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The 10 Basic Gymnastics Positions [Have You Learned Each Of Them?]

gymnastics positions

Gymnastics is an incredibly technical sport but certain elements in this sport are unchanging. There are some basic positions and shapes that the athletes have to mold their bodies according to and will have to repeat those moves in the skills demonstration. 

If you’re someone who takes this sport seriously and wants to compete, you need to know what these basic gymnastics positions are and how to master them. 

I’ve made a list of what these basic positions are along with explanations on how or when these positions are performed. Read on to find out.


1) The Tuck

The tuck is a shape that is as common as they can get, and you’ll easily be able to recognize it in a performance.

It is when the hips and knees are bent and drawn the athlete’s chest while the hands hold the knees.

Beginners usually start with tuck jumps and progress onto tuck jumps on both the beam and on the floor.

At an advanced level, you’ll learn how to perform a front truck and while on the bars you’ll use the tuck shape for moves such as flyaways and you’ll also learn how to do a double tuck flyaway. 

On the vault, advanced level gymnasts learn how to perform tuck tasks as well as flipping vaults.

2) The Straddle

This is a jump that is taught to the beginners and is used from level 4 routines and is used in advanced routines as well. This position requires the athlete to sit on the floor, their legs straddled while the upper body is stretched forward and to the sides.

In advanced gymnastic, the straddle jump with half and full turns are performed as well as straddle jumps on the beam. You’ll be able to identify this position in different skills such as straddle press handstand.

3) The Pike

Similar to the tuck, the pike position is also a very common position used. It is when the gymnast jumps into the air with their legs straight out but bent at the waist. The pike is taught on both the floor and on the beam and has variations such as the front and back pike which are taught as you advance on the floor.

As far as the bars are concerned, the pike is used in different skills such as the kip.

4) The Split

This is probably one gymnastics position that is the most associated with the sport, both on the beam and the floor. Splits are an important determining factor for determining the flexibility of a gymnast and start at the early levels.

At the first level, the split jump is a required element in the compulsory levels on both the beam or on the floor. Once the young gymnast has mastered the split jump they move on to learn split leaps which advance to switch leaps.

5) The Straight Stand

Another common move in gymnastics. And it is perhaps the most important position to learn and master. Every gymnast must be able to stand with their bums squeezed, cores tight, hips tucked under, and with their arms held straight in the direction of their ears.

6) The Handstand

A handstand, to put it as simply as possible is when the body is in a straight upside-down position. This move doesn’t need much explaining since it is another extremely common move. Whether you’re on the floor or the beam you can either do a regular handstand or a press handstand.

On the vault, you can perform a front handspring which is a handstand that is performed on the vault table in the middle of a skill. For the bars, you can perform a cast handstand.

7) The Lunge

This move is usually used at the end and is how most gymnasts finish their skills on the beam and the floor. If you perform a cartwheel, a handstand, or a front or back walkover, you will land in a lunge position. 

The art of mastering the lunge is to make sure your back leg is straight while your front leg is bent all while your core and bottom are squeezed. Your arms should be positioned straight and by your ears.

8) The Bridge

Another common and basic gymnastic position, the bridge is when you push your body forward while stretching through your shoulders. This basic position will then help you perform a bridge kickover.

9) The Arch

Controlling the muscles in your body is very important in gymnastics. An arch is a body position, in which the back is curved backwards, the chest is open and the body takes on a convex shape.

A tight arch is crucial in many skills like the tap swings for back giants on bars, and the art of switching from a hollow to an arch gives your body greater power.

10) The Hollow

The hollow is the opposite of the arch. Your core and bottom have to be squeezed and your legs will be squeezed together while positioned slightly in front of you. You will be able to feel the hollow shape when practicing this exercise on the ground, as shown above.


These are some of the most basic gymnastics positions. However, no matter how basic they may be, they are extremely important and need to be mastered if you are planning to climb up the gymnastics levels.