Gymnastics - Balance Beam

Gymnastic Balance Beam

The Balance Beam is a gymnastics apparatus only used by female gymnasts. Leaps, acrobatic skills, turns and dance elements are performed without music. One of the reasons why men don't compete on this apparatus is the danger of injuring the testicles. However, boys sometimes compete on the balance beam at high school gymnastics events. Find balance beam techniques at artistic gymnastics main.


  • The balance beam is 125cm high and 5 meters long. Originally the10 cm wide beam was made of wood wood. Since the 80s, balance beams are covered in leather or suede.
  • Balance beam routines can be between 60 and 90 seconds long. After 80 seconds a ring tone warns the gymnast. If the athlete doesn't finish his routine within 10 seconds after the signal, points are deducted.
  • Balance beam routines consist of leaps, acrobatic skills, turns and dance elements. The gymnast must mount and dismount the beam on her/his own. A typical technique used to dismount the balance beam is a front flip layout with a full rotation (landed in a stuck landing - on mats). Mounting the balance beam with the help of a springboard is ok. Your gymnastics coach is allowed to enter the competition area to remove the springboard.
  • There are special shoes for the balance beam (similar to ballet shoes). However, most gymnasts compete barefoot.


  • When you learn new skills, you can lower the beam and surround it with mats. Also practice your skills on the floor.
  • Over time, more and more gymnasts included tumbling skills in their balance beam routines. At the early beginnings, routines consisted mostly of dance elements. Later handstands and rolls were added, and in the 60s the most difficult move on the balance beam was the back handspring. Now gymnasts almost always show short tumbling sequences and flips.