Gymnastics Skills List: Floor

In this article, I list the basic floor skills that a beginner gymnast will learn. This is based on the requirements for Artistic gymnasts but many of the skills are shared in different disciplines such as Tumbling and Acrobatics.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: Gymnastics carries an inherent level of risk. Information contained in this article does not replace the need for professional coaching in a recognized gymnastics facility.

Basic Body Shapes

Understanding basic body shaping is key to performing any of the floor skills listed in this guide. Mastering these basic shapes with good posture and body tension will make it a lot easier to learn more advanced skills in the future.

  • Tuck
  • Pike
  • Straddle
  • Stretched (standing)
  • Star
  • Front Support
  • Back Support
  • Hollow Dish
  • Arch

Read here for more on how to master the basic shapes.

Rolling

Basic Forwards and Backwards Rolls can be performed using various body shapes. Tucked is the easiest because round things always roll more easily than longer or straighter shapes. Rolls can also finish in star, piked or straddled shapes and even in a support shape. Back Extension Rolls require a lot of strength as they pass through the Handstand position.

Read my beginner’s guides to Forwards and Backwards Rolls for a more detailed guide on these skills.

Forwards-Roll

Acro Moves

  • Handstand
  • Cartwheel
  • Round off
  • Front Walkover
  • Back Walkover
  • Front Handspring
  • Back Handspring
  • Aerial (Free) Cartwheel

These basic Acro moves are often linked together to make longer passes which also include somersaults. There are dozens of variations (too many to fit into this article) but to give you a basic example, a Handstand can also have a pirouette, hop or walk. Likewise, a Cartwheel could be performed with only one hand.

Somersaults

  • Front Somi
  • Back Somi
  • Whip Back
  • Twisting Somersaults

Somersaults (or somi for short) can be performed in tucked, piked or layout (straight) positions. Tucked is easiest and layout is usually hardest for most gymnasts. Pucked somersaults are a very open tucked shape usually used as a progression to learning layout but are not recognized as a skill in competitions.

Twisting somersaults are performed in the layout position and can be added in halves. For example Back Layout with 1 and a half twists.

Advanced gymnasts can perform multiple somersaults combined with twists.

Balances

  • Single Leg Balance
  • Arabesque
  • Y-Scale
  • Headstand
  • V-Sit
  • Bridge

A good balance is held for around 5 seconds with good posture and minimum wobble. How you get into the balance and finish the balance is also important.

Bridge

Jumps

  • Straight Jump
  • Tuck Jump
  • Star Jump
  • Straddle Jump
  • Pike Jump
  • Wolf Jump
  • Split Jump

Turns can be added to most jumps in half-turn increments. For example, a Tuck Jump can be performed with a half-turn or full turn. A straight body shape is the easiest to turn in.

Leaps

  • Split Leap
  • Cat Leap
  • Ring Leap
  • Switch Leg Leap
  • Sissone

Jumps and Leaps are commonly found in Women’s Floor routines and are also transferred onto Balance Beam Routines.

Men’s Artistic Floor Skills

Whilst many skills are performed by both genders, some skills are only traditionally found in the Men’s program.

  • Planche
  • Flairs
  • Manna

Basic Tumbling Passes

  • Round off – Back Handspring – Back Salto
  • Front somi – Round Off – Back Handspring
  • Front Handspring – Front Somi

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