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Building a bar for home use?

Discussion in 'Question & Answer' started by lilgymnast7, May 24, 2009.

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  1. lilgymnast7

    lilgymnast7 Guest

    Hi! I was wondering if their is any way to build a gymnastics bar for home use. I have been looking around and I am considering buying a 1.5 inch wood. I would some how need to figure out how to build a base and the 2 supporting legs. Anyone have any ideas? I plan on constructing it first then finding out whether it would be safe or not. I would want the weight limit to be 100 pounds. If anyone has built a bar please let me know how thanks!!

  2. bogwoppit

    bogwoppit Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Former Gymnast

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    Canada Canada
    It6 is a really bad idea to have a bar at home for anything other than chin ups etc. Doing bar skills without a coach on safe equipment is just asking for trouble. There are bars that are available for home use, those are intended for small, light kids and basic skills.

    There are lots of things you can work on at home to improve your bar work without using a bar. Press to handstand, planches, hollow body rocks just to bane a few.

    You could buy a chin up bar for the door way, doing chn ups and leg lifts will also build your strength.

    But please do not build a home bar, way too scary.
  3. gym law mom

    gym law mom Active Member Proud Parent

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    ITA with Bog. Stay away from doing skills on a bar at home. The bars that are sold for home use are the ones used by gyms for their pre-k classes. These are not intended for an older child or one that is doing any kind of swing/circling skills. Trying to work bars at home is an invitation to injury or learning the skill incorrectly and then having to get a coach to work harder and longer with the child to get it the right way.
  4. gymnast695

    gymnast695 Member

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    my dad built me a bar at home! i know it's very unsafe to have one, but i dont do any hard skills, mostly just kips. he dug about 3 feet into the ground and put posts into it, then put holes in posts and inserted the bar, then somehow screwed the bar on. it sounds un-safe, but it is quite sturdy and i am smart enough not to do any spinning things on it! i mostly do kips and conditioning on it! i know doing any harder skill will obvsiously lead to injury!

  5. munchkin3

    munchkin3 Active Member Proud Parent

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    My son wants one too......our idea was just to have one like at the playgrounds....2 posts dug 3 ft in the ground with concrete footing....steel bar no more than 4 or 5 ft up over the grass......Obviously only easy skills under supervision...I find my boy is actually more aware of the danger of what he is doing than I am...
    I saw another one in AG magazine (american gymnast?)
    It is a BIG a A frame that folds flat....metal too....The A frame is very wide at the base...maybe 10 ft or more....obviously for stability.

    Other than that, anything complicated is just too dangerous....only for kips and small swinging.....maybe 1/2 turns.....Nothing with spins...
  6. rocky

    rocky Coach Coach

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    Australia Australia
    I guess it is a bit dangerous, but I had one at home when I was young. It was a great help with learning kips. My dad put concrete around the base and it was really stable. I think I may have used it for shoulder flexibility as well.
  7. BlairBob

    BlairBob Guest

    I would rather kids not work skills at home mainly because of technique and safety.

    Besides that though, my friend has a bar in his workout garage that is anchored to the ceiling very sturdily. Big wood beams and what not. Sometimes I'll do the compulsory routine and he has swung giants on it but the landing area is non existent. Slip and break someting.

    I don't really see a problem with kids doing casting on a bar. Or just hanging. No circling in my opinion though I hear they do it at school. :mad:
  8. Tim_Dad

    Tim_Dad Member

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    Being a woodworker, I pondered the idea for a while, ended up just buying it (blue one off Ebay). This one is fairly good, esp for very small kids, but required modifications beyond the avg 60 lbs 8 - 9yr old.

    Couple of issues I found first hand after researching, and buying.

    Bar length. Needs to be at LEAST 56" wide -- or wider. Otherwise can't do leg cuts (L3 & L4), and the risk of hitting the support post is higher.

    Height: Should be fully supported at (at least) 56" high. Any lower and you can't do glide kips properly, or worse - it'll force bad or incorrect form with can be expensive in gym time to correct.

    Bar strength - Gymnastic (FIG spec) bars aren't solid wood. They are a fiberglass core, with a hard maple (Acer saccharum) veneer. This is for strength and rigidity across it's length. A 1 1/2" solid hard maple bar at 60" would flex almost 2" at the center with only 50 lbs of downward force. Not good. In fact, that's scary. This is the main reason why some of the cheaper "home bar" systems are so narrow. A 48" solid wood bar would only flex about 3/4" at 50 lbs which is fine for pre-schoolers. Also - practicing on a non-spec bar would be like practicing a beam routine on a 2x4. It's not the same - so why bother. Unless she can do the routine - as expect at the gym, there is no point.

    Last on this: 1 1/2" Hard maple dowels arent exactly cheap -- or easy to find. You need to go to a real lumber yard -- not Lowes or HD. Pine would snap easily and Oak will splinter.

    The support system needs to be ancored or engineered so that both side supports hold as a single unit, rather then individual post. This problem is common with ALL purchased home bars. Weight isn't the only problem. The problem is it's base support needs to be wide enough to hold the vertical axis AND the weight times enercia of the gymnast - which could be well over 120 lbs for a typical 8-10 yr old doing a front hip circle. (physics of motion).

    On ours, we FILLED the base tubes with concrete AND added steel cross supports to each side, effectively strapping both "legs" together. The straps are flat steel, and they run under the mats. The bar was about 75 lbs total before the modification. Now, EACH support is about 120 lbs. This made it at least usable.

    Safety issues. You've heard about em, read about em, and are warned.

    Imagine this: Your DD does a squat-on, and then jump to the floor. Sounds like fun right? Sure. Now image if one or both of her feet hook UNDER the bar, instead of on top. This means she's headed right to the floor - face first. Something like that could be life-altering. Scares the ..... you know what ... out of me. Even with rules, it doesnt mean she (or worse...a friend that has no training) will try anyway.

    I mean, saying "I told you so!" doesn't help with her broken arm or face.

    Which comes to my last observation: Mats.

    2" (min) soft mats aren't optional - they are an absolute, don't try it without it, requirement. Fan-fold mats wont do it either. Those are made for tumbling... not protect from falling. Basically, they are too hard to provide much any protection.

    This however is the EASY part. So after reading all this, and your still interested, PM me. I can share how to make your own mats that are as good as the gym (if not better) for FAR FAR less then you could ever buy.
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  9. gymbug86

    gymbug86 Member

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    you really know your stuff! Tim_dad!!
  10. BlairBob

    BlairBob Guest

    Actually, a low bar isn't a bad thing as it will teach them to properly do a glide kip and not something more like a long hang kip. Pike-extend. This kind of kip is becoming a thing of the past because so often they are so young and tiny when the low bar of the UB is dropped all the way down that they don't have to glide.

    GymnasticBodies.com • View topic - My outdoor Pull-up/Rings/Rope Climbing Station
  11. gymnasticslvr21

    gymnasticslvr21 Member

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    My dad built me a bar and that is how he built it too! He also nailed some nails in by the bar so it would not twist. He used a gas pipe for the bar so there was no way it could break. I like it because what ever I do on it is a thousand times easier at the gym because the bar does not bounce!
  12. dunno

    dunno Well-Known Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast Club Owner

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    bluee, is English NOT your 1st language?
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