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10 Beginner gymnastics skills you should master

1. Splits

Doing the splits is impressive. But it's one of the most demanding exercises to learn. There are several advanced versions of the splits, but most people start with one of two types: the front splits and side splits (also known as straddle splits).

In general, focusing on stretching and strengthening the hip flexors, adductors, glutes, hamstring, and groin muscles will help you prep for doing the splits.

2. Cartwheel

Learning cartwheels can be tricky, but if you want to up your game as a gymnast it's something you should work on. It's an essential linking manoeuvre that, if mastered, will take your gymnastics to the next level. You can find some helpful cartwheel tips here.

3. Front roll

Forward rolls are one of the most basic and fundamental skills in gymnastics. Try practicing on a mat when you're starting out. Breaking down the forward roll technique into smaller steps and practicing each step until you feel confident is the best way to learn this move.

4. Back roll

It's best to master the forward roll before moving onto the backwards roll. Make sure you take it slow and steady at first. The best and safest way to master the back roll is to learn the proper technique, which is pretty easy, but it does require practice and patience.

5. Handstand

An essential part of any gymnasts skillset, handstands help build strength and balance for lots of other manoeuvres. You can find some great handstand tips here.

6. Backbend

The backbend is a fun and graceful move that stretches your back, opens up your chest and looks great--when you can pull it off! The trick is to work your way up, starting with simple stretches and then practicing your bridge. Before long, you'll be back-bending on the wall, with a spotter and then, finally, all on your own.

7. Pullover

Doing a pullover on bars is one of the most important beginner skills in gymnastics. As you first begin training, the pullover move is how you will mount the bar to prepare for other moves. In advanced gymnastics, more difficult mounts are used. Start by learning the walking pullover, then try the standing pullover.

8. Headstand

Headstands are a great physical challenge. There's also great fun. You have to work everything to hold this posture including your arms, core, glutes, and legs. It helps to practice using a chair!

9. Candlestick

The candlestick is a basic gymnastics move where the body is in a straight line (or hollow) and the athlete is “resting” on the back of the shoulders with feet pointed toward the ceiling. Practicing the candlestick position will develop core strength, body awareness, and control that translates well to kipping movements such as the muscle-up, pull-up, and toes-to-bar.

10. Split leap

Last but not least, the split leap. A split leap is an important skill in gymnastics and one you should master. The first step to learning how to do a perfect split leap is to master a split jump. A split jump is what a split leap should look like in mid-air. A split jump is off two feet, while a split leap is off of one.

Have any more gymnastics skills you think should be on this list? Comment below! 

This is generic information and not to be confused with advice. Speak to a professional for all your health needs and seek their counsel. Children need to be under adult supervision at all times. We disclaim all liability for any physical harm resulting from the information on this website.

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