Once the gymnasts are demonstrating some improvement on the basic beam walks they may progress to start training little beam hops. This kind of challenge must be introduced on a low beam first and only practiced on the high beam when the gymnast shows safe and fair consistency.
These kind of hops require a good balance control and must not be attempted by novice gymnasts on a high beam. After the athletes have demonstrated acceptable proficiency on a low beam they can progressively move a skill to a medium beam and later on to a regulation height beam. Any type of basic drill hopping on one single leg should be trained on support feet.
Gymnasts that have mastered straight body jumps moving along the length of the beam can start training this variation where they combine tight arch jumps with hollow shape jumps.
Once the gymnast have learned how to perform some basic jumps on floor and have a good understanding of how to land safely, they may also practice basic dismounts. In the tuck jump, emphasis is placed on bringing the knees up close to the chest. For a pike jump, the gymnast brings the legs up close to a horizontal line. The goal is to show a deep pike at peak height. The straddle jump dismount must emphasize hip turn-out so at peak height the front part of the legs are facing up toward the ceiling.
Although in the round-off basic dismount the feet do not land on the beam after the arms repulsion, this skill is a useful drill to introduce advanced recreational gymnasts and entry level team gymnasts to hand placements on the beam. Notice the attention to proper posture and presentation to begin the round-off.
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.