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HPE2203 - Gymnastics



Gymnastics taught correctly is an excellent tool for developing body management skills and
preparing participants for many physical pursuits. Once students can manage their own bodies
with a degree of skill they can subsequently better control manoeuvre themselves with an
implement (racket, bat) or themselves plus a projectile (ball, javelin). Furthermore they can better
control themselves in different mediums (snow, water) or better handle themselves plus an

‘Olympic gymnastics’ as seen on television is a highly skilled and competitive sport. This form of
gymnastics should be left to be taught in gymnastics clubs with accredited coaches. The function
of a school gymnastic programme should be to provide rewarding and safe environment in which
students can learn to control their bodies in a variety of situations. The aim is to encourage
participation regardless of weight, size, gender or ability of students.

The current Gymnastics in Schools programme is based on the Dominant Movement Pattern
(DMP) approach. These are:

 Statics
 Locomotion
 Springs
 Landings
 Rotation
 Swing

By teaching the six dominant movement patterns (the lowest common denominator of all
gymnastics skills), the students are learning the building blocks for more complex skills and they
can develop the body control necessary for efficient movement in all areas of life. For example,
take a mark in football (spring and landing), hold a defence position in netball (static), perform a
somersault dive off a springboard (spring and rotation).

The S.P.A.C.E approach is used for the introduction of skills and their practice to gymnastics. It’s a
logical progression of teaching from the simple to more difficult aspects of the skill.

S – What ‘skill progressions’ can be used to teach the whole skill? How will you break the skill
down into smaller parts?

P – What ‘physical preparation’ is necessary to acquire the skill?

A – What are the ‘appropriate key teaching points’ (KTPs) to teach this skill?

C – What are the ‘common errors’ when learning the skills?

E – How can the teacher ‘evaluate’ when the student is ready to progress
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


The purpose of a warm up is to prepare both the body and the mind for the activities that will
follow in the training session and so minimize the risk of injury.

The warm up should involve continuous aerobic type activity the increase the blood flow and the
body temperature. Follow this with stretching activities for all the major joints and muscle groups
to ‘loosen up’ the body – this should not be confused with increasing flexibility, where the
stretches are held for a longer period of time.

The length of the warm up and its intensity will vary according to the age and ability of the
student and the overall length of the lesson.

Principles of a good warm up

 Involve everyone
 Be quick and easy to organise
 Use variety to maintain enthusiasm
 Make it fun by using games and challenges

Safety and injury prevention

 Allow adequate spacing

 Ensure the environment is safe e.g. mats slipping
 Static stretches only (no bouncing or forcing the stretch)
 Do not overstretch. Hold the stretch to the point of tension and this tension should
subside over time.
 Do not hold your breath in stretches
 Take care with lower back and knees
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


A well – rounded Gymnastics Programme will enhance:

 Physical abilities such as flexibility, strength, muscular endurance and power

 Motor abilities such as balance, spatial orientation, coordination and agility

This allows students to become more confident and efficient movers and these skills can be
transferred to all areas of life.

Gymnastics places physiological demands on the body e.g. a handstand requires strength and
flexibility, and part of the programme should be dedicated to developing the body’s ability to
cope with these demands.

The importance of physical preparation

 Reduces the incidence of injury

 Allows faster more accurate skill acquisition
 Reduces the incidence of muscle soreness
 Allows a prolonged period of quality participation
 Helps rapid recovery from fatigue

Implementation into the programme

When planning your gymnastics programme, you should identify which skills will be taught as part
of a DMP and then ensure that the adequate physical preparation has been covered before
attempting to teach that skill.

The components of physical preparation

 FLEXIBILITY – the range of motion around a joint

 STRENGTH – the amount of force that a muscle or group of muscles can exert
 ENDURANCE – prolonged work with a localised muscle group
 POWER – explosive force. Strength plus speed
 AEROBIC – cardio vascular fitness

Some or all of these components should be developed every lesson. Strength and flexibility are
particularly pertinent to most gymnastic skills and these two components will be a focus when
working on the physical preparation needed to perform a skill.

When do you teach physical preparation?

Physical conditioning work may be included as part of the warm up, as part of a circuit or while
they are waiting for a turn at an activity during the skill development section of your lesson.
HPE2203 - Gymnastics

Suggestions for introducing physical preparation

 Make it fun – ask a class to do 10 push up and they groan. Disguise the push ups in a game
or challenge and they will do 30 without noticing
 Activities should be easy and quick to organise
 Use music
 Use small apparatus e.g. balls, hoops, beanbags, witches hats
 Use the playground
 Use a mixture of single, partner and group activities

Strategies for dealing with individual differences in the class

Vary the physical demand of the activity by changing:

 The number of repetitions or time on the task

 The length of the rest period
 The texture of the surface
 The heights
 The body position
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


Divide the body into three sections – upper, torso, lower

Then collate and number a variety of individual, partner and group activities and games that can
be used to develop these areas.

For e.g.


Strength Flexibility Endurance

1. Push Up’s 1. Shoulder stretch 1. Star Jumps

2. Pull up’s 2. Sit and reach 2. Speed boxing

3. Dips 3. Triceps stretch 3. Medicine ball throw


Strength Flexibility Endurance

1. Crunches 1. Back rolls 1. Plank

2. Russian twist 2. Up/Down Dog 2. Hill climbers

3. Leg raises 3. Touch toes 3. Burpees


Strength Flexibility Endurance

1. Squats 1. Leg swings 1. Running

2. Plyometric jumps 2. Open/Close the gate 2. Squat holds

3. Lunges 3. Sitting hamstring stretch 3. Hill sprints

HPE2203 - Gymnastics


Choose 3 activities above and modify them as below:


Upper body Lighter ball and/or Heavier ball and/or Throw to a friend and
throwing less distance more distance throw back
Medicine ball throw
Torso Come up less as you Add a weight or a Tag a friends hands or
sit up medicine ball to lift as feet as you come up
Crunches you come up
Lower body Lower box or Higher box or Both jump up or
instrument that you instrument down together or as
Plyometric Jump are jumping on one jumps up the
other jumps down


A well planned circuit is an excellent way to get maximum participation from your students
especially when there is limited equipment.

A circuit is a closed loop of several situations with activities set out at each station. It may be used
to develop progressions towards a skill, to practice a new skill, to allow exploration of movement,
or to revise skills from past lessons.

It is beneficial in that activity levels are high, it allows students to be autonomous in their learning
and it can leave the teacher free to roam and focus in on problem areas.

The organisation of the circuit can vary depending on the desired outcome. Students may perform
the station activity once and move on to the next station or they may remain at one station for a
designated time then move on as directed.

Suggestions for planning circuits

 Stations need to be well spaced and designed to flow around the circuit
 Ensure landing areas are clear from other students and any hand apparatus
 Select stations so that only one (if any) activity will require constant supervision
 Include in the plan how you will group the students and how they will move around the

Design a simple circuit for endurance with 6 x relevant exercises for 45 secs at each station.

1. Scissor Jumps 2. Skipping

3. Star Jumps 4.Burpees
5. Wall squats – Holding 6. Hill Climbers

HPE2203 - Gymnastics


Dominant Movement Patterns (DMPs) are the patterns that re-occur in gymnastics. They are the
building blocks for more complex skills. Once these ‘building blocks’ are mastered the students
can progress laterally with variety or vertically, with difficulty.

The grouping of activities into the six DMPs







enables the teacher to better understand the biomechanical principles that relate to efficient
movement and to formulate Key Teaching Points (KTPs) that will carry over from one skill to the

The DMP approach provides a framework that develops from simple to complex for the teaching
of movement. It assists the teacher to decide what to teach and in what order.

This includes all the ‘held’ and ‘still’ positions in gymnastics and should be the starting point for
your teaching.

Statics can be divided into three categories:

BALANCES – using a small base of support

SUPPORTS – shoulders above the apparatus

HANGS – shoulders below the apparatus

Once the supports and balances are competent on the floor students can then progress to partner
and group balances and supports and balances on apparatus.
HPE2203 - Gymnastics

BASIC STATIC POSITIONS (insert pictures) KTP’s

1. Stand with good posture

-Feet together

- Good body tension

- Shoulders back & arms by side

Good body tension = tummy,

bottom, legs and toes
tight/squeezed together

2. Front support
-Shoulder over hands

-Feet and legs together

-Straight legs

-Chest in

-Good body tension

3. Back support

-Feet together

-Legs together and straight

-Straight arms

-Hips up

-Straight back
4. Stork stand

-Hands on hips

-Bottom leg straight

-Big toe to opposite knee

5. Tuck sit

-Knees up to chest

-Feet and knees together (close to


-One hand on each leg

-Straight back

6. V – sit

-Arms straight

-Legs straight

-Legs at 45-60º
7. Shoulder stand
-Straight line from feet to

-Standing on shoulders

-Hands on hips

8. Front scale

-Arms out to the side

-Bottom leg slight bend

-Back leg straight 90º

-Chest out
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


The ability to maintain a fixed shape and be able to eliminate unnecessary body movements is a
prerequisite for efficient movement and is an important factor in the prevention of injury. Correct
posture is also aesthetically pleasing.


Lift the plank

Partner lies on the floor and has to try and stay in a straight line with their body, whilst you lift
them up from their feet. To test their body tension, you can let go of one of the feet and see if
they can hold it up and keep it in line.

Shake the tin soldier

Get your partner to get into the front and back plank (supports) and try and push them from each
side, if there is little movement they have good body tension, however if they wobble or fall they
need to focus on tightening their body especially their core.

Crack the egg

Get your partner to sit tight together in the tuck position and you have to try and pull them apart,
this including at the knees, feet and pulling them apart in half. (if they are little and you can pick
them up, get them to stay in the tuck as you pick them up to test their body tension, if they are
very advanced you can try to swing them a little.)


Once the basic static positions have been taught these can be practiced and improved by
providing a variety of tasks, which use the static positions

 Revise during warm up using games such as musical statues holding a static position when
the music stops, or play tag and hold a static position till someone releases you.

 Make a station in a circuit the static that relates to the skill being taught or as a revision
have a whole circuit set up with statics stations.

 Make up a sequence using static position using different body parts and different levels.

 Work with a partner and make up a sequence using four different statics. Perfect with
precise timing and exact images.

 Try the same task in fours.

 Work with a partner, explore ways you can both perform the same static but part of one
person must be resting on the other.

 Try the same in fours.

HPE2203 - Gymnastics

HANDSTAND (insert picture)

Physical Preparation

- Shoulder flexibility
- Wrist flexibility
- Hip flexors and hamstring flexibility
- Core strength
- Upper body strength

Skill Progressions / Lead up Drills KTPs

1. Tuck sit :

-Straight back -Knees up to chest

-Feet and knees together (close to bottom) -One hand on each leg

2. Front support:

- Shoulders over hands - Feet and legs together

- Straight legs - Chest in

- Good body tension

3. Bunny hop:

- Two foot take off and landing - Straight arms

4. Tuck handstand:

- Two foot landing and take off - Straight arms

- Back and hips straight

5. Scorpion:
- One foot take off - one foot landing
- Straight arms

6. Half handstand:
- Straight arms - One leg at 180º
- One leg at 90º

7. Full Handstand:
- Straight arms - Straight back
- Straight legs - Two feet together

- Hand stand forward roll
- Cartwheels
- Backflip
- Handsprings

Homework: 6 stations for handstands can use hoops balls beanbags skipping ropes can upgrade
front support

1. Handstand wall walks: Once your in position and your stomach is facing the wall, have your
hands get as close to the wall as comfortable, then begin to walk your hands out and in towards
the wall.

2. Handstand shoulder touches: Once your in position and your stomach is facing the wall, have
your hands get as close to the wall as comfortable, then begin to hold the handstand with one
hand using your feet on the wall and touch your opposite shoulder with the free hand. If you
don’t feel comfortable doing this try to do push ups but vertical.

3. Knuckle raises: Begin on all fours with your hands and knees as bases on the ground. Next,
spread your finder apart. With your arms straight and shoulders over your hands, raise your palms
off the floor keeping your fingertips on the floor.

This exercise builds wrist and forearm strength that gives you more control and the ability to
prevent yourself from toppling over when you lose balance
4.Baton floor drill: Start by lying facedown on the ground with your feet together and arms above
your head, holding a relay baton in your hands. While keeping
your thighs, face, and chest on the ground, squeeze your bottom and tilt the pelvis so that only
your abs are off the ground. Next, lift the baton about 3-5 cm off the ground and hold this
position for three sets of 5-10 seconds each. The wider you grip the baton, the easier it will be to
5. Sock Slides: Come into a high plank position with the tops of your feet on the floor. Press the
floor away and then pick your hips up as your draw the legs in as close as possible to the arms.
Then slide the feet backwards to the starting plank position. Repeat 3 to 5 times and build from
there. This exercise is about learning how to use the upper body and core together, so avoid
throwing everything into your wrists by pulling more from the low belly.

6. Supine Tuck: Come down onto your back close enough to the wall so that you can reach your
arms up overhead and press your palms firmly into it. Squeeze your arms in towards one another
as your push the wall away and then draw your navel in as you pull your knees towards your
chest. As you maintain your grip on the wall, start to curl your sacrum up off the floor, initiating
movement from your belly. Hold it there for 15 to 30 seconds and then place your tailbone back
on the floor as slowly as possible. Repeat as many times as you can until you start to lose your
form—you might just start with one.
HPE2203 - Gymnastics



What is their value?

 Enhances spatial and body awareness

 Students (especially teenagers) really enjoy exploring the challenge
 They encourage communication and cooperation
 Develops trust and timing in balance
 They are useful contributors to strength development
 Encourages good body tension as this must be maintained to balance body positions
 Reinforces the principles of stability e.g. wide base of support, and vertical alignment of
arms and legs so that the line of gravity runs through the base of support
 Develops skills that can be used in display work


 Match pairs for height and weight

 Not suitable for younger children because of weight bearing
 Exit procedure must be planned
 Mats must be used
 Use hand to hand or hand to wrist grip, monkey grip is not safe
 Avoid inverted balances until the basics are mastered
 Do not allow pyramids higher than two persons in the school environment
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


Safe landings could be one of the most important life skills you will teach your students. The
categories of landings that will be covered in this course are:

1. Landing on feet
2. Landing on hands
3. Landing sideways
4. Landing backwards

The basic principle of safe landing is to soften the impact on the body joints especially the lower
back. This is achieved by absorbing the landing forces over as much time and as large a body
surface as possible.


 Ensure adequate matting – not too hard or soft

 Reduce frequency of landing on wrists
 Don’t land sideways from a height
 Ensure competence on the floor before progressing to a height

1. LAND ON FEET (motor bike landing)


 Feet should be shoulder width apart

 Contact first with balls of feet then roll through to heels and bend and the knees and hips
to finish as if sitting on a motor bike (toe, heel, knee, hips)
 Do not bend past 90’
 Ensure the heels stay planted on the floor


i. Very low jump. Absorb impact on toes to heels

ii. Add on bent knees
iii. Run and jump as high as possible and land correctly
iv. Land on benches with straight jumps
v. Add variety by changing the body shapes in the air
vi. Gradually increase the height of take off, make sure heels stay on the ground
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


This DMP includes the activities which involve projecting oneself into the air and requires the
physical ability of power i.e. explosive take off. The spring activities that will be covered are:

1. One foot to one foot - leaps

2. Feet to feet - jumps
3. Feet to hands - bunny hops, leap frogs and basic vaults


 Ensure correct landing technique before taking any springing activities up onto a height
 Mats must be placed so there are no joins along the line of landing
 Confident body management is a prerequisite for activities involving height and flight
 Firm matting is required for activities which involve springing from hands



 Explosive take off is required

 The balls of the feet strike first with the heels making only momentary contact
 This is followed by rapid extension of ankle and knee joints and a strong swing of the arms
in an upward and forward direction
 Trunk is stable and upright and at no stage should there be any arch in the students lower

1. LEAPS (insert pictures) KTPs

Cat / scissor

- Change legs
- Arms up or out to the side
- Point feet

- Straight back and torso

- One leg forward one leg back
- Arms up or out to the side

Change leg

- Split legs
- Change legs
- Straight back and torso


- Legs and body face same direction

- Torso upright
- Arms straight out to side
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


2. BASIC JUMPS (insert picture) KTPs

- Good body tension
- Arms straight up in air
- Toes pointed


- Symmetrical arm and leg

- Straight torso and back
- Knees up towards chest
- Feet and knees together
- Propel arms upward


- Bent front leg

- Back leg straight
- Upper body good tension


- One leg forward straight

- - Back
Onelegleg forward straight
- Back leg
- Arms straight straight
- Arms straight

Jump half / full turn

- Good body tension during

- Push off and land with
bent knees

- One leg forward straight

- Back leg straight
- Arms straight
HPE2203 - Gymnastics




 Hands are placed shoulder width apart

 Contact first with fingers then roll through to heel of the hand and bend the elbows
 Turn the head to one side so you don’t face plant


i. From kneeling, slowly fall forward to absorb force through fingers, palms and bend elbows
ii. Increase the speed of the fall
iii. When confident try from crouch stand, then from a front scale / arabesque



 Hand position
 Arm position
 Absorb force through hands or arms


i. Start on knees then as confidence grows, progress to stand

HPE2203 - Gymnastics




 Hand position
 Arm position
 Absorb force through shoulders and arms


i. Start from squat and slowly fall just to shoulders

ii. Roll to shoulders and turn head to one side to watch knees touch the mat. Repeat to the
other side.
iii. Perform back safety roll from squat down incline
iv. Practice on floor from squat
v. Progress to starting from stand, then with a jump and landing off balance to continue to
safety roll
vi. As students develop competence jump backwards from a low height and continue into
back safety roll.
HPE2203 - Gymnastics

SPRING – feet to hands


i. Hurdle step on floor

Run and lift leading leg up to a 90º angle, this step is used before moving into an action that
requires you to kick up e.g. a cartwheel or handstand.

ii. Hurdle using hoops

iii. From low height to board

iv. From board up onto low height


i. Bench to rebounder to mat

ii. Floor to tilted rebounder to mat
iii. Bench to mini tramp to mat
iv. Floor to mini tramp to mat


 Always keep the landing area clear

 Use a crash mat preferably with an over run mat at the end
 Mini tramp activities must be supervised. If leaving the area turn the apparatus upside
down or place in locked storage area
 Confident body management and sound landings are a prerequisite for mini tramp
 The metal frame must be covered by a frame pad
 Always check the apparatus is safe and stable before used by students

HPE2203 - Gymnastics

List different jumps that can be done off a beat board or mini tramp


Straight jump
See above
Tuck jump

Star jump

Split jump


i. Bunny jumps along the floor. Increase the distance of the spring
ii. Bunny hop between two parallel benches
iii. Bunny jumps onto bench
iv. Bunny jumps over low bench



- Arms lever person over the vault

- Lift knees up
- Land on feet



- Arms lever person over the vault

- Legs go out the side
- Land on feet
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


Design a circuit:

a. Practice springs without apparatus

b. Practice springs from feet using apparatus
c. Practice springs from hands and feet

1.Bunny hop over beam

2. forward roll over box

3.feet on box hands on beatbox

4. jump up to a box jump down

5. jump up to a box, jump and forward roll down

6. beat box to box or floor

HOMEWORK for next week

Plan a circuit with SIX stations that allows practice of landing techniques. Include TWO point form
notes on KTPs for each station, describe briefly the group organisation and indicate with a ‘T’
where the teacher would stand.

Station1: Trampoline to mat (bend knees and straight back)

Station2: Vault to mat (bend knees and straight back)
Station3: Beam to mat (bend knees and straight back)
Station4: No equipment, just on the mat (bend knees and straight back)
Station5: Beam to floor (bend knees and straight back)
Station6: trampoline into foam pit (land on knees and keep back straight)

T = teacher should always stand on the outside so that the teacher can always see everything that
is going on.
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


Locomotion is moving from one space to another. The three categories that will be covered are:

1. Locomotion on feet: running, jumping, skipping

2. Locomotion in hang: (shoulders are below base of support) monkey walk variations
3. Locomotion in support: (shoulders above the base of support) bear walks, crab walks


 Locomotion can be done with a partner

 Motivate and add interest with music
 Add variety by changing rhythm, levels and speed
 When locomotion has been mastered on the floor, they can be taken up onto apparatus
 Revise locomotion during warm up
 Use various locomotion to move around stations in a circuit
 Use animal walks in relays
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


This DMP is represented by any turn or spin around an internal axis. There are three axis. These
are transverse, anterior / posterior and longitudinal axis.


Run an imaginary stick from the left to the right hip and you have the transverse axis. Rotations
around the axis involve all turns forwards and backwards.

Related skills
 Forward and backward rolls
 Front and back saults
 Pull over and forward roll around the bar
 Back hip circle


a. Physical Preparation

Flexibility: hamstrings, neck and back (shoulder stands) wrist flexors

Strength: upper body, push ups and chin ups

b. Skill progressions / lead up drills KTPs

Tuck sit Forward roll:

Rock and roll (holding down the feet) - Hips high

- Place back of head on ground
High to low (assisted) - Back stays rounded
- Heels by bottom
High to low (not assisted) - Reach forward

Flat (assisted)

Flat (not assisted)

Low to high (assisted)

Low to high (not assisted)

c. Common errors

Dropping the shoulder

Chin isn’t tucked in

Hands to stand up

Knees aren’t together

Feet aren’t together

d. Extension

Dive roll

Handstand to forward roll

Front sault

e. Where did you spot for this?

On the side
HPE2203 - Gymnastics



a. Physical Preparation
Flexibility: glutes, neck and back (shoulder stands) wrist flexors
Strength: upper body, push ups and chin ups

a. Skill progressions / lead up drills KTPs

Tuck sit
Backward roll:
Rock and roll - Hands by ears and push hard
- Stay tucked
Shoulder stand
- Good momentum to get over
Wedge shoulder roll

Shoulder roll

Wedge backwards roll

Full backwards roll

High to low backwards roll

b. Common errors

Not tucking in the chin

Not pushing up with both arms

Knees and feet not together

c. Extension

Backwards roll into handstand

d. Where did you spot for this?

Side on

Change starting and finishing positions
Change body shapes
Try up and down slopes
Do with a partner or small groups
HPE2203 - Gymnastics



Run an imaginary stick in a straight line from your belly button through to your back and you have
the anterior – posterior axis. Rotations around this axis involve all sideways rotations.


a. Physical Preparation

Flexibility: in hamstrings, wrist and finger flexion and extension

b. Skill progressions / lead up drills KTPs

- Jump from side to side of a bench/box with hips high
- Mini pin wheel (1, 2, 3, 4) with hand and foot prints Cartwheel:
- Cartwheel on a line
- Second hand reaches over top ear
- Cartwheel with a spot
- Cartwheel side to side - Push off hands to stand
- Start and finish in a lunge
c. Common errors
- Legs bent or too close
- Arms too far apart
- Weak back leg kick
- Legs are horizontal
- Hands are too close
- Diving into it
- Bent arms

d. Extension
- Side to side cartwheel
- Front to back cartwheel
- 1 handed cartwheel (near and far hand)
- Kneel to cartwheel
- Cartwheel to kneel
- Running cartwheel
- Dive cartwheel

e. Where did you spot for this?

- back of gymnast to spotter, near hand goes on hip of gymnast, far hand goes on far hip of
gymnast as they rotate, hands stay on gymnast as they rotate and spotter moves with gymnast


Change starting and finishing positions

Change body shapes
Try up and down slopes
Do with a partner or small groups
HPE2203 - Gymnastics

HOMEWORK for next week

Draw an example circuit for teaching a forward roll in the space below.

Choose 6 x stations each with two KTPs. Then indicate with a ‘T’ where the teacher would stand
and explain your reason.

Station 1: Forward roll on a flat surface

Station 2: Forward roll down an incline

Station 3: Forward roll along a straight line

Station 4: Start standing then move into a forward roll

Station 5: Cartwheel into a forward roll

Station 6: Handstand into a forward roll

T = teacher should always stand on the outside so that the teacher can always see everything that
is going on.
HPE2203 - Gymnastics



Run an imaginary stick in a straight line from the middle of your head to your feet and you have a
longitudinal axis. Rotations around this axis involve all turn left or right.

Related skills (insert pictures) KTPs

Log rolls

-Body should be in a straight line with

your bottom and stomach muscles
pulled in.
-Keep your head between your arms.
-Keep your arms and legs lifted off the
-Press your lower back to the floor.

Egg rolls

-Press your lower back to the floor.

-Keep your knees together

- Keep knees tucked into your chest

Jump half / full turn

- Bend knees in preparation

- Push off and swing arms to create
- Bend knees on landing
Change starting and finishing positions
Change body shapes
Try up and down slopes
Do with a partner or small groups
HPE2203 - Gymnastics

SWING (and rotation)


a. Physical Preparation
- Strength upper body
- Fore arm flexibility
- Wrist flexibility
- Core strength
b. Skill Progressions

Step: to the bar , chin: on the bar kick: over the bar

- Assisted then unassisted

(wedge/box to run up and then over)

c. Key Teaching Points

Step, chin, kick, pull up into a front support

d. Common Errors
- Chin not on the bar
- Both arms aren’t pulling evenly

e. Where do you spot for this?

HPE2203 - Gymnastics

SWING (and rotation)


a. Physical Preparation
Strength upper body
Fore arm flexibility
Wrist flexibility
Core strength

b. Skill Progressions

Cast first, if they cant cast, can’t do a backwards circle

- Assisted
- Unassisted

c. Key Teaching Points

- Cast
- Shoulders forward
- Chest in
- Heel drive
- Hip drive
- Front support
- Straight arms

d. Common Errors
- No hip drive
- Shoulders aren’t leaning forward

e. Where do you spot for this?

Side and in front

HPE2203 - Gymnastics


In the school environment most swing apparatus is usually not available but basic swings on the
bar or in the playground can be developed and are beneficial for the development of upper body
strength and spatial awareness.
Swings can be divided in to two categories:

a. Swing in hang
b. Swing in support

 Good landings and grip strength are a prerequisite for swing
 Participants must show competence in hang and support activities before progressing to swing
 Ensure matting extends far enough both sides of the bar to allow for the body moving away
from the bar on full extension
 Ensure participants are regrasping the bar at the top of the back swing
 No hock swings without hand grasp

RELATED SKILLS (insert pictures) KTPs

Pendulum swing

- Long hang
- legs swing from side to side

Tuck swing: Legs are bent

- Jump to the bar with chest in

- Straight arms
- Knee drive
- Regroup at the back of the swing
- Land at the back of the swing
Long hang swing

- Jump to the bar with chest in

- Straight arms
- Knee drive
- Regroup at the back of the
- Land at the back of the swing

HPE2203 - Gymnastics



Hock swing

1 leg over the bar

other leg is straight

two straight arms

Basket swing

Nose and knees together,

bottom up

* when spotting hold their wrists

Novelty ideas for swing

- Two knees
- Two armpits, knees bent
- Two hand to feet straddle
- One knee
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


SWING IN SUPPORT (insert picture) (Cast)

a. Physical Preparation

Flexibility: arms need to be stretched so that hyper extension or a strained muscle don’t occur.

b. Skill Progressions

Swing legs forwards/backwards

Hips off the bar


No assistance

c. Key Teaching Points

- Straight arms
- Pull up shoulders
- Lean shoulders forward over the bar
- Chest in when you cast
- Tight legs

d. Common Errors
- Arms bend
- Shoulders are falling back
- Back is arched

e. Where do you spot for this?

On the side, same side as the student (back of the bar)

f. Extension
- Backward circle
- handstand
HPE2203 - Gymnastics


The use of hand apparatus closely ties in with the fundamental movement skills program. Hand
apparatus such as hoops, balls, ropes, beanbags, balloons and scarves are readily available in the
school environment and should be utilised to add variety and interest to the gymnastics program.

Hand apparatus have their own DMPs:

 Throwing / releasing
 Catching / trapping
 Rotation
 Circles / swings
 Passing over / under / around
 Bouncing
 Balance

These apparatus DMPs can also be combined with body DMPs to further extend the skills and add
variety e.g. throw a ball and perform a full turn before catching it.


 Suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities

 Adds variety and challenge to the program
 Helps develop hand – eye coordination
 Partner and group work provides the opportunity for the development of cooperation and
team spirit
 Provides interesting and non threatening skills which can be used in display work


 Ensure adequate air space for throwing activities

 Provide ample space between participants
 Beware of using balls where landing from a height are involved
 Hoop rotations around the neck are not recommended
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- Goodway. (2014). Gymnastics Skills and Drills. Retrieved from: https://cpb-us-


- Gymnast training pro. (2016). The biggest mistakes when learning to do a cartwheel. Retrieved from:

- Isacowitz, R. Pilates (2nd ed., p. Excerpts).

- Johnson, R. (2016). 3 Simple Exercises That Will Help You Finally Nail That Handstand. Retrieved from

- Smith, S. (2015). The 5 Best Handstand Exercises You Aren't Doing. Retrieved from

- Stern, D. 5 Exercises to Improve Your Posture. ACTIVE.com. Retrieved


- Stryker, K. (2016). 4 Drills for Getting Stronger and Better at Handstands. Breaking Muscle. Retrieved from:

- Teaching Cave. (2018). Rolls. Retrieved from: https://www.teachingcave.com/pe/ks1/gymnastics/rolls/

- Unknown. (2017). Gymnastics in schools for teachers. Retrieved from: