High bar release moves, the pinnacle of uneven bars routines. Those death defying, edge of your seat moves that leave us oohing and aahing and picking our chins up off the floor.
Well, for this CGM and most gymnastics moms out there they are simply another reason to hold our breath and cover our eyes. I really do not know how I am going to watch from here on out. The skills my daughter is training and saying will be part of her routines this season terrify me. Nothing to do but trust her and her coaches and make sure to leave room for pacing and hiding around my viewing location at this seasons upcoming meets.
But, before we bury our heads in the sand, let’s take a look at the different high bar release moves being performed on uneven bars by our country’s best JO Level 10 gymnasts. There are a variety of skills for coaches and gymnasts to choose from and often times they will try a few out and see what works best for a particular kid, so don’t be alarmed or confused by what you see happening in the gym. Most level 10s will land on a skill that works well for them and go from there.
The best of the best often times will have a second high bar release in their back pocket and aspiring and competing elites may even have several in their repertoire to choose from and eventually may even put multiple into their routines, but wow that’s a whole different conversation. Let’s focus on those level 10s and the most common high bar release moves seen at that level.
The three most popular high bar release move options for women’s uneven bars are the Jaeger, Geinger and Tkatchev.
I took a look at the 2016 JO Nationals Uneven Bars Champions across all age groups including ties and these were the only three represented there with the Jaeger being the most popular.
Jaegers – 8
Tkatchev – 4
Geinger – 1
None – 2
This seems a good place to bring up the point that a high bar release is not a requirement of a Level 10 bar routine. Both the Junior B and Senior A Two releases are required but nothing says that you have to let go of and catch again the high bar. You can still have a 10 start value in a Level 10 Bar Routine with two bar transitions. An example would be an overshoot or pak salto and a toe shoot or Schaposch.
The Jaeger is a named skill performed in international competition for the first time by Bernd Jäger for the first time in 1974. It is a front somersault from a front giant. The gymnast starts in reverse or L grip and starts a front giant, letting go on the way up doing a front somersault in tucked, piked, straddle or layout position grabbing the bar again.
The Tkatchev is a named skill performed in international competition for the first time by Alexander Vasilyevich Tkachyov in 1977. The gymnast starts in a giant, letting go toward the top of the circle straddling over the top of the bar and grabbing the bar again on the way back down.
This element also have several other named variants. If performed out of a clear hip it is called a Hindorff, from a stalder a Ricna and from a Toe On it is called a Ray. You will see even more variants in elite gymnastics. Here is a good video showing these variants.
The Geinger is a named skill first performed in international competition by Eberhard Gienger. A Geinger is essentially a layout flyaway with a half twist at the end. The gymnast swings then releases as if to do a layout flyaway then twists halfway around to grab the bar again on the way back down.
A Deltchev is a named skill first performed in international competition by Stoyan Deltchev. This skill is very much like the Geinger but the half twist is before the somersault, not after. The gymnast swings down then releases twists and then somersaults, usually in a straddled position, then grabbing the bar on the way back down.
Still have questions?
I found a good video explaining the difference between the major release moves for women’s gymnastics and it shows the differences between them in a pretty good way. Please keep in mind that the difficulty assigned to the skills in this video is for the elite FIG scoring system.