Perhaps wolf turns on balance beam are one of the most hated skills, but have you seen Vladislava's quad wolf turn!

Russian gymnast Vladislava Urazova is shown in a Tiktok video performing a well balanced quad wolf turn on balance beam.

The quad wolf turn is not yet in the CoP. The triple wolf turn is rated an E. However, such turns are capped at an E meaning the quad wolf turn will receive the same difficulty rating as the triple one.

Gymnasts have to perform their new skills at an FIG official competition in order to have it named after them. The skill must be minimum C difficulty. 

Urazova, who was born in 2004, turns senior this year. She is best known for winning four medals at the 2019 World Junior championships.

By Gigi Farid

US Carly Patterson competed a back handspring to back layout on balance beam during the all around final of the 2003 World championships, where she won silver.

By Gigi Farid.

As a competitive gymnast, Ksenia Afanasyeva was known for her elegance and originality on floor exercise.

The Russian gymnast won the World title on the event in 2011 and the European title in 2013 and 2015. She is also the 2015 World floor silver medalist and 2012 Olympic floor finalist. 

Nevertheless, Afanasyeva's career included other lesser known accomplishments. 

Two Time Olympic finalist on Balance Beam:

Ksenia made the balance beam final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics where she placed 7th and 5th respectively.

European Bars finalist:

Afanasyeva's weakest event is the uneven bars. However, that did not stop her from making the event's final at the 2009 European champions where she finished in fourth place.

European All Around silver medalist

In 2009, Afanasyeva came in second place in the all around final of the European championships behind her compatriot Ksenia Semenova.

World All Around finalist 

She finished in seventh place at the all around final of the 2011 World championships.

Amanar Vault

At the 2013 Universiade Games, Ksenia debuted her Amanar vault and won the vault final. She has also competed the vault at the 2016 European championships where she won a bronze medal on the event.

Afanasyeva, who turned senior in 2007, retired shortly before the 2016 Olympic Games due to kidney disease.

After her retirement, she married Roman Suetin, a fellow gymnast, and gave birth to a baby boy.

By Gigi Farid

In 2019, a total of seven skills were added to the Code of Points. Six of which were named after their creators while the remaining one was added to the Code only without bearing the name of the gymnast who performed it due to its difficulty being lower than C.

Photo by Claudia AnaMaria Oprea

Handspring forward on, stretched salto forward with 2/1

Gymnast: Yeo Seojeong of South Korea
Apparatus: Vault
Difficulty rating: 6.2

From high bar, clear straddle circle with salto

Gymnast: Emelie Petz of Germany
Apparatus: Uneven bars
Difficulty rating: D

Double salto backward tucked with 2/1 twist

Gymnast: Simone Biles of USA
Apparatus: Balance beam

Difficulty rating: H

Double salto backward tucked with 3/1 twist 

Gymnast: Simone Biles of USA
Apparatus: Floor exercise

Difficulty rating: J

Salto Forward stretched with 3/1 twist 

Gymnast: Andrea Maldonado of Portugal
Apparatus: Floor exercise

Difficulty rating: F

Split leap to ring position with 1/2 turn

Gymnast: Ting Hua-Tien of Taiwan
Apparatus: Floor exercise
Difficulty rating: D

1/1 turn (360°) in scale FWD with free leg above horizontal throughout turn

Gymnast: Laney Madsen of Bulgaria
Apparatus: Floor exercise

Difficulty rating: B

By Gigi Farid

At the 2019 Doha world cup, Russia's Maria Paseka stuck cold her Amanar during the event final. She finished in second place behind US Jade Carey and ahead of French Coline Devillard.

GIF by 

By Gigi Farid

Health and performance are interrelated to each other. We should be in a good physical (inner and outer) condition so we can train and achieve our optimum athletic performance. Likewise, undergoing training for better athleticism can, in turn, put you in good health.

Most of us lift loads to train. Have you heard about weights for mobility too? Gymnasts tend to use weights to gain mobility, increase flexibility, enhance strength for full ranges of motion, and prevent injuries. This fitness routine is called gymnastic strength training and listed down are its three sample exercises.

The Jefferson Curl

In gymnastics, it is common to flex your spine often. Even so, this instance may result in unstable hamstrings that affect the mobility of your knees, calves, and ankles. There are training that you can do to avoid injuries, though. One example is Jefferson Curl.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Stand upright on an elevated surface (e.g., bench or with weighted bar)
  2. Your chin comes down
  3. Keep your pelvis tucked under
  4. Slowly round (one vertebra at a time) your back forward starting from your cervical spine to at least hands under the feet
  5. Keep the load  on the balls of your feet
  6. Slowly return (one vertebra at a time) from the forward flexed position

In general, the Jefferson Curl  can:

       Lengthen your hamstrings and the spinal muscles
       Enhance flexibility in your hamstrings
       Strengthen your posterior chain
       Increase the movement options or control of spinal mobility
       Improve back health under load
       Result in a supple, strong, and mobile body

Further, are you having a sedentary lifestyle? Have you been hunching over electronic devices that made you stayed seated for a long time? Let me guess. You have a weak and sore back, haven’t you? This condition can lead to posterior weakness. It’ll inevitably cause chronic pain in your neck and lower back.

As shown above, the Jefferson Curls can aid in the stable progression of your overall spinal mobility. By increasing your hamstrings’ mobility and strengthening your posterior chain, it may be able to cure back pain. If done properly, it would potentially prevent possible spinal joint compensation from excessive flexion of the spine, such as desk work and overstretching.

The Hollow Body Hold

The Hollow Body Hold is one of the basic positions in gymnastics. It allows any doer of it to properly transfer force from their upper body to their lower body without draining your energy.

It doesn’t require any equipment. Also, it can be modified, depending on a person’s fitness level and unique skills. Nevertheless, one missed or improperly done step can lead to lower back and neck discomfort.

Here’s how you do it:

1.      Lie on your back

2.      Pull your knees up toward your chest

3.      Press your lower back into the floor

4.      Lift your head and upper back a few centimeters (like doing a crunch)

  1. Extend your legs outward and your arms overhead
  2. Hold that position for 10 seconds, then rest and repeat

Further, if you want someone or “something” to guide you over without going to the gym, there are many advanced intelligent fitness systems that can assist you. One example is the Tonal’s technology. It’s an interactive home gym that can provide you guided workouts, including specific sets and reps. You have to raise the attached pulleys when raising your legs.

Despite its simplicity, it’s a full-body exercise. It engages your core, arms, legs, and entire back. The difficulty is always pressing your lumbar spine or lower back against the ground for a long time. It becomes more challenging when there is a further extension of both your arms and legs from your core.

A strong hollow body position is an essential component for those who are aiming for high-level gymnastics strength. It is because a fully extended position can generate a load or weight that might be too extreme for other people. Try to execute a perfect 45-degree position and hold it longer to get a better result. In no time, you’ll surely get a strong and stable core.

Superman or Arch Body Hold

Another way to strengthen your core is to perform superman or arch body hold. Its main purpose is to for you to know any weakness on your posterior chain. Many individuals have chronic tight frontal body parts. How? The exercise can empower your posterior chain, chest, and hip flexors.

Like the Hollow Body Hold, it is also a total body workout. In general, it can strengthen your lower and upper back, glutes, hamstrings, and core. However, its position is the total opposite of The Hollow Body Hold.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Lie face down on the ground
  2. Place both of your arms out straight overhead
  3. Place both of your legs out straight behind you
  4. Relax your muscles
  5. Make sure your neck should be in a neutral position
  6. Raise your chest and legs off the ground like how superman does when flying
  7. Squeeze your shoulders, back, and glutes, while doing step number seven
  8. Keep your hands and legs straight
  9. Don’t bend your knees
  10. Hold for ten seconds, then repeat

If you can do a full superman position, that’s great! Otherwise, take it easy. You can start with raising fewer limbs or lift your right arm and left leg at once and vice versa. If you want something harder, you can try hefting your limbs just on one side of your body. It is one of the ways to emphasize the possible imbalance in your core muscles, as well. 

For gymnasts, superman improves their ability in controlling their core and torso during muscle-ups, kipping motions, and static holds. What is more, since you are going to do strong muscle contractions, you’ll be able to keep rigid flexion and torso extension. This ability can lead to better control and stability for dynamic gymnastic movements.


Nowadays, people wanted to get instant results and immediate gratification when working out. Having shortsighted, impatient efforts will result in insufficient and poor-quality outputs, as well as possible physical injuries. It is because you’ll get out the same thing that you put in.

That will not do in gymnastics strength training. Its greatest advantage isn’t related to physical ability nor body structure. It is more into someone’s approach and mindset. You’ll be closer to success when you prioritize mastery and quality.

Written by Kenny Kline

Nina Derwael, who became the first Belgian gymnast to win a gold medal at a World championships last year, successfully defended her title on bars today at Stuttgart's event finals.

British gymnast Becky Downie, who was the second competitor on bars, was in gold medal position up until she got outscored by the Belgium gymnast at the end of the competition.

This is Downie's first individual medal at World championships. She was part of the bronze medal winning GB team at 2015 Worlds. She is also the 2014 and 2016 European champion on the uneven bars.

After a rough all around competition, US Sunisa Lee managed to take third place. Teammate Simone Biles came in 5th. 

Russian gymnasts Angelina Melniova and Daria Spiridonova finished in 4th and 6th places respectively.

Liu Tingting of China had a 7th place finish while Elisabeth Seitz of Germany finished last after a fall on her pak salto transition.

Written by Gigi Farid

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American gymnasts Simone Biles and Jade Carey took first and second place respectively on vault at the current World championships' event finals.

Both gymnasts went for the same vaults, Cheng (D:6) and Amanar (D:5.8). This is Biles 23rd medal at World championships and her second World title on vault. 

Carey was the silver medalist on the event at the 2017 World championships. It is worth mentioning that Carey topped Biles on the event during the qualifications.

British Elissa Downie took the bronze medal, which is her first individual medal at a World championships.

Downie competed a double twisting Yurchenko (5.4) and a Cheng. Canada's Shallon Olsen, who won silver at last year's Worlds, finished in fourth place.

Alexa Moreno, who became the first female Mexican gymnast to win a medal at a World championships last year on vault, came in 6th place.

China's Qi Qi got 5th place and Russia's Lilia Akhiamova got 7th. 

 South Korea's Yeo Seojeong had a fall on her handspring double twist attempt thus finishing last. Earlier this year, Seojeong became the first female gymnast to land the vault.

Written by Gigi Farid

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