Even in its familiarity, the balance beam is still a daunting piece of athletic equipment. Long and narrow, it is raised about 4 feet (1.2 m) above the floor. Walking on the balance beam is where beginners start. Elite-level gymnasts jump, turn, run, kick, flip, do cartwheels, pirouettes, mount and dismount with seemingly effortless precision. The riveting repertoires in this sport demonstrate creativity and control like no other.
Advice for First-timer’s Feet on a Balance Beam:
Stand at one end face the beam’s length. With chest high and abdominal muscles contracted, place left foot in front of right. Turn feet out slightly and distribute weight evenly on balls of feet. Keep toes on top of the beam to prevent ankles from rolling. Align kneecaps with feet. Point arms up above head toward ceiling or extend arms like airplane wings. Looking straight ahead, step forward with right foot. Point toes and place the heel of right foot securely on beam. Continue forward, alternating feet until reaching the end of the beam.
‘Feat Footwork’ – Olympic Gold-Medal Balance Beam Routines:
2012…..split leap mount, front tuck, two flip-flops to a layout, swing down, split leap, switch ring leap, front walkover, swing down, side aerial, sheep jump, back tuck, wolf jump, split leap, full turn, two flip-flops to a double pike dismount.
2008…..two flip-flops to a two-foot layout, front pike, standing full, switch leap, layout step-out, two-foot layout, switch leap, split jump, pike jump, back tuck, full turn, cartwheel to sit, round-off, full-in dismount.
2004….. ‘Onodi’ which is a jump backward, then a half twist into a front handspring, then a flip-flop, one-armed flip-flop, layout step-out, split leap, ‘Kotchetkova’ which is full-twisting back handspring, then a front walkover, flip-flop, back pike, full turn, ‘Omelianchik’ which is a back dive with Â¼ (or Â¾) twist to land in a handstand, then a round-off, full-in dismount. (1)
[Please check source for winners’ names and countries.]
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM