A parallel bar routine consists mostly of various swing and flight elements. The gymnast should not stop or hold a move more than three times during the routine. At the highest levels, the most difficult skills require the gymnast to lose sight of the bars for a moment, such as a double front or back salto.

It requires a great deal of hand-eye coordination, timing, and balance. Many of the skills’ execution must be coordinated with the flex of the bars. Losing sight of the bars on the high-level skills makes it difficult to re-grasp the bars and smoothly continue.