During every gymnastics meet, competitors participate in many events, with each apparatus allowing them to complete different stunts. Gymnasts can incorporate moves such as flips and twists into nearly any event, while other moves, especially those on the vault and bars, remain event specific. All gymnasts should start slowly and take their time before moving up to more advanced stunts because of the risk of injury involved in the sport.
A routine on the balance beam begins with a mount, which can incorporate a running flip for more advanced gymnasts. When scoring the routine, judges look for at least two flight elements, so you should include moves such as twists and flips, if possible. Keep in mind that your jumps can reach 3 to 4 feet from the beam. You need to complete all of your rotations during these stunts.
While beginners complete tricks such as the forward roll, more advanced gymnasts attempt extremely difficulty tumbling routines during the floor exercise. These maneuvers include handsprings, flips and twists, which you must do in combination with one another and land on your feet. The handspring holds particular importance because it helps you to gain speed as you move toward the more difficult elements of your routine.
Beginners on the vault simply try to somersault from the apparatus and land on their feet. You might then move to a handspring until you have mastered that stunt. Once you become better at the vault, you can incorporate moves with multiple twists and flips, which have a high degree of difficulty. You must keep your body in a straight position while in the air and land your jump without taking steps forward or backward. Rule changes have made it illegal for gymnasts to cartwheel into their vault, as that maneuver provided an injury risk.
Men and women have different bar-based events, so the moves that each sex does can vary. Women compete on the uneven bars, making it possible for them to transition between the bars with release moves. Judges watch these transitions carefully, as they involve gymnasts releasing one bar and catching themselves on another bar. The horizontal bar, in which the men compete, allows competitors to swing around the bars in a circular motion. This motion allows the men to build up enough speed to complete larger release moves and, eventually, a dismount.
- "Gymnastics: The Trials, the Triumphs, the Truth"; Dan Gutman; 1998
- "Gymnastics: Floor, Vault, Beam and Bar"; Trevor Low; 1993