The mill circle is a basic gymnastic skill usually performed on uneven bars or the high bar. Also referred to as the stride circle, this exercise requires the gymnast to maintain control and form while generating enough momentum to rotate around the bar with her legs astride. It takes practice to master the mill circle, but once you have, you'll be ready to try slightly more challenging bar maneuvers such as the front hip circle.
Mount and sit on top of the bar. Assume the stride position, which is where your legs are split with your front or leading leg over the bar and your back leg behind the bar. Hold the bar with your hands to the outside of your legs with an underhand grip -- palms facing forward.
Get into the stride position. Straighten your arms and legs and point your toes. Keep your back straight, chest and head up and your hips square to the bar. Lift your leading leg until it is parallel to the floor or as close to parallel as you can get it. Keep your back leg vertical to the floor with the top of your thigh touching the bar. Your legs should form as close to a 90-degree angle as possible.
Push upward and lift your body above the bar to move your center of gravity as far away from the bar as you can. Moving your body away from the bar helps to generate the necessary speed to circle around it. This distance must be maintained throughout the circle.
Lean your upper body forward as you begin to fall into the circle. Avoid dropping your front leg. Instead, extend it and pretend you are taking a big step forward, which also helps to build up momentum and speed.
Maintain the extended front leg position and your upper-body form throughout to keep the momentum going. When you are completely upside-down, quickly close your legs to about a 45-degree angle.
Shift your wrists and hold the bar with an overhand grip when you are three-quarters of the way around the bar. As your momentum takes you toward the top of the circle, push down on the bar and finish in the original stride position.
- If your hands become sore when you do mill circles, wear gymnastics hand grips.