Published By: Darielle Britto

Balancing Act: Mastering beginner gymnastics moves for success

Here is what you need to know about mastering the art of gymnastics

Mastering beginner gymnastics skills is the key foundation for progressing to more advanced movements in the future. Gymnastics, considered one of the fundamental sports alongside swimming and athletics, involves laying the groundwork for athletic development. Explore the crucial beginner gymnastics skills that set the stage for mastering intricate movements and enhancing overall performance.

Backward roll

The back roll is a valuable exercise for getting gymnasts used to backward motion and comfortable initiating movements without seeing the floor behind them. This foundational skill sets the stage for advanced gymnastics moves like back walk-overs, back handsprings, and various back tuck variations. Similar to a forward roll, gymnasts start by bending their knees, assuming a crouched position, and rolling onto their back with tucked knees close to their seat. By pressing their hands into the mat, tucking their chin, and bringing their feet over their head, they skilfully catch the mat with their feet, finishing in a tucked position before extending back to a standing posture.

Straddle Sit

The straddle sit is crucial in gymnastics, serving as a foundational position before jumps on various apparatuses. It is versatile, used independently or during transitions on vaults, rings, and bars. Proficient execution provides advantages for young gymnasts. To do it correctly, sit upright on the floor, extend legs, use hands for balance, gradually widen legs into a comfortable stretch with flexed legs and pointed toes. Maintain a proper straddle sit by facing knees upward, lifting the chin, and raising arms overhead or extending them parallel to the legs.

Balance on one foot

Practice this skill on the floor first, then advance to an elevated or standard balance beam. For the one-foot balance, stand upright, lift one leg off the surface, and hold for at least five seconds. The lifted leg can be bent or straightened for added challenge. Use arms to maintain balance, positioning them either straight above the head or horizontally for stability.


The bridge is an important skill for advanced beginner gymnasts, serving as a foundation for various advanced movements. Mastering it gives gymnasts the crucial ability to adjust their body position while inverted, dealing with physical challenges. This proficiency not only strengthens their basic gymnastics skills but also serves as a key step towards more complex exercises.

Consecutive jumps

Teaching secure two-foot landings is crucial for children to absorb impacts properly. The next step involves consecutive jumps, a pivotal phase in gymnastic development. In these jumps, gymnasts learn to jump and land with both feet rapidly, a skill essential for advanced movements like round-offs and back handsprings. Done on the floor or trampoline, gymnasts start by standing upright, bending their knees, and jumping into the air. To master the skill, they need to execute five to 10 consecutive jumps with controlled landings and smooth transitions into the next jump.

For secure gymnastics learning experience, children should not only acquire beginner gymnastics skills but also understand how to safely exit them, especially when they lose balance. Learning to exit safely may involve experiencing occasional failures, but a carefully structured and progressive learning approach allows gymnasts to familiarize themselves with balance challenges in simpler skills. This preparation equips them to confidently face more demanding movements in their gymnastics journey.