Level 3 gymnastics requirements | Age, Skills & Routines

Jump off the beam, flip off the bars, follow your dreams and reach for the stars

Nadia Comaneci

Competitive gymnastics has several rules. One of the main rules is that gymnasts cannot skip any level. A little gymnast must qualify all the requirements of both level 1 and Level 2 for upgrading to Level 3. 

Following are the level 3 gymnastics requirements.

What is the ideal age for entering Level 3?

Not only this, the gymnast must reach at least 5 years of age to start Level 3. The passing of the earlier levels ensure that the kid has the knowledge of fundamental skills that are crucial for learning the skills of Level 3 safely. 

Though level 3 is not considered as competitive yet some gyms conduct intramural competitions for motivating the children.

In the USA, Level 3 is ideal for kids who are usually between 6 and 8 years old. They learn back handsprings, forward and back walkovers, and front tuck flips done on trampoline.

Restriction in age has been designed for protecting the gymnasts from injury. However, there is a confusion as some critics argue that the age restriction originated in order to forbid the junior gymnasts to compete in senior competitions. 

General-purpose of Level 3 gymnastics:

Level 3 gymnastics allows the gymnasts to prepare for competition. The kids need to train 6 to 8 hours per week during Level 3. All kids who have entered Level 3 learn the compulsory routine. The music is also the same for all. They can compete at the local level. Again, the gymnasts can go for state championships. 

Level 3 gymnastics requirements:

Vault:

  • Handstand flat back on stack mat
  • Handstand fall over barrel
  • Handstand arch to standing position
  • Tuck over
  • Straddle over
  • Jump off block to stick
  • Dive roll on stack mat

Rings:

  • Leg swings
  • Tuck sit
  • Support
  • L-hold
  • Inverted hang
  • Skin the cat pull up
  • Swing dismount

Floor:

  • Handstand forward roll
  • Handstand to bridge kickover
  • Split jump
  • Leap with split (90 degree)
  • Round off back handspring
  • Backward roll to push-up

Bars:

  • Front hip circle
  • Back hip circle
  • Mill circle or forward stride circle or single leg basket swing
  • Pullover
  • Single leg squat
  • Underswing dismount

High Bar:

  • Cast
  • Tap swing
  • Pullover
  • Chin up
  • Back hip circle
  • Leg lifts
  • Swing (1/2 turn)
  • Underswing dismount

Uneven bar:

  • Pullover
  • Cast
  • Forward side circle
  • Back hip circle
  • Leg cut
  • 1 chin up
  • 3 leg lifts
  • Piked glide swing
  • Single leg basket swing
  • Straight body lift to support
  • Squat to pike sole circle dismount

Parallel bars:

  • Support walk
  • Front support
  • Support and swing
  • Swings
  • Long hang swing
  • Turn (90 degree)
  • Straddle travel
  • Rear dismount

Beam:

  • Straight jump
  • Tuck jump
  • Leap with split (90 degree)
  • Handstand
  • Arabesque
  • Coupe walks
  • Jump front support mount
  • Side handstand dismount
  • Skipping
  • Passe turn (1/2)
  • Side releve turn
  • Cartwheel (handstand straddle down)
  • Cartwheel (handstand dismount)
  • Lunge to lunge

Pommel Horse:

  • Leg swings
  • Tuck hold

After learning all these required skills, a gymnast becomes ready for competing in a Level 3 meet. 

How to avoid losing points:

It is very important to hold proper tight posture while doing a strong vertical handstand using your arms with simultaneous support to the handstand. 

The most common reason for deduction at this level is failure of maintaining a straight body.

Single leg squat:

If you fail to display a straight line from the feet to shoulder with a hollow body positioning, 0.20 points will be deducted at the time of your routine.

Front hip circle:

You must maintain good control during the time of returning to the bar.

Single leg basket swing or mill circle:

Level 3 gymnasts face challenges while doing a perfect mill circle. You must steer clear of hooking your leg on the bar. 

Underswing dismount:

You must maintain a tight posture by pulling your stomach tightly. Also, keep your shoulders flexible and head straight. Tilting your head backwards is wrong. If you fail to extend your body properly during flight, then the low height will result in 0.20 of deductions.

Remember:

Always do proper warm up that you have learnt in Level 2 and keep your mind refreshed. As a gymnast, you should get your muscle memory back before learning new skills.

Suggestion for gymnasts:

  • Both the kids and their parents must acquire detailed information regarding the way of training and the reason for that particular way of training.
  • Obtain a full introduction of training and competition. 
  • Get helpful tips and advice from the experts, or seniors on practicing and competing.

Suggestion for coaches:

  • You must watch the programs used by national and elite level coaches for training gymnasts of Level 3.
  • Achieve a new perspective to coach gymnasts of Level 3.
  • Keep watching your gymnasts training consistently so that you can improve their performance.
  • Always keep your mind open for learning new things irrespective of your level of experience and coaching. 

Suggestion for parents:

  • Gather all the needed information about Level 3 gymnastics starting from entrance to competition.
  • Know about your kid’s training part and how you can help him or her to accomplish each drill and skill. 
  • Support your little level 3 gymnasts and monitor them so that they don’t waste months and years learning wrong things. 

The mandatory part of gymnastics of all levels. ” The Gymnastics Mat”:

Purpose:

  • Gymnastics mats are meant for shock absorption for keeping gymnasts safe and healthy. 
  • There are various types of mats that serve different purposes. It includes:
  • Creation of surface for absorbing the impact of flips and cartwheels.
  • The thicker gymnastics mat provides extreme shock absorption that results after a dismount from the uneven bars and balance beam. 

High quality gymnastics mat helps in keeping gymnasts of any age comfortable. Again, good quality mats create a surface having an ideal amount of firmness to give the gymnasts a platform to perform their best. The mats lower the chance of injury to a great extent.

Most Common injuries suffered by gymnasts.

These are:

  • Elbow dislocation
  • Lower body injury 
  • Superior Labrum Anterior-Posterior (SLAP) Lesions in shoulder
  • Lower back problem
  • Wrist Sprains
  • Achilles tendon Injury
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

In gymnastics, the upper body of the gymnasts is used as a weight bearing joint. Hence, shoulder wrist and elbow injuries are very common.


How will you use the gymnast mat?

Firstly, buy mats keeping your kid’s activities in mind. Different activities lay different impacts on the body of a gymnast. Hence, gym mats of various thickness are required depending on the skills and levels.

Also, consider the height from where the gymnasts are supposed to land. Young kids in Level 3 are not allowed on high equipment like the students of advanced level. Hence, thinner mats are enough for them in respect to the shock absorption factor they need. But, in case a gymnast is involved in performing various skills including that of higher equipment, then purchase thicker mats. 

Ways to prevent injury: Very important for Level 3 gymnasts

  • Wearing needed safety gears is crucial during practicing and competition. Specialized equipment include hand grips, wrist guards, footwear, pads, elbow and ankle braces.
  • If the gymnasts get hurt, take them to the doctor without wasting time. 
  • Follow the instructions of the doctor until complete recovery.
  • Keep a first aid box handy at the practice area and during competitions.
  • Check equipment to make sure they are in perfect condition. These include mats, padded floor, etc.
  • Give stress on spotters while learning new skills.
  • Always warm up muscles by doing light aerobic exercises like running a bit, jumping jacks, etc. before starting training. 

Conclusion:

Level 3 gymnasts must follow the entire suggestions religiously. Parents and coaches must take care of them every moment. Do not forget that they are progressing towards a critical competitive level.

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