Level 4 Floor Routine

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AlexsGymmyMom

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Proud Parent
Mar 20, 2009
2,532
USA
In the level 4 floor routine during the handstand bridge kickover are the girls supposed to keep their legs together on the bridge part? My daughter is having a hard time doing this. It looks as though her feet slip out from under her and she falls on her back. If her legs are not completely together she gets it every time. She was told by her coach that her shoulders were positioned wrong? Can someone give me some insight on if it is a deduction or not and tips for doing it right?
 
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gymnastica96

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I believe my coach told me they're supposed to be split but I'm not possitive
 
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ChalkBumSmiley

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Im also a level 4

Im a level 4 and my coach told me our legs dont have to be together n her coach probably means she should keep her shoulders straight n blocked instead of moving them! Hope this helps
 
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BlairBob

Guest
More than likely, she is not as flexible in her shoulders as a coach would want them to be.

Legs apart makes the bridge more stable than legs and feet together.
 
Apr 3, 2008
59
The feet don't have to be together. I was told they can be shoulder width apart, but if they are farther, then you have a deduction..
 
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gymnut1

Guest
I sounds like she needs to lean over her shoulders more as her feet come down. This takes the weight off her legs more and she come down less heavy with her feet so should slip less. In the book I have there is no deduction listed for landing with feet apart (shoulder width sounds acceptable) BUT there is a deduction for 'failing to push shoulders behind hands in bridging phase' although this may mean the bit on the floor rather than the drop. But if her feet slip away and she drops to her back that is a fall and takes a bigger deduction. Her priority at the moment should be not to fall. Once she is keeping her shoulders over her hands and controlling the drop to bridge she can start working to keep her legs together.
 

gymdog

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Coach
Former Gymnast
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Jul 5, 2007
5,121
The answer is probably closest to "they should" in order to truly to the skill series so it doesn't receive deductions, but that requires a lot of flexibility and a fair amount of muscle control. Many L4s can't. I've done gymnastics a lot longer than a L4, and I probably couldn't really do it (not outstanding shoulder flexibility. Or, I could, but I doubt I could kick back over from that position, because I couldn't "rock back" far enough with my legs straight and together. Probably what's happening is they're actually encouraging the more "straight leg" action in the bridge (not a bad thing) and when the legs are apart, there tends to be a bend, which gives more leverage to push back into the bridge and do the kickover. It takes "more" to keep legs straight and together. Requires a lot of work but can really help them develop shoulder flex and control.
 

AlexsGymmyMom

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Mar 20, 2009
2,532
USA
Thanks so much. My DD is determined to do it with strait legs no matter what. Her 1st meet she recieved an 8.5 because she almost fell on the bridge. She recovered before her back hit the floor but she had to move her feet to stop herself from falling. She has been practicing alot more and can almost do it everytime. It looks so pretty when she nails it. Most of the routines that I saw doing this with strait legs did recieve much higher scores. Hopefully we will see higher scores if she can get consistent.
 

gymnast16

Member
Aug 17, 2009
55
California
Her legs should be as close and as tight, as they can be, yes, they may come together a little, yes it is a deduction, but together, her shoulders need to stay back, she needs to puch back, so her knees dont come forward, or bend. shoulders need to be on top of her hands, right above.
 

gymbaby12

Member
Oct 17, 2009
118
n/a
they can be together but its easier to seperate them and judges prefer that u keep them together. hope this helps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :huge:
 

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
Judges do not prefer front limbers with legs together, and it is not a deduction if their legs come apart.
 

gympanda

Coach
Coach
Judge
Apr 14, 2009
236
Just as an FYI, here are the deductions that are specific to the Handstand to Bridge Kick-Over skill in the L4 routine:

Failure to maintain arms next to ears & focus on hands Up to 0.10
Failure to close (join) legs 0.10
Failure to push shoulders behind hands in bridging phase Up to 0.20
Failure to land with feet simultaneously 0.10
Insufficient leg separation on back kick-over (less than 120°) Up to 0.20
 

Tim_Dad

Member
Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
A "bridge" is legs straight and together, arms straight and past vertical from the shoulder. If the final position is a "crab", it's more of a backbend.

For example
This is what many young gymnasts call a bridge:




But this is Correct...



And yes it's harder to do a handstand to bridge, but like anything in gymnastics -- it just takes practice and a willingness to come as close to perfection as possible. Shoulder flexability should be worked on -- and "core" strength. Anything that requires balance and control comes from the core. Stretching, and working on strengthening the abdominal area is key to control.
 
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AlexsGymmyMom

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Mar 20, 2009
2,532
USA
A "bridge" is legs straight and together, arms straight and past vertical from the shoulder. If the final position is a "crab", it's more of a backbend.

For example
This is what many young gymnasts call a bridge:




But this is Correct...



And yes it's harder to do a handstand to bridge, but like anything in gymnastics -- it just takes practice and a willingness to come as close to perfection as possible. Shoulder flexability should be worked on -- and "core" strength. Anything that requires balance and control comes from the core. Stretching, and working on strengthening the abdominal area is key to control.
Thanks so much! This really helps alot! She is getting much closer now and hopefully she nails it at her qualifier tomorrow!!
 
Jun 26, 2009
120
OMG - I have to show this to my daughter tonight. Is the second position how they should land from the handstand when doing a handstand bridge kickover. I don't see many kids landing with straight legs like that.
 

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
You are not required to land like #2, nor is it a deduction if you land like #1 (assuming it's controlled).
 

gymch34

Member
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
The purpose of the handstand bridge in L4 is to prepare them for the front handspring in L5. Therefore, the focus is on the handstand and keeping the shoulders on top of the wrists as the bridge begins (and then the split on the kick over part.)

Technically, a straight leg landing (feet in front) is NOT correct, even though some teams do land w/ legs straight, and I'm not sure why. I mainly coach upper level floor, and the 2nd bridge in Tim Dad's photo makes me cringe (nothing personal, its just the body position)! It may look "pretty" but that position is not the intent of the skill in L4, or helpful to develop a good front handspring.

There is no bridging (front walkover, backwalkover) skill that uses this straight leg position (all those skills use an opposite position, actually), so kids should not be focusing on it at all, IMHO! There is NO deduction in L4 for landing w/ legs bent & slightly apart, and even if there was, I'd have my athletes take the hit in order to develop the basic positions correctly.
(Can you tell this is a peeve of mine, LOL??):p
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
According to the book the feet must be shoulder width apart or closer, so they do not need to have their feet like the second picture. But they do need to push their shoulders past their hands.
 

AlexsGymmyMom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 20, 2009
2,532
USA
Wow, this is great information. I sooo appreciate all the replies. One question though, why do the gyms that do the bridge with legs together always score higher at comps than the gyms that do not? It seems that even when everything else is equal that is the 1 thing that makes the difference. Just my observation. Maybe there is a judge out there that can let us know what their thoughts are?
 

Tim_Dad

Member
Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
The purpose of the handstand bridge in L4 is to prepare them for the front handspring in L5.
This may be true, but the "purpose" of the skill is not what's being judged.

:confused: Respectfully, Can you elaborate on HOW a handstand to bridge kickover prepares for FHS?? I'm not envisioning how this works towards progression you mention. I mean, other then the feet go up and behind the gymnast, FHS is a rapid tumbling skill, where this is a slow, controlled positioning movement. I don't see how the two skills are related. It's these little things that I find most interesting.

As Gympanda graciously posted above -- there ARE specific deductions. And the first four are exactly the SAME deductions as one would expect for a bridge done exclusively.

(Handstand/Bridge) Failure to maintain arms next to ears & focus on hands. Up to 0.10
(Bridge) Failure to close (join) legs 0.10
(Bridge) Failure to push shoulders behind hands in bridging phase Up to 0.20
(Bridge) Failure to land with feet simultaneously 0.10
(kickover) Insufficient leg separation on back kick-over (less than 120°) Up to 0.20
In fact, there's one more -- failure to attain and hold vertical in handstand phase.

Again: Close (join legs), land with feet simultaneously. That's pretty clear, and specific to me.

A bridge is a bridge, regardless of it's progressive value.

It's either a bridge - done properly - or it's not. And Photo #1 above -- is NOT a bridge. It doesn't become a bridge until the gymnast straightens the legs, feet together, with shoulders pushed behind hands. The skill is not "Handstand to Bridge-like Kick-Over", or handstand to back "flop-over" (most common). Photo 1 would be where the gymnasts would be mid-back walkover. A back-walkover, or partial back walkover, in the case - ins't the required skill. Even though it may progress to other skills like front/back walkover, or FHS, the judged L4 floor routine skill is still 'handstand-bridge-kickover'.

I agree there is no deduction for landing with legs slightly bent. In fact, it's preferred because the gymnast needs slightly bent legs to be able to push the shoulders back behind the hands without repositioning. If the gymnast has good shoulder flexability, then a push back (of any distance) isn't needed to finish the element in the desired position. Thus -- straight leg.

From what I can tell, there are few judged skills that have acceptable variations. This may be one of them, but I don't think so. Ignoring what the element requires - aka. accepting the deduction - is of course is always an option.

AlexsGymmyMom, My DD is one of three on her team (of 40) that can do a controlled handstand to bridge kickover with legs & feet together. Her scores definately reflect this ability. The girls that don't execute this skill, but do the rest of the L4 routine very well - score significantly LESS. Just my own observation. But in the end -- it's Always up the the coach, for the very reasons gymch34 mentioned. Please be sure to ask the coach before having your DD pratice any element differently as it may contradict her coaches long-term agenda. It's counter-productive to your DD to share your vision of "correct" with that of your coach. Your coaches view is always the correct one - even if you disagree. :)
 
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