In-Bar Moves; Clear Hip Circle, Sole Circle & Stalder Circle

The clear hip circle, sole circle and Stalder (straddle seat) circle are the most common skills used as in-bar moves on Uneven Bars.

The clear hip circle is the most popular move worked first by all gymnasts.
The reason for this, is that the progressive skills such as back hip circle is used in the low level routines and all the gymnasts have an opportunity to work on the backward hip circle more frequently.

On the other hand, the sole circle and the Stalder circle are much harder skills to learn for most beginner gymnasts. The basic circle on the sole support or straddle seat support requires much more strength and body control to go around the bar.

Technically, starting from the handstand and finishing in the handstand is equally hard on all three skills, but due to the familiarity of the skill and the frequency of work on the progressive stages, many more gymnasts will learn the clear hip circle to handstand before the other two skills.

In order to develop the other two skills the gymnasts must spend some time working on the progressions for the sole circle or Stalder circle.

The gymnasts who are talented will learn the clear hip circle to handstand or near handstand relatively quickly and will start working on the progressions on the sole circle and the Stalder circle. All these skills are best learned them on the strap bar.

The details of the technique and the progressions for these skills will be discussed in a separate issue, but the process of learning is very much the same for sole circle and the Stalder circle.

There are many skills that can be developed from these three in-bar skills once you learn them and become proficient.

For example, if you add a blind turn to these 3 skills each skill will be called different names i.e. clear hip blind, sole circle blind or Stalder blind. Each skill will be listed in a different box and the gymnast will have 3 more skills in her repertory of skills.

Naturally, each skill will be different to learn, but once you have mastered one skill the other 2 skills will easily be mastered as well.

Some of the common moves added to these in-bar moves are Tkatchev (straddle, pike or layout), blind full, bar change low to high bar as well as hop change to under bar grip.

This is quite a list of skills that can potentially be developed once the gymnast learns the in-bar moves well enough.

However, I should mention that the sole circle is a more popular skill to use for the Tkatchev since the consistency of the flight is very critical for the big release move. Using the sole circle seems to give the gymnast better control of the speed and the power to make a consistent Tkatchev.

Among the elite gymnasts all the in-bar skills are quite evenly used in various skills and combinations.

So, the development of these basic in-bar skills should be a high priority for the gymnast who aspires to develop a strong optional bar routine.

Have fun coaching!

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