Gymnastics Skill Guide


Front Entry/Front Handspring- run down vault runway, hurdle onto spring board, spring off the board into the air and pass through a handstand position as the hands contact the vault, immediately rebound off hands into the air adding twists and/or flips.
  • Front handspring 1/1 twist - rebound from handstand twisting 360° to feet before landing on feet.
  • Front handspring front tuck/pike - rebound from handstand flipping forward in tucked/piked position to feet
  • Front handspring front tuck/pike 1/2 twist - same as front handspring front tuck/pike but with ½ twist in midflip, facing vault for landing
  • Front handspring front layout - same as front pike but with body straight in layout position
  • Front handspring front layout 1/2 twist - same as handspring pike ½ but in layout position

    Half on entry/Tsukahara entry- run down vault runway, hurdle onto spring board, spring off the board into the air, add a ½ twist before hands contact the vault as the body passes through the handstand over the vault.

  • Half on back layout (aka layout Tsukahara)- after rebound, back layout flip landing on feet, body facing vault
  • Half on, half off (aka Phelps) - similar to the layout Tsukahara except you add ½ twist in the air before flipping and then flip forwards

    Round off (Yurchenko) entry- run down vault runway, round off on the runway and with feet landing on board, body goes backward onto vault doing a back handspring, rebounding into a flip with or without twists off the vault.

  • Yurchenko layout - flip off vault is performed in layout position
  • Yurcheko ½ off, front layout - flip off vault is performed in layout position with a ½ twist before the flip, flip forward landing facing away from vault
  • Yurchenko layout 1/1 - flip off vault is performed in layout position with 1/1 twist in midflip, landing facing vault
  • Yurchenko layout 1 ½ - flip is performed in layout position with 1 ½ twist, landing facing away from vault
  • Yurchenko layout 2/1 - flip is performed in a layout position with two twists
  • Yurchenko ½ twist onto vault, front flip piked off
  • Yurckenko 1/1 on, back pike flip off, round off onto board, 1/1 twisting back handspring onto vault, back pike flip off


    Release moves - gymnast releases bar the same bar or the other bar
  • Tkatchev (aka reverse hekt) - gymnast performs ¾ of a back giant swing tapping (kicking) toes upward, releases bar and continues going over the bar backward and counter-rotates in a straddle position until the bar is caught
  • Jaeger - gymnast does a front giant and lets go when horizontal with the bar on the upswing, lets go and performs front flip catching the bar after rotating completely in a piked or straddled position
  • Geinger - gymnast performs ¾ of a giant swing tapping (kicking) toes upward, releases bar and flips backward, adding a ½ twist in the air, then catches the bar facing the opposite direction
  • Tshushunova (aka full twisting Tkatchev) - same as Tkatchev but with 1/1 twist
  • Khorkina - gymnast performs a front giant, at ¾ of the circle releases and goes over the bar and does ½ turn and recatches it.

    Transition Skills - high to low bar skills and vise versa

  • Shoot over (aka bail to handstand) - gymnast is on the high bar facing the low bar and swings down passing through the bottom, on the way up between the bars, gymnast releases the high bar, performs a ½ twist and lands in a handstand on the low bar facing the opposite direction. This skill is also done flat, or with no handstand
  • Counter swing (aka straddle back) - from the high bar the gymnast has back towards low bar and she swings toward the low bar, straddling and seeing the bar between leg, she then lets go and catches the low bar in handstand
  • Hindorf - gymnast starts in handstand on the high bar brings the hips back toward the bar and perform a back hip circle without hips touching, on the way back out of the circle towards the handstand, the gymnast releases the bar and does a Reverse Hecht action and recatches the bar on the other side.
  • Pac salto - similar to the beginning off a shoot over (without the ½ twist), the gymnast swings from the high bar toward the low bar but now lets go with both hands simultaneously and makes a complete rotation (back layout flip) in the air and reaches out in front in time to catch the low bar
  • Shaposhnakova - gymnast does a clear hip circle to a handstand upon reaching the handstand the gymnast releases the low bar throwing herself in a straight body position up to and catching the high bar upside down.


  • Back - gymnast starts in handstand and swings downward stomach first and completes a full 360° circle around the bar and back to a handstand.
  • Front - similar to a back giant but with grip in reverse and swing going the opposite direction with the back leading the downward swing from the handstand making a 360° circle around the bar and back to the handstand.


  • Healy - gymnast starts in front (palms facing up) giant grip in handstand and shifts weight onto one hand. She then uses her free fall time to complete a 360-degree turn catching the bar in a mixed grip. The hand that stays on the bar is now in "eagle" or "invert" grip, the other hand is in the front giant grip. The two different grips on the bar is called a `mixed-grip.'
  • Giant ½ (aka blind change) - - gymnasts performs a back giant but at the top of the swing before returning to the handstand again the gymnast picks her hand and turns hips making a ½ turn and regrasping into a handstand on the bar in front giant grip
  • Giant 1/1, 1/1 ½ - same as the beginning of giant ½ but the gymnast continues turning 1 or 1 ½ times into the handstand A full pirouette has two ½ turns and hand/grip changes and a 1 ½ pirouette has 3 ½ turns and hand/grip changes


    Mounts - mounts are performed in order to get the gymnast from the floor onto the beam to begin the beam routine. After the judge salutes to the gymnast to begin her routine, the first skill to begin her routine is called the mount
  • Front tuck- gymnast begins by running toward the beam and hurdling on to the spring board where she flips frontwards landing with two feet onto the beam
  • Round off layout (step out or feet together) - gymnast begins by running toward the beam and performs a round off onto the spring board and flips backwards onto the beam holding a straight body and splits leg landing one foot at a time on the beam or keeps both feet together
  • Press to handstand - this strength move can be performed many ways (the gymnast can be very creative with different ways of approaching this skill) the basic way to perform this skill is to hold the beam with both hands, jumps up from the floor or spring board into a straddle position, the gymnast then slowly lifts hips (called a press) until they are above her head and then closes legs landing in a handstand
  • Reverse Planche - This skill requires much flexibility and balance. The gymnast starts in handstand and bends her back so that feet are over heads.
  • Leap from the spring board (example: split leap, wolf jump, etc.) - gymnast begins by running toward the board and steps on it with one leg swinging free leg forward springing off the board into the air into a leap or split leap and landing on the beam

    Leaps and Jumps - Leaps are dance skills off of one foot, whereas jumps are from a two foot takeoff

  • Split leap - gymnast kicks to one leg forward in front of her and jumps into the air off the other and into a forward split position in the air before hitting the split position.
  • Switch leap - similar to split leap, except that the gymnast add a ¼ twist so that the position becomes a straddle split position.
  • Switch ring - same as switch leap but the gymnast bends back leg after switching legs in the air, she also drops her head back and attempts to touch her foot to her head
  • Straddle jump - straddle split in the air
  • Switch side - same as switch leap but after switching legs the gymnast ads a ¼ turn into a straddle split in the air.
  • Wolf jump (1/2, 1/1, ¾) - this skill is similar to a pike jump but with one leg bent under, the gymnast can also perform this skill and add a twist at the same time
  • Sheep jump - The gymnast jumps upwards from the beam off of two feet, arches her back and bends both legs backward touching the back of the gymnast's head
  • Ring jump - a split leap but as the gymnast hits the split position she bends her back leg upwards and drops her head back so the foot touches her head.

    'Down on the beam' skills

  • Swing down (with 1/1 twist) - back handspring (sometimes performed with a 1/1 twist) to a chest roll landing in the straddle position on the beam
  • Shushanova (with a ½ , ¾ ) - gymnast performs a straddle jump and rotates forward catching beam with hands and then hips

    Solo skills

  • Front aerial - front aerial is similar to a front walkover but is performed without hands
  • Gainer back handspring - similar to a standing layout, but the gymnast takes off of one leg
  • Side sumi (aka side flip) - similar to a cartwheel but performed without hands and legs are tucked
  • Back tuck (pike) - standing back flip *can also be performed with a 1/1 twist
  • Kick Over front - gymnast starts standing and swings one leg backwards overhead making herself flip forward landing in a sitting position on the beam with one leg straight and one bent

    Series - Two or more skills connected together in a continuous sequence

      • A gymnastics series or leap series is a series of dance skills.
      • An acrobatic series is a sequence or string of tumbling skills.
      • A gym/acro series is a mix of dance and tumbling skills connected together in a sequence


  • Back handspring, back layout (can also be done with two layouts)
  • Back handspring, back handspring, back layout
  • Back handspring, back layout, back handspring

  • Roundoff with a back layout and a:
    • 1/1 twist
    • 1 ½ twist
    • double full twist
    • 2 ½ twist
    • 3/1 twist
    • double back flip (pike)
  • Cartwheel gainer layout - cartwheel is performed with one leg continuing to swing through to a back layout off the side of the beam. Performed with:
    • 1/1 twist
    • 1 ½ twist
    • 2/1 twist
  • Punch front 1 ½ twist (aka Rudi)
  • Punch front - the gymnast runs down the beam taking off of both legs and does a front flip with a 1/1 twist landing with two feet on the ground


  • Double tuck - two flips with legs bent in a tucked position
  • Double pike - two flips with legs straight and bent or piked at the hips
  • Double layout -- two flips with body completely straight
  • Full in - a double back flip with a 1/1 twist on the first flip
  • Double Arabian - gymnast takes off of ground and turns body ½ way to face other direction and continues to flip twice forwards
  • Double twist - a back layout flip with two twists
    • 2 ½ twist
    • 3/1 twist
  • Whip back - skill is similar to back handspring but performed without hands touching the ground
  • Whip ½- whip back with a ½ twist
  • Front layout
  • Front layout ½ twist
  • Front layout 1/1 full twist
  • Front layout 1 ½ twist (Rudi)
  • Front layout 2/1 (Double) twist

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