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As soon as the novice gymnasts can perform regular walks across the beam with a fair level of safe proficiency they can start training different variations to develop posture balance and presentation. Like in this example showing a locked knee with the foot pointing on each step then showing the walk with the arms up on a crown instead of straight out on the sides. It is important to always keep the arms vertical.
As the novice gymnasts improve their balance and confidence training different kinds of walks and other basic skills each of these activities can be refined and upgraded from simple back walks. The athlete must be guided to develop more challenging variations. In this case the legs swing backwards to a tight arch on every step and the gymnasts must focus on keeping the knees locked, the stomach in, and the arms and the body as stable as possible minimizing wobbles and hesitations.
Performing side walks on the balance beam is a good drill for beginner and novice gymnasts that want to improve their balance, posture and presentation.
In this basic variation to train balance, body posture, and presentation, the gymnast must walk in a tall releve to increase the balancing challenge. They must also focus on keeping a vertical body line with the buttocks, hips, and stomach tucked in to continue re-firming their posture and control.
During beam training the gymnasts should practice different kinds of walks jumps and other basic skills that help to develop an increase in balance, clean body lines, and elegant execution. The basic front kicks must swing up horizontal or higher, but always keeping the support leg straight, and the body in a vertical line without piking forward or arching back.
Coaches may add different challenges and variations to basic training. Here we offer a couple of extra walks and kick combinations. In this example when the gymnast steps forward she raises the back leg to a tight arch while she performs a demiplie. Then she swings the same leg forward to a high front kick as the support leg extends to releve.
The needle kicks are another good addition to beam warm up lines. During each kick the goal is to bring the kicking leg to point vertical or beyond with a full split and open hip angle. The drill can be performed alternating each leg kick and stepping along the beam, or staying in place and kicking several times with one leg and then the other.
In both the regular split leap and the switch leap the front leg swings forward as the back leg leaves the floor in a sweeping motion to kick toward the horizontal line. Both the front and back leg cooperate to show a 180 degree split or more at peak height.
The swing kick half turn is a good balance drill. The goal is to perform a high front kick and swing the same leg back while raising the support leg in a tall releve. The gymnast performs a half turn ending with that same free leg raising up as high as possible above the horizontal line.