The basic positions of gymnastics are the basis for advanced gymnastics skills. The basic body positions can be performed in a number of ways, including sitting and standing, or as part of a complex, fluid skill. Each complex skill is made up of a combination of basic body positions, balances, twists and rotations. For example, a forward roll moves from standing through a supported squat, inversion, back rocker, tuck sit, squat and back to standing. The basic sitting positions should be mastered when beginning gymnastics training.
This is the easiest of all of the sitting positions to execute. To perform a pike sit, sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you and your torso vertical, lifting your rib cage and abdominal muscles. Rest you arms at your sides. The pike is the basis for many skills, including the pike jump, and is used in a number of holds on the beam, bars, rings and vault.
The straddle sit is the easiest of all of the straddle positions. To execute the straddle sit, sit on the floor with your legs straight and extended to the sides in a V position in front of the body as wide as you can. Keep your hips squared and your torso vertical. Straighten your back, tense your abdominal muscles and lift your chest. This position is used in a variety of skills, including straddle handstands and sole circles on the bars.
The tuck sit is one of the most frequently used positions in gymnastics. To perform the tuck sit, sit on the floor with your back straight and your abdominal muscles lifted. Draw your feet toward your body until your knees are fully bent and pointing up. Wrap your arms around your shins and pull your legs closer to your body. The tuck is a foundation skill for many skills, such as the forward roll and back somersault in a tuck position.
The crossed-leg sit is a common position in gymnastics that is also used as a general position for sitting in a variety of activities and situations, including yoga. To execute a crossed-leg sit, sit on the floor with your legs drawn up toward your body and your knees relaxed to the outside. Cross your legs at the ankles. This is a useful position when combined with standing. Moving from standing to a crossed-leg sit and back to standing without using hands will help a gymnast develop core and leg strength and balance.
- Teaching FUNdamental Gymnastics Skills; Debby Mitchell, Barabara Davis and Raim Lopez
- Teaching Tumbling; Phillip Ward
An American writer living in the United Kingdom, Christy Mitchinson began writing professionally in 2000, during her career in laboratory science, pathology and research. She has authored training materials, standard operating procedures and patient/clinician information leaflets. Mitchinson is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing with The Open University.