Category Archives: Beam

More Beam Back Handspring Drills

Hey all, just wanted to offer some great drills and tips for developing a great back handspring on beam – what I consider to be one of the most important skills to train on beam. First you want to take a look at timing. Here are some of my favorite drills to teach the rhythm and timing of a back handspring step out.

rethinking gymnastics complexes

This should be done first with slow controlled movements (without weights) you don’t want the gymnast trying to pull the weight over their body by sagging their shoulders into the floor and losing shape. That being said, make sure to emphasize that they are pushing into the floor to make themselves tall. Progress onto quicker kicks and adding resistance via bands or weights when they’re ready.

Aside from the shoulder strength and control needed to resist twisting out of a step out, the jump is the area that I like to drill the most often. I try to tell my girls to jump as high as they can so as to give themselves plenty of time to find and put their hands down on the beam. Here are my favorite ways to get that jump nice and strong.

Tumbling up is what I’ve found works best to teach a strong jump. Add any one of the following in as a side station during your beam rotation and you’re set. Not videoed is a drill I like where the gymnasts starts with her feet on a low or floor beam, and does a BHS up to and elevated surface.

Here are two ways I progressively teach hand placement on the beam. With the second, the gymnast can begin moving quicker as she gets better at the drill.

Occasionally you’ll have a gymnast who seems to rebound out of that back handspring and fly off the beam. Or they have a hard time absorbing their power into their legs and sticking the skill. This is an awesome drill to work those tiny stabilizing muscles that are necessary for a controlled landing. This drill works across the board for most any skill that finishes in a lunge.

My last piece of advice is to get those numbers in. Do dozens on a line each day, or dozens on a fat floor beam, or dozens on a stacked low beam, whichever suits your facility and gymnasts. This is simply to build that muscle memory that is so important.

Lots of Leg Tightening Drills

Hi All,

Today I wanted to share some leg tightening drills. I know lots of you are in season right now, and are working on polishing routines and making the changes that you need to, to see those scores goes up. Leg tightening is one of the those things that can make a huge difference.



This first video is a nice little circuit that you can use with rec classes all the way through team. The emphasis should be  on making sure all of these drills are done with perfect form. Doing less of them perfectly is better than going through this station fifteen times sloppily.

This second video is just a number of simple leg tightening drills that we should all be doing. It’s hard to find time to build this stuff into our workouts even though we know we should. For a couple months try to dedicate 5-7 minutes at the beginning of beam every day to work on leg tightening. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it will make.

4 progressions for bridges and walkovers on beam

Hi All,

Sorry it has been so long since the last post. I promise regular posting will resume soon – but the beginning of the beginning of the year has been more than a little nuts. Today I wanted to share four progressions for bridges and walkovers on beam – specifically because there is so much fear around back walkovers and the fact that doing these four things can make a drastic difference.

This first one is where I would start – getting kids used to bridging on beam, being upside down, having their shoulders open and their hands close together etc. This is a nice introduction to all the things kids are going to have to do in their back walkover. It can also be a fun side station on your more advanced rec classes.

bridge on beam

The second stage of this is simply moving the whole thing to the beam. This requires more confidence (and control) on the gymnasts end – and you really have to make sure they have a good bridge on the floor and shoulder flex before letting them do this. But this builds a huge amount of confidence before we ever ask them to back walkover.

Next is a drill a particularly like which helps gymnasts learn how to control putting their hands on the beam in a way that’s easy and not overwhelming at all. Gummy beams are perfect for this kind of thing. I also like that she then moves her feet together to kick over. Breaking the skill down into those two parts actually helps gymnasts learn to not dive back onto their hands.

This is a drill I’ve shared before but it’s worth sharing again. This is my final progression before having gymnasts back walkover on beam. This drill requires a lot of control but builds confidence really quickly. If your gymnasts can back bend on one leg and control where they put their hands on the beam, back walkovers will be a breeze.
Lastly, if you’re looking to work the flexibility aspect of walkovers, this band drill is fantastic. The tighter the band the better. The band will help the gymnast lift their leg at the beginning, and the resistance aids the split in the middle and encourages active flex at the end. The band goes on both ankles and over the shoulder.

Beginner Leap Set-Ups

Hi All,

Today I wanted to share a video of different set-ups and drills for beginning leaps. Especially with beginning skills we want to get a lot of GOOD repetitions in, in order to build good muscle memory. That being said, it’s often difficult because we don’t want to ore these gymnasts, we want to make their time in the gym enjoyable. So having a bunch of different set-ups to drill one skill is ideal.

Beginning leap drills

One of the things I really, really like is that several of these drills emphasize the chest up by just putting a mat in the gymnasts way. I know a lot of us get sick of giving the same correction over and over again, so giving the gymnast a drill where they literally cannot do it wrong will save your voice (and your sanity). I also really like the leaping onto the beam drill, it’s a nice way to introduce leaps on beam in a non-scary way.

Train hard!

Drill for round off dismounts


Today’s topics: I wanted to share a few videos of drills for round off dismounts on beam. I’ve talked a little bit about this before, but I feel really strongly that when gymnasts start back-tucking out of their cartwheel/back walkover/back handspring it should be on a low or medium beam. I want them to learn that the dismount HAS TO go up. If you let them learn to flip off of a high beam most likely the dismounts won’t have a whole lot of UP, and when you want to turn it into a layout/add twists you’re going to have issues.

This first video is a great drill for a couple reasons. 1) Soft beam – the hardness of the beam can make gymnasts less aggressive on dismounts especially at first. Making the beam more forgiving allows them to learn to be aggressive. 2) It’s are going up. She isn’t just landing on a surface level with the beam – she’s actually having to go up. That’s exactly the muscle memory we want to be drilling.

This second video is Tammy Biggs talking a little bit about round off dismounts. It’s really, really important to emphasize that mountain climb especially when making the transition from cartwheel to round off dismounts. Again, I like that they’re doing dismounts on medium beam, but I also like the set-up with the resi-mat + cheese on the high beam. If you are going to make a high beam set-up I would start with that.

In a nutshell:

1. Make sure they can do it on the floor. No beam – flat surface.

2. When you put it on the beam start going to a flat surface, that ensures that they aren’t changing what they did on the floor.

3. Then start going from the beam – UP to something. This ensures that there will be hip rise and that amplitude deductions will be minimal.

4. Have fun with them – let kids play around. Pull out the beam extenders or put some panel mats around the low beam and let your 4s and 5s start working dismounts. It will go a long ways to building their confidence.

5. If you still want more help with dismounts – think about bringing a Swing Big! clinic to your gym. We can work on all of the topics you feel your gymnasts would get the most out of.

Train hard!