With a width of only 4 inches and standing at just about 4 feet above the ground, the balance beam requires precise movements, poise, strength and a developed sense of stability. The beam’s steep learning curve usually requires gymnasts to start with easy movements, such as walking forward and backward and eventually progressing to more advanced skills including leaps, jumps and tumbling moves.
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Simply walking on the balance beam can be challenging for the novice gymnast. Acclimating to the height and narrow width of the beam is your goal. Activities usually include walking on flat feet and toes, dip walking and step kicks.
Once you develop a sense of balance, you can advance to more difficult activities, such as single-leg balances like the arabesque. Jumps and leaps are also introduced to the intermediate gymnast, and may include tuck or split jumps and split leaps.
Handstands, cartwheels, back handsprings and similar types of advanced moves are often part of an advanced gymnasts repertoire on the beam. Challenging dismounts, such as flips, are also performed at this skill level.