The pommel horse is a leather-lined cylinder with two handles in the centre placed equidistant to each other. Before 2001 when the vaulting horse was introduced, it was also used for the vaulting category.
The gymnast grips both handles and swings himself up on the pommel horse, keeping both legs almost parallel to the cylinder, swinging and rotating his whole body around while alternately gripping and releasing the handles with his hands. During the routine, the gymnast must use the whole length of the horse while swinging his legs in single and double circles. As the weight of his body is entirely supported by his hands and wrists, this exercise develops great upper body strength in the arms and shoulders. It also helps in enhancing timing, dexterity, cadence and balance.
The pommel horse is one of the gymnastic routines that can successfully be performed by disabled individuals or paraplegics who have suffered leg injuries; many have already won in competitions.
Pommel Horse Measurements:
Height: 115 cm. + or – 1 cm. from the top
of the surface to the floor
Lower leg injuries from pommel horse routines
This type of injury can occur when the legs
inadvertently brush against the pommel horse cover during
execution of leg circles. This is actually not supposed
to happen, but if you have a tired and sore athlete nearing
the end of a practice session, this is bound to happen.
The lining of the horse is made from chrome-tanned leather
and can be rough to the touch. Repeated contact can cause
abrasions, and the occasional bump will result in bruising.
Some gymnasts wear a type of lower-body garment that look
like farmer’s long johns, or even warm-up pants to protect
the leg area. During meets, wearing competition pants
or taping high sweat socks on the calk can help. Clean
any abrasions thoroughly and apply triple-antibiotic ointment
to speed up healing.