Have you never done gymnastics before and don’t know where to start? Then you’re in the right place! Gymnastics is a sport that involves a lot of building up from basic principles. Learning the correct shapes and positions of more basic skills will help build a foundation for learning more difficult skills. For example, learning a handstand and cartwheel is essential before moving on to more complex tumbling skills like a back handspring.

To help beginner U-turners, we have compiled a list of basic skills on each apparatus that are a good place to start. We also have some links to YouTube channels (some in Dutch and some in English) that do a really nice job explaining the skills. A lot of videos include “drills” that will help with the skill progression. These involve, for example, set-ups of mats that can help you practice the movements for a skill. Try using the word “drill” in your search when looking for your own resources.

We hope to help beginners get started on their own this way. Please be safe! Ask a trainer for help when needed, and don’t try skills that you aren’t 100% confident in. Good luck!

List of basic skills

Floor
General:
  • Forward roll
  • Backward roll
  • Handstand
  • Handstand forward roll
  • Cartwheel
  • Front handspring
  • Round-off
Specific to the 4-event discipline:
  • Cat leap
  • Scissor jump
  • Jumps with twisting ½ or full turn
  • Turns/pirouettes
  • Split jump
  • Leap
Specific to the 6-event discipline:
  • Handstand (holding for 2 seconds) and also rolling out of it
  • L-sit
Vault
  • Squat-on onto the table, straight jump off
  • Straight jump on to the table
  • Handstand onto the table and landing back down on the springboard
Balance beam
  • Walking across the beam, working on balance (forward, backwards, sideways)
  • Balancing on one foot (arabesque)
  • Straight jumps, practicing jumping on both 2 feet and on 1 foot
  • Squat on mount
  • Jumps and leaps
    • Straight jump
    • Tuck jump
    • Cat leap
    • Leap
  • Turns on one foot, start with a half turn
  • Forward roll
  • Straight jump dismount
  • Round-off dismount
Uneven bars
  • Swinging
  • Pull-ups
  • Tap swings (practicing the hollow-arch body positions)
  • Pull over mount
  • Cast
  • Back hip circle
  • Squat-on
  • Sole circle dismount
Rings
  • Pull-ups
  • Swinging
  • Supporting
  • L-sit
  • German hang
  • Backwards salto dismount
Parallel bars
  • Swinging with straight arms (under the bars, hanging from your hands)
  • Upper arm swings
  • Supporting
  • Swinging in support position
  • Dips in support position
  • Dismounting off the side of the bars from support position
  • L-sit
  • Shoulder roll
High bar
  • Swinging
  • Pull-ups
  • Tap swings (practicing the hollow-arch body positions)
    • and with a half turn
  • Pull over mount
  • Cast
  • Back hip circle
  • Sole circle dismount
Pommel horse
  • Supporting
  • "Suisse simple" mount
  • Swinging your legs
  • L-sit
  • Practice circling on the mushroom
  • One-leg circles
  • Scissors