Considering the fact that you have to be 7 years old in order to compete in level 4 or in level 5 gymnastics, this skills that you learn in these levels in addition to the ones that you had to have learned in the previous levels of gymnastics are the ones that a 7 to 8 year old gymnast will know.
1. Flyaway Dismount
A flyaway dismount is used in the uneven bars event and it is actually one of the first dismounts that a young gymnast has to master. Even the higher level gymnasts use the basics of this dismount, increasing the difficulty of it by adding things like saltos, twists, and turns to the end of it to make it worth more points.
When a gymnast is first learning this skill they usually put at least a couple of really thick mats under the bar that they will be practicing with, which makes it much safer since the gymnast will probably not get it right the first time or two.
In order to do this you have to get enough of a swing going forward so that your feet are pointing up into the air at a diagonal angle with your body being straight. At first you may need to do an “empty” swing or two in order to get enough momentum going.
Once you feel that you can do this first part well enough, then you can let go of the bar as your feet reach their highest point. As you let go your head should swing under your feet as your legs move into a tuck position for a moment.
You should rotate so that your head goes down, under your legs, then back up and above your legs for you to land. Once you get this part down then you can work on doing this in a layout position, keeping your whole body perfectly straight the whole time with only slightly bent knees when you land and then immediately straightening back up.
If you are banging your toes on the bar either while trying to tuck your legs or because you are trying to do this move in the layout position then you may be pulling some on the bar during your rotating before you let go.
A kip is a gymnastics move that is used on the uneven bars and which not only looks neat but which also is a pretty foundational move that even gymnasts at the higher levels of gymnastics use. It is a great mount that can be used until a gymnast is able to master a more difficult mount on the bars, and it is even something that is required for the level 4 gymnastics routine during competitions.
A kip has a lot of motion to it, and therefore there are a number of steps and things that a gymnasts needs to remember to do properly and just as many things that they could do wrong and get points deducted for, making this a rather hard move to master.
It takes a fair amount of arm and upper-body strength in order to do this, but then again so do a lot of other gymnastics moves. The first part of this move is called a glide and in order to do this part you simply jump up and forward to grab the bar and swing forward using your momentum all while keeping your legs and your whole torso as straight as possible.
As you swing forward your legs should stay straight and you should bend only at the hips so that your feet can go up to touch the bar. Once there you should swing back the other way, using your momentum to help lift your torso up and above the bar so that your hips are touching the bar and your body is making a sideways V with both your head and your feet pointing forward.
The final step is to straighten your legs behind you in the front support position. When you are first learning this move you may end up needing to do a couple of empty swings, but as you progress you should not need to do any of these. The main two important things to this move is keeping yourself straight and getting the momentum that you need.
A pullover is another gymnastics move that is done on the bar and this one is used more to build up to the more difficult moves than it is used as a move all by itself. Still, it is a very important move for a young gymnast that is around this age to know. As you first start learning how to do this move you will need to use empty swings, but there is also another way to work up to this move.
This way is by doing what can sometimes be called a walking pullover. After you feel confident doing the walking pullover then you can do the standing pullover from there. In order to start the walking pullover you should grab the bar with your hands shoulder width apart from each other near the middle of the bar and while standing as far away from the bar as you are comfortable doing.
When you grab the bar you should take care to make sure that your thumb is on the same side of the bar as the rest of your fingers for this move. Most gymnastics moves on the bar should have your hands like this, and having your thumb on the other side might feel more natural at first but it is something that can lead to broken fingers.
Once you are in this position you should step forward with one foot to where it is almost directly underneath the bar. Meanwhile kick your other leg up and under the bar, letting your first leg come up and off of the floor so that you get the most amount of forward momentum possible.
If you get enough momentum then your should be able to pull with your hands on the bar as you do this so that your feet go up and over the bar. To help with this you should try to push your head back and down as you kick your leg forward.
Keep rotating until you are in the front support position with your body diagonal and with your torso pointing up and forward and your hips on the bars and supported on your hands. Once you can do that, then you can practice doing this without kicking one leg forward to get your momentum going.
What you do instead is you start off right by the bar and throw both legs up and over. That is why you have to have practiced the other enough first, because doing it this way requires a lot of strength in a number of different areas. You may bend your body at the hips, but as you get better you should have to do this much less than you do at first.
4. Squat On
This is another bar gymnastics move – and the last one on this list. This move has the gymnast literally swinging her legs up and bending them in such a way that she is able to get into a position where she is squatting on the bar on her feet with her arms still grabbing the bars on either side of her feet.
Once in this position, this move is later on turned into a bar change that goes from the low bar to the high bar and for which the gymnast stands up on the bar after getting in this position, releasing the bar with her hands as she does so, and then jumps up to grab the other bar.
To practice this it is generally easiest to start with a really low bar that is about the height of your hips when you are standing next to it just so that you can get used to the right balance needed for being in the squat on position. With a bar that is at this height you should be able to try something like jumping up and into the squat position.
Once you have that down then you can raise the bar and practice swinging into this position, at first by swinging forward and then back and into it, and then by starting from a dead swing and lifting yourself into it.
5. Front Handspring
A front handspring is basic enough of a gymnastics move in order for a 7 or 8 year old gymnast to learn it and yet it is one that is placed in combination moves that even level 10 and elite gymnasts use in their routines. It is not only used for the floor routine, but it is also used in the vault routine and even on the balance beam in the higher levels.
In fact, the first vault that a gymnast learns how to do is a simple handspring onto and over the vaulting table. This being said, it is perhaps one of the most important foundational skills that a gymnast can learn and should completely master.
There are a few different ways that a gymnast can learn to do this, but whatever method you use it can really be handy to at least have mostly mastered your backbend before you try to learn this skill. You will also want to be practicing this on a mat, and another thing that can be quite helpful is something that is called a gymnastics barrel which I will get to in a moment.
In order to do a front handspring you have to have some momentum going, especially when you are first learning how to do this skill. This being the case a few quick steps is advisable to start with. Once you are moving forward then you put out your hands and throw the top part of your body down and your feet up behind you so that you go into a handstand position.
This is a good thing to practice over and over at first, once you get that part down you can then go on to practicing the next part. This is where you keep your feet moving when you get into the handstand position so that you form the shape of a backbend as you then come to stand on your feet again.
Here is where that gymnastics barrel can come in handy since, unlike a backbend, you want to push off with your hands just before or as your feet make full contact with the ground. This way, if you don’t quite make it you have something underneath you helping to support you.
The round-off, like the front handspring, is a gymnastics move that is used by all of the levels and in the floor, vault, and balance beam events and it is one of the most common of the gymnastics moves. Therefore, it is just as important that a young gymnast master this one early on in the gymnastics levels.
A round-off uses some of the same basic principles as a front handspring, only this version of it also added a turn into it so that instead of being standing and facing the same direction at the end as you were in the beginning you are instead facing the exact opposite direction than you were when you started.
Another difference with this one is that you step out with one foot in front of the other instead of with both feet together like you are supposed to do for a front handspring. Once you get into the handstand position then is when your feet come together and they stay together for the rest of the move.
The sissone is a kind of a jump that is done first on the floor and then later on it is done on the balance beam. It is a French term and is pronounced accordingly with the I making a long E sound so that it is pronounced pretty much like SEE-SOHN.
This sissone is in fact a variation of the split jump, however with the sissone you jump with one foot leading, do the splits at a 45 degree angle, and then land on the leading foot first before your other foot touches the ground or the beam right next to it.
It counts as a dance move, and as such it is still seen fairly often even at times in the highest levels of gymnastics. Though the move itself it simple, the act of getting the splits and just the right angle is what takes the most amount of time and practice in order to perfect.
8. Split Leap
A split leap is a gymnastics move that is done either on the floor or on the balance beam. While this one is not one that is seen a whole lot in the higher levels, for a 7 or an 8 year old gymnast it is a great way to get the dance moves that they need in their routine and it is also something that audiences enjoy seeing.
In order to do a split leap the gymnast both starts and ends on both of her feet. She has to first leap up and into the air after getting some forward momentum, going into a split position with one leg behind her and the other leg in front of her, and then holding that for just a moment before landing. As you might imagine, in order for a young gymnast to learn how to do the split jump they have to first be able to do the splits.
9. Back Walkover
A back walkover is one of the fundemantal gymnastics moves that a young gymnast needs to learn but which is more about learning skills needed to work towards other moves than anything else. Still, it is fun to watch and it can be fun to do if you know how to.
In order to do a back walkover the steps are really simple. The first step is to lean backwards and to get into a backbend position with both feet and both hands on the floor. Once there you swing one leg up to point towards the ceiling, using the momentum in order to keep swinging it while you then swing the other leg into the air as you swing both legs down on the other side.
Your leading leg should touch the ground first, followed by your other leg which should land right beside it so that you are now in a position where you are bending over forward with you hands touching the ground a short distance in front of your feet. Finally, you raise the top part of your body back into a standing position.
10. Front Tuck Salto
A front tuck salto is one of the very first saltos that young gymnasts learn and it lays the foundations for working towards all of the other saltos which are seen in even the highest levels of gymnastics competitions. This is why mastering this is a very important thing for a young gymnast to do, and more than that it is even required in the routines of many of the levels during almost all of the events.
This salto can be done on the floor, on the balance beam, as the final part of a vault, and as part of a dismount from the bars. To do a front tuck you basically do the same thing as a front handspring, only in this case you do not touch the ground with your hand or go into a handstand position.
What you do is you jump off of your feet while bringing your arms up into the air as you throw the top part of your body forward and down. Then you rotate your body all the way around with your legs bent at the knees and your hands holding on to the sides of the calves of your legs so that you don’t wobble. You should go all the way around, stretching out your legs again only to land at the end.