Best Junior Gymnastics Bars

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

19 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
151 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best junior gymnastics bars

Last Updated November 2019

If your child enjoys gymnastics, having an apparatus at home so she can perfect her moves can be the best support you provide. A junior gymnastics bar can help her advance more quickly and with greater confidence, allowing her to enjoy more success and personal growth in the sport. Unless you're a coach, however, you might not know what to look for in a junior gymnastics bar.

You need a bar that is sturdy with an adjustable height. It should be the same diameter as the bar she trains on in gymnastics class, and it must be able to easily support her full weight. Additional features, such as rounded corners and flush hardware, will help prevent injuries.

If you'd like to learn more about the best features to look for in a junior gymnastics bar, continue reading. If you already know what you want, consider one of the options that we've highlighted.

Your child can train for gymnastics through other sports and activities such as dance, soccer, and basketball. Gymnastics doesn't have to be a year-round sport.

Three key factors to consider

It goes without saying that you want a sturdy, well-built junior gymnastics bar that will not be a safety hazard for your burgeoning gymnast. However, there are three other key factors that you need to keep in mind when shopping for a gymnastics bar.

Gymnastics level

There are 10 different Junior Olympic levels in gymnastics. Advanced gymnasts will be doing moves that place greater force on the bar. Different bars are designated as safe for different levels; therefore, a junior gymnastics bar that is recommended for a level-three gymnast would not be suitable for level four and above. It is essential to purchase a bar that is appropriate for your child's level.

Height adjustability

Your child will be taking gymnastics during her growing years. Because of this, consider getting a junior gymnastics bar that can grow with her. Some bars are fixed, and some offer a range between three and four feet. Some have kits that can be purchased down the road to extend the height even further. Consider your options carefully to make the best choice for your child.

Weight limit

The third key factor is weight limit. Be sure the bar that you buy is able to safely handle your child's weight. If your child is younger and you'd like your purchase to last a few years, keep that in mind when evaluating weight limits.

CAUTION

If the motivation to pursue a sport isn't coming from within, external pressure can be detrimental to a child's emotional growth.

Other considerations

Besides the three key factors, junior gymnastics bars have a number of other features you will want to consider. Following are the most important ones.

Edges and hardware

The best junior gymnastics bar for your child will be the safest. The apparatus should have rounded edges with nothing sharp or angular that could cause injury. Additionally, look for equipment that features flush hardware — the end of a protruding bolt could cause a great deal of pain even if it is just grazed by the gymnast’s ankle. Some gymnastics bars also come with soft covers for the height-adjustment knobs to help protect the gymnast from an injury.

Assembly

If your junior gymnastics bar is not going to be a permanent fixture in your home, you will want one that is quick to set up and easy to break down so you can store the apparatus as needed. Do not sacrifice a sturdy build for convenience, though, as that could create unsafe conditions for your child. Also, keep in mind that smaller junior gymnastics bars that take up less floor space might also be less stable.

Bar

Look for a junior gymnastics bar that is 1.5 inches in diameter. It needs to be strong yet flexible. A fiberglass bar with a wood coating is usually the best option.

The biggest reason for preteen burnout in gymnastics is getting serious at too early of an age.

Width

Many gymnastics mats are four feet wide. Because of this, most junior gymnastics bars are four feet wide, so it will be easy to find a mat that provides adequate protection.

Color

If your child wants a purple bar but gets a pink one, she's not going to be happy. If the junior gymnastics bar you are considering comes in a variety of colors, confer with your child to pick her favorite.

Bundles

Purchasing a bundle can be a great value or a dangerous shortcut. If you are interested in a bar/mat bundle, don't be misled by exceptionally low prices. If the deal is too good to be true, chances are the manufacturer is using inferior materials.

Junior gymnastics bar prices

Junior gymnastic bars that sell for less than $200 may fold for easy storage, but care should be taken to find one that is stable enough to support the child while doing moves that put greater impact on the bar. It might be best to think of these models as light-duty equipment.

In the $200 to $300 range, you are more likely find a junior gymnastics bar that has the features you need at a comfortable price. These models will have a sturdy base and adjustable height, and they should come with a multi-year warranty.

Above $300, most gymnastics bars can support more weight and may extend higher than lower-priced bars. Additionally, these models may feature bar/mat bundles or bar/extension bundles that could be advantageous to purchase.

DID YOU KNOW?

World champion gymnast Daiane dos Santos didn't start her training until she was 12 years old.

Tips

  • Pull-ups and chin-ups are basic moves that require a great deal of strength and practice. Owning your own bar is a great opportunity to practice these exercises. For a pull-up, you grip the bar overhand and pull until your chin clears the bar. A chin-up is the same move, only it requires an underhand grip.
  • Just as you wouldn’t allow your child to swim in a backyard swimming pool unsupervised, bar time should be supervised by an adult.
  • Do not allow your child to perform complicated tricks on your bar until you consult with her coach. Some at-home bars may not be compatible with some tricks.
  • Place a mat beneath the bar for your child’s safety, even if she’s just doing very simple tricks on the bar.
  • Establish house rules regarding your new bar. For example, friends who come over may want to play on the bar. Explain to your child that this piece of equipment is for her athletic development and not for playing around with friends who could get hurt.

Other products we considered

There are a few higher-end bars that are worthy of your consideration that we'd like to mention here. The Milliard Professional Kip Bar is adjustable from 35 to 57 inches and features 10 different height intervals to provide the best fit for your child. As a fun bonus, this bar comes with a decorative sticker pack so your gymnast can personalize her bar.

 Z-Athletic’s Expandable Kip Bar and Mat Package is a great addition to your home gym, especially for young athletes who are serious about gymnastics. The accompanying mat is two inches thick and of commercial quality; it is manufactured using high-density, cross-linked polyethylene foam covered in vinyl. The bar and mat can be purchased in your choice of colors.

If you enroll your child in a gymnastics class before five or six years old, it should consist of fun body awareness activities that gradually encompass basic gymnastic moves.

FAQ

Q. My child attends gymnastics class several days a week. Why do I need a gymnastics bar at home?
A.
As long as bar time is supervised, it can help make the sport more fun. Your child can exercise and practice in privacy, possibly giving her the edge to finally perfect that move which has been giving her so much trouble. The home environment, however, is not the place to try bold new moves, as that could be very dangerous. It is a place to have fun and work on the basics or fine-tune the mechanics of a move she can already execute.

Additionally, like any other activity, the bar can serve as a fun release to burn off energy in a productive way.

Q. Is it better for my child to start gymnastics training at a young age?
A.
Actually, no. Typically, the younger your child starts serious gymnastics training, the more prone they are to preteen burnout. If your child has an interest in the sport, allow them to explore body movement and keep it fun. There is no evidence that starting training at a very young age gives a gymnast a lifelong advantage.

Q. Are there any health risks that accompany gymnastics?
A.
There are several physical and mental risks linked to young children who train too hard for gymnastics. Besides injury, there can be delayed puberty, stunted growth, extreme stress, eating disorders, and self-esteem issues. This may make gymnastics sound like a bad choice, but since very few gymnasts become serious competitors, the secret is to keep the sport fun. Under the right circumstances, learning gymnastics offers a multitude of incredible benefits including increased self-confidence, physical strength, and coordination. What’s more, it can help lay the foundation for a positive work ethic.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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