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Basic Steps

Basic Steps

Technique & Drills


Walk forward, sideways, backwards, and dip walk on flat feet


Arms should be either out like airplanes or hands on hips.  Stomach in, body tall, chin up, focus forward.  Attempts to walk with straight legs should be made.  While walking sideways, the hips should not turn to the corner of the beam, but remain squared to the opposite wall. 

While walking backwards, the gymnast should feel for the beam with the toes before putting weight on the back foot on each step back.  Also, hips should remain squared to the opposite end of the beam and the focus should remain forward, not looking at the floor.

Dip walking is similar to walking forward, except the toes of each foot dip down to brush the side of the beam before stepping forward onto that foot.  The base leg bends slightly during the dip, then straightens as the gymnast steps forward.


·         Walk on a low beam, then move to a higher beam with a resi, 8” mat, or 12” mat under it, then progress to the highest beam with the landing mat under it.

When the gymnast is very wobbly and unsure, use a “seatbelt” spot (keeping your hands close to the gymnast’s waist to catch quickly in case of falling).

If the gymnast is a little more secure, but needs a little reassurance, you can hold his/her hand while walking alongside the beam.

Walk forward sideways, backwards ,and dip walk on toes


Same as walking across the beam with flat feet.  Legs and belly should be tighter, aiming for straight legs & high relevé.


·         Walking on flat feet on the high beam with ease should be mastered before progressing to toe walks.


Step kick forward, sideways, backwards


For forward and backward kicks, arms should be out to the side.  For all kicks, the legs should be straight and the chin up, focus forward, hips squared.  Forward kicks should be about waist height, toes pointed, the base leg squeezed and pushing down on the beam.  Backward kicks should be executed with the chest up and belly tight.  There should be no leaning forward.  Think arabesque.  Side kicks can be done 2 ways:  1) facing forward on the beam and the gymnast kicks to the side, then steps forward.  2) facing sideways and the gymnast kicks to the side, then steps sideways.  Regardless of the direction, the hips should be tucked under so that the knees point to the ceiling during the kick.


·         Walks on flat feet in each direction with poise and balance should be mastered before attempting kicks on high beam.

·         Kicks on low beam, then beam with mats, then move up to high beam.


Step lock


On toes, with arms out to the side or hands on hips, legs straight, step forward.  Slide the 2nd foot in to rest behind the front foot so that both feet are touching.  Hold this position before stepping forward with the back foot first, repeating the process.  The rhythm is step, together, pause.


·         Walking forward on toes