How Do I Become A Level 7 Gymnast?

Moving to level 7 in gymnastics can be quite exciting and it is the only level that you can get to without having to complete the previous level first. Level 7 is also a very competitive level, the reason for this being that this is one of the first levels that talent scouts look at more.

In order to become a level 7 gymnast you first have to be at least 7 years old, be able to do the necessary skills from the previous levels, and have gotten a 32.00 AA at a gymnastics meet for level 6. Or, if you plan on skipping level 6, you must score at least a 32.00 AA for a level 5 gymnastics meet and your coach must approve of you skipping a level due to you knowing the skills you need from level 6.

Since level 6 is skipped on a fairly regular basis, it is especially important to know the skills that you should have already learning when you go into level 7 as well as the new skills that you will be learning in this level 7. That being said, there are other things that you should know about this level too.

What Are The Skills That You Need To Pass In Order To Graduate To Level 7?

Whether you are coming from level 6 or are jumping up to level 7 from level 5 and skipping level 6, you are still going to need to know all of these skills in order to graduate to level 7. You may not have all of these skills mastered, especially not if you are coming from level 5, but you should at least know how to do them.

Since you may be trying to skip level 6, I will be listing the skills from both level 5 and level 6 that you will need to be able to do for each of the gymnastics events. If you are a level 5 gymnast and you can do all these things then you should have no trouble in graduating to level 7.

On The Floor

The floor probably has the most amount of skills that you need to know, these start with the front handspring, the front tuck, the round-off back handspring to tuck, the tuck jump with a 1/1 turn, the leg swing hop, the aerial cartwheel, and the back extension roll which can be done either with or without a 1/1 pirouette at the end.

In addition, you should have your sissonne, split leap, and straddle jump all up to a 180 degree split. The last thing on this list being the fouette hop to land in a scale position.

On The Beam

For this event you should already be able to do a leg swing with 1/2 turn mount as your way of getting on the balance beam, and as your way of getting off of the beam you should be able to do the cartwheel to handstand 1/4 turn dismount, the front handspring dismount, the front tuck dismount, and the back tuck dismount.

While you are on the beam the skills you need are the handstand, the front walkover, the back walkover, the back roll to 3/4 handstand, and the stretch jump with 3/4 turn. Your jumps, leaps, sissonnes and straddle jumps here should also be up to the 180 degree split the same as for the floor routines.

On The Bars

There is a long list of level 5 and 6 maneuvers that you have to be able to do in order to get to level 7. These are the kip, the long hang kip, the long hang pullover, the tap swing, the under swing, the clear hip circle, the backward sole circle, the backward stalder circle, the cast to above horizontal, the cast to 45 degrees from vertical, and the dreaded baby giant.

To end with you should be able to do either a flyaway dismount or a flyaway dismount with a 1/1 twist and be able to stick the landing for either one. Hopefully as you are progressing you are also to the point where you do not need any assistance from the springboard or anything else to get to the first position on the bars.

One The Vault

You should definitely have the handspring vault completely mastered and you may have even begun learning the basics of the next two vaults, but that is all that you need to know in order to get to level 7 in your gymnastics training.

What Do You Learn In Level 7 Of Gymnastics?

While there is not as much to learn in this level, what new maneuvers there are to learn are exceptionally difficult to master for most gymnasts. Since as I mentioned, talent scouts do occasionally look at this level it is especially important to nail the execution of these new maneuvers.

On The Floor

In this level you work at doing what is called a round-off back handspring layout. You likely already know at this point how to do a round-off and how to do a handspring, and maybe you even how to do them both one after the other. To this you are now adding a backward layout which is a form of a jump that is very much like that of an aerial cartwheel in that both involve doing a complete flip without your hands touching the ground.

Then there is the tour jete which is another kind of jump to learn. For this one you have to be able to jump off of one foot, kick that foot up past the other foot into a split as you do a 1/2 turn. Then you land on the other foot from the one you started from and facing exactly the opposite direction.

In one way it can be a little like the switch leg leap which is also learned at this level. For a switch leg leap you leap into a split leap position and then in midair you switch your legs so that you are doing the splits with you other leg leading. This can be challenging to do in midair, so your last step before your switch leg leap should always be a big one to help you get the right height and distance that you need to pull it off.

Another one that is being added here is the wolf jump with 1/2 turn. To do the wolf jump in some ways uses the same principles as the tuck jump. When you jump one leg goes straight out to horizontal while the other leg bends at the knee and folds back to place your foot underneath you for a moment, both legs then going back to point straight down as you land.

To these you are adding some lesser complicated things like a front pike to various moves including a pike jump, a 1/1 turn to a tuck jump, a 1/1 turn on one foot with your free foot being held up at a horizontal level, and a 1 and 1/2 turn on one foot.

On The Beam

On the beam you should learn how to do both a round-off and a back handspring without any problems while you are in level 7. You are also learning in this level how to add a 1/1 turn to you tuck to stand, a 1/2 turn tuck jump, a pike jump, and a 1/1 with your free leg held up at a 45 degree angle as you work on a 90 degree angle with this maneuver on the ground.

In level 7 of gymnastics you will also be learning two new dismounts. A front aerial dismount and a gainer off of the side dismount. For the gainer off of the side dismount you start near the middle of the balance beam. Tilt your upper body slightly forward for a moment with your hands forward and down, then kick your back leg up as hard as you can while you throw your upper body back and swing your arms to help you get as much momentum as possible.

Keep your leg going and join your other leg to it in order to do what is literally a complete back flip to land on your feet beside the bar and facing the same direction that you were when you started. One of the hardest parts to this skill is perhaps the ability to not hit any part of the beam and to land squarely on your feet while facing the right direction.

The front aerial dismount is much simpler and involves basically doing a simple front aerial cartwheel off of the end of the beam. Since you are practicing this on the floor right now as well, once you have it down with one it is easier to get it with the other.

On The Bars

There are three main new things that you will learn on the bar in level 7 of gymnastics, all three of which are tied together by one particular skill. This skill is the handstand on the bar. The first of these new maneuvers is where you take the cast to handstand and where you must be able to do a handstand on the bars and be able to hold it for at least a moment.

The second one is to take the clear hip circle that you already learned and to add a handstand at the end of it. Lastly, the third new maneuver is the back giant. In order to do this you have to learn how to really use your momentum and to keep your whole body straight. Starting from a handstand on the bars you have to be able to do a complete circle while staying in the same handstand position with your arms and body straight all the way through your toes.

In addition to the two flyaway dismounts that you should already know, you will be adding a 3rd flyaway dismount. This one is called the flyaway dismount with the 1/2 twist. While at first glance it might seem easier to do a 1/2 twist than it is to do a 1/1 twist, this can actually be more difficult in that it must be nailed down perfectly so that you land at just the right angle.

On The Vault

Here is where the vaulting can start to pick up and become a really exciting part of your gymnastics competitions. Not only will you keep perfecting your front handspring on and off of the vault table, but now you will get to add two other vaulting maneuvers that you will start working on.

The first of these is a round-off entry onto the vaulting table and is also called a Yurhenko. The second one of these is a ¼ – ½ twist on, and this is similar to the handspring but is where you twist yourself as you do it. This last one is commonly called a Tsukahara entry which is sometimes shortened to Tsuk.

For both of these two new vault techniques you will land either on a mat stack at first or in a foam pool for a soft landing until you get them down. Once you are able to do the first part fairly well and can do the new vaults and land on the mats, you will then start working on adding the repulsion off technique at the end of both of those maneuvers.

What Skills Do You Need To Put In Your Level 7 Gymnastics Routines?

For starters, you have to do 5 level A skills of your choice and 2 level B skills of your choice for each event other than the vault. The vault itself may be any of the three vaults that you have learned up to this point, including the either of the two new ones that you are learning in this level.

On the bars you must do one cast to handstand and at least two 360 degree circling maneuvers. These can be the same circling maneuver twice or two different kinds of circling maneuvers. However, one of these must be a clear hip circle, an under swing, a hecht, or a stalder circle and the other one has to be a level B skill.

Therefore, you can only do two of the same circling maneuver if it is one of those specifically listed. Lastly, you must end your bar even with a salto dismount.

When you are doing your balance beam routine you have to do an acro combination that has at least two skills in it. If one of those skills is not a flight element then you have to add an acro flight element in somewhere else. You also have to have at least one leap or jump that has the 180 degree split and you have to do your 360 degree turn on one foot. Finally, you have to end with either an aerial or salto dismount.

Lastly, when you are planning your floor routine, you have to include a long acro combination of at least 3 flight skills, one of which has to be the back layout. While this does not have to be the round-off back handspring layout that you are learning in this level, this specific maneuver does meet all of these qualifications.

You also have to do a front acro series of at least two different skills, one of which has to be either a salto or an aerial. Other than that, the only two other things that must be included are the 360 degree turn on one foot and the 180 degree split leap.

What You Should Know About The Different Grades Of Difficulty Levels

Each and every gymnastics maneuver has its own difficultly level that has a corresponding letter designation. Out of the different difficulty levels, level A maneuvers are the ones that are the easiest to perform. Most of the level A maneuvers are learned in the first half of the different gymnastics levels.

From there they are progressively difficult for each letter category until it gets all the way up to level E. Even though there are a few impossibly difficult maneuvers that are even Fs, even Olympic gymnasts often stick with a maneuvers that are categorized to be somewhere around the level D-E level of difficulty.

However, in the lower levels of gymnastics it is actually illegal to do maneuvers in a competition that are above a certain level. For example, in level 7 of gymnastics it is illegal to do anything that is a C level maneuver or higher, only A and B difficulty levels are allowed in your routines here.

If you were to decide to do a level C maneuver or something more difficult during any of your routines, that routine will get an automatic 0.00 score no matter how well you accomplished the maneuver and even if you made no mistakes during your whole routine and would otherwise have gotten a perfect 10.00 score. The only exception to this is on the bar since the cast, the clear hip circle, the stalder, and the under swing circling elements are allowed if they end in the level 7 handstand.

If, on the other hand, you fail to have the number of level A and B skills that you are supposed to have then you will be deducted 0.10 for every missing A skill and 0.30 for every missing B skill. For forgetting to perform any specifically named skill that you were supposed to have in your routine you can get a 0.50 deduction for any and every one you miss.

For these reasons it is vitally important that you know what maneuvers are categorized in which letters. This can help prevent you from making a huge mistake and can also help give you ideas for maneuvers that you can add in. While most of these are ones that you have already learned by the time you reach level 7 in gymnastics, there are a few level A and level B skills that you will not learn until you reach later levels.

Level A Gymnastics Bar Skills

Since the bars themselves are quite challenging o use, especially to younger gymnasts, there are not very many level A skills. There are in fact only 3 of them no matter what level of gymnastics you are in. All 3 of these skills are actually learned by the time you reach level 7.

  • Kip
  • Cast to squat on
  • Flyaway

Level B Gymnastics Bar Skills

You will only know some of these skills by the time you have reached level 7 in gymnastics. However, should your coach approve of you learning ahead, you can use any of these maneuvers you wish when you are doing your level 7 gymnastics bar routines.

  • Cast to Handstand
  • Uprise to front support
  • Under swing to clear support
  • Clear hip circle to clear support
  • Giant
  • Shootover (that does not start from a handstand or end in a handstand)
  • Flyaway with a 1/1 twist

Level A Gymnastics Beam Skills

Most of these beam skills are ones that you have already learned, but there are a few that you may very well be unfamiliar with even if you are a level 7 gymnast. There are also much more of these level A skills to choose from in this event than there are level A skill options for the bar. Any of the dismounts below may be done with a 1/2 turn and still count as a level A skill, but may not turn any more than that or they will become a level B skill.

  • All simple mounts
  • Split leap
  • Straight jump
  • Straight jump with a 1/2 twist
  • Sissonne
  • Hitch kick
  • Tuck jump
  • Wolf jump
  • Cartwheel
  • Back walkover
  • Full 360 degree turn on one foot
  • Tic toc
  • Front tuck dismount
  • Back tuck dismount
  • Pike dismount
  • Back pike dismount
  • Back layout dismount

Level B Gymnastics Beam Skills

While most of these are likely to be familiar ones if you are a gymnast at level 7, as usual there are going to be a few that you have not yet learned how to do just yet.

  • Press to handstand mount
  • Back handspring mount
  • Split jump
  • Split jump with a 1/4 turn
  • Split leap with a 1/4 turn
  • Straight jump with a 3/4 turn
  • Pike jump
  • Switch wolf jump
  • Back handspring
  • Front handspring
  • Front walkover
  • Dive cartwheel
  • Round-off
  • Wolf jump with a 1/2 turn
  • Wolf hop with a 1/2 turn
  • Cat leap with a 1/2 turn
  • Tuck jump with a 1/2 turn
  • Front tuck dismount with a 1/2 turn
  • Front pike dismount with a 1/2 turn
  • Front layout dismount
  • Arabian dismount
  • Gainer tuck to end
  • Back 1/1 turn dismount

Level A Gymnastics Floor Skills

The level A gymnastics skills for the floor routine contains quite a bit of variety. The reason for this is because these skills are the foundations for the more difficult gymnastics skills, not only for this event but for the other events as well, and this is especially true for the balance beam.

  • Split leap
  • Sissonne
  • Straight jump
  • Straight jump with a 1/2 turn
  • Straight jump with a 1/1 turn
  • Cat leap
  • Cat leap with a 1/2 turn
  • Tuck jump
  • Tuck jump with a 1/2 turn
  • Wolf jump
  • Full turn
  • Dive roll
  • Back extension roll
  • Front walkover
  • Back walkover
  • Front handspring
  • Flyspring stepout
  • Front aerial
  • Side Aerial
  • Cartwheel
  • Aerail round-off
  • Back handspring
  • Front tuck
  • Front tuck with 1/2 twist
  • Side somi
  • Arabian tuck
  • Layout
  • Pike
  • Back tuck
  • Back pike
  • Back layout
  • Whip back

Level B Gymnastics Floor Skills

These gymnastics skills, like the level A ones for this gymnastics event, help lay the groundwork for all kinds of other things. There a less level B floor skills than there are level A ones, but this is mostly because the groundwork is laid primarily in the level A floor skills.

  • Side leap
  • Switch leap
  • Pike jump
  • Straddle jump
  • Shushunova
  • Tour jete
  • Ringleap jump
  • Double stag jump
  • Sheep jump
  • Straight jump with a 3/2 turn
  • Cat leap with a 1/1 turn
  • Tuck jump with a 1/1 turn
  • Wolf jump with a 1/2 turn
  • 3/2 turn
  • Full turn with leg held up
  • Flyspring
  • Onodi
  • Front pike
  • Front pike with 1/2 twist
  • Front layout
  • Front layout with 1/2 twist
  • Back 1/2 turn
  • Back 1/1 turn
  • Whip with a 1/2 twist

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