Pommel Horse Skills
Developing outstanding pommel horse skills requires a good deal of physical strength, stamina and sense of balance. The apparatus stands 3.77 feet tall and is 5.2 feet long. Show events require the athlete to present pommel horse skills that capitalize on the 16-inch distance between the pommels while maintaining perfect form. Special disciplines include a number of activities that the athlete practices at the gym.
- Scissors. Among the commonly seen pommel horse skills, this one can be tricky if the athlete fails to get a good feel for his weight and height. The goal is to perform a stride swing that ends with the leading leg remaining straight while the other leg extends upwards. When in motion, the ability to quickly change this setup as the legs’ positions change is key.
- Rear scissors. In this skill-set the gymnast must work not only on the legs, but also on his forward arm balance. Choose a support arm and craft the routine around it. Focusing too much on the leg swing is counter-productive.
- Circles. Hip work and excellent balance complement the movements. As the legs remain straight while being swung, the hips must ever so slightly turn against the circle direction. This runs counter to natural inclination, and athletes working on these pommel horse skills should have a spotter correct them as soon as their hips are pointing too far in the wrong direction.
Even though these pommel horse skills sound rudimentary and simple, they are anything but. Remember that the skillful combination and meshing of various disciplines sets the medal-winning athlete apart from the competition.