What Are the Fundamental Positions in Gymnastics?

While gymnastics incorporates a variety of movements, the following positions are fundamental building blocks: hollow, arch, straddle, tuck, pike, lunge, salto and twist. Some of these movements can transition into others, and they can lead to the ability to perform more advanced movements.

The hollow and arch positions are direct opposites of each other. In the hollow position, the chest is rounded inward with the chin facing down. In the arch position, the chest is pushed forward as the head leans back.

The tuck, pike and straddle positions are all seated movements. For the tuck, a person pulls the knees into the chest and holds the shins, while the chin is also tucked into the chest. The straddle position is essentially a sideways split where the legs are equally spread out to the right and left. For the pike position, the legs are kept straight as the rest of the body bends forward more than 90 degrees. The head remains neutral during this motion.

The lunge is a movement that is common in many exercise routines. From a standing position, a person steps one leg forward and bends it at the knee. The arms reach forward as the person lunges. Other basic positions may involve more rapid movement, such as the salto and twist. The salto is a flip rotating the waist, and a twist involves rotating the body’s midline.