Standard Gymnastic Moves

Gymnastics moves are some of the most impressive feats in the Olympics. People around the world watch talented young men and women perform complicated gymnastics moves and then wait anxiously for their scores. Sometimes it's a bit difficult to understand exactly how difficult they are. Here's a breakdown of some standard gymnastics moves.

  • Aerials - Any gymnastic move executed without the gymnast's hands touching the floor.
  • Front Handspring - A front handspring is executed when the gymnast flips onto her hands and follows with her legs.
  • Back Handspring - When the gymnasts flips his body backward onto both hands, his legs following.
  • Forward Somersault - The gymnast tolls forward on the floor or a beam keeping her knees tucked in.
  • Backward Somersault - When the gymnast rolls backward onto the floor with her knees tucked in.
  • Salto - Another name for a somersault.
  • Handstand - When a gymnast stands on his hands, arms straight and body vertical to the ground.
  • Front Walkover - This is executed by the gymnast kicking his legs over from a handstand and bringing his chest up.
  • Back Walkover - The gymnast kicks his legs over his head either from a backbend or bridge position. Often used on a balance beam.
  • Cartwheel - Perhaps the most basic of gymnastic moves, a cartwheel entails the gymnast placing his hands sideways on the ground, propelling his body and following with his legs, one before the other.
  • Roundoff - Similar to a cartwheel; the roundoff incorporates a half twist.
  • Pike - Any move where the gymnast keeps her knees straight and her body bent.
  • Split - A split looks to be the most painful of the standard gymnastic moves. It involves the gymnast sitting on the floor or beam with one leg forward and one back.
  • Straddle - When the gymnast has both legs far apart at each side.
  • Tuck - A gymnastic move which has the gymnast bringing her knees to her chest.
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