks.) Did someone rupture an internal organ or something?

I think I know the move you’re talking about, but I haven’t really noticed the change. Can taller gymnasts still do the move? Maybe it got kind of outdated - like, people invented more difficult tricks so that particular move is no longer popular. But that’s just my WAG.

Sucks to your assmar.

The reason they keep moving the bars farther apart is that they need to be that far in order to accomplish the new, more difficult tricks. Particularly the release moves. The simple ‘swing around the low bar’ was a sacrifice that had to be made to accomodate the new stuff.

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

BeefyMeg- your sig rules…love it!!!

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

I didn’t know they had moved the bars; I thought they just kept shoving younger kids into the contests until they hadn’t grown up enough to reach.


I definitely noticed the elimination of that stomach-slamming move (the most painful looking move of the lot, I always thought) a good decade or more ago. Now they avoid the shorter bar by lifting their legs over it.

I’m not sure if they actually space the bars further apart - however the bars are different distances and heights depending on the age group (or height?) of the girls.

“Waheeey! ‘Duck!’ Get it?”
“Errr… No…”
“Duck! Sounds almost exactly like fu-”

From the official web site of USA Gymnastics, the governing body for the sport in the US.

They don’t say if there are minimum distances, nor whether or not there was a lesser maximum in the past.

While I can’t provide you a cite (though I imagine the USA Gymnastics cite covers it) I am a huge gymnastics fan and watch every competition I can. It has been discussed by announcers, gymnasts and coaches in recent years that they have been moving the bars further and futher apart in order to enable the little tykes to do more difficult tricks. Trust me on this one.

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

The stomach crunching move was a popular move in the 70’s and into the 80’s, but with moves getting more and more technical, it looks a little outdated against some of the two hand release while ordering an expresso move that we see alot of today.

I enjoy gymnastics greatly, though since the last Olympics, I haven’t really been into it that much. I blame Kerry Shrug :)Actually, I blame the media for poisoning the event with picking a hero before the damn games even begin…grumble.

If you get a chance to watch a video, always shown in conjunction with Gymnastic events, it’s called something like, " The History of Gymnastics." I think there are now three volumes. I have the first one which is from the introduction of gymnastic in the 1960 (?) Olympics.

It’s a total hoot to watch this teenage athlete with a beehive hairdo do not so much a tumbling run on the floor, but a lame dance interpretation. Even out of shape, I could probably do most of the girls moves then, sans beehive. The uneven bar routine was very choppy with the girls stopping from the low bar to stand up and grabbing the high bar to continue on. It wasn’t until some Slovic/German (?) gymnast in a late 60’s competition introduced the free flowing movement with no hesitations that we are familiar with today. ( She received low marks because no one had ever done something like that before.) It was Olga and Nadia that changed the focus and energy levels of this sport entirely. The history is excellent and goes all the way through to the mid eighties. It’s about 90 minutes long. If I had a disposable income, I’d buy the other two tapes. ( Mid eighties onward) It also covers briefly the mens gymnastic team too, but, I mean, who cares about those guys :slight_smile:
Also, for skating fans, there is a “Memories on Ice” which is now in several volumes and covers the beginning of ice skating
( Women’s, mens and pairs)in the olympics to the end of the 1980’s. The only downer for the tape is that the commentator is Dick Buttons and he is a condescending prick at times.


Can you give me some information about how to order those videos? I’d love to have them.

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization