Balance beam is the most critical competition event for women because of the relative ease of falling off and the harsh deductions for a fall. A single fall can eliminate gymnasts from winning a medal in the beam event and often also in the All-around. Beam medallists are often the All-Around winners.
Complete Beam Basics in One Training Program
Because beam is different from the other gymnastics events, gymnasts and coaches find the need to work on a special and complete basic training program for balance beam that is designed to build strength for beam, develop balance, completely eliminate falls, and improve balance beam skill consistency.
Beam Basics are Critical to Future Beam Success
Successful mastery of such a program can allow gymnasts to acquire more complex beam skills with less effort, more confidence and in a shorter period of time. Mastering such skills and drills has short and long term benefits. Skipping the basic beam building blocks puts a gymnast in a position where at some point their bad habits can stop them from having success in staying on beam.
Train Basics Before Trying to Learn Advanced Skills
As with building sufficient strength and flexibility for the skills that need to be learned, working on this basic beam training program before attempting to learn more difficult skills will pay the biggest dividends.
Continue with the Beam Training Program Throughout Your Career
Every level of gymnast, from beginner to advanced, will want to continue this training throughout their career to prevent bad habits from seeping in and to reinforce beam techniques and landings and to further improve their beam capabilities. A program like this is not only a supplement for an advanced team training beam program but can and should serve as the major part of the basic development of younger and lower level beam basic training, even in a recreational program.
Romanian Beam Complex
A relatively well-known program that accomplishes some of these goals is the Romanian Beam Complex which is specifically designed to build the necessary habits of balancing on the feet and with proper foot and body position.
Soviet Beam Complex
A relatively unknown program is the Soviet Beam Complex, which emphasizes becoming comfortable on your hands in the handstand position and on increasing and developing specific strength for beam skills.
Build In a Margin of Error for Beam Landings
There is an additional need to develop a series of good skill landing habits for both front and back (and side) beam tumbling skills. When landings are practiced and done in a particular way, it can create a margin of error to avoid falls. This additional margin of error can be utilized to stabilize landings and eliminate falls.
Have to Expand Original Beam Complexes
Both the Soviet and Romanian Beam Complex systems will have to be significantly expanded to deal with new and more difficult skills and to train for skills that are now popularly done to comply with the updated difficulty requirements.