MAG L5 floor question

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Men's Artistic Gymnastics
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Proud Parent
Jan 12, 2014
In the press handstand portion of the L5 floor routine, the text describes the skill as a jump to press handstand with no hold, with the bonus being to press up and hold for 2 seconds. DS does a nice press handstand without jumping, but he can't consistently hold it for 2 seconds once he gets up there. I assumed this would be fine for the base skill, but that he wouldn't get the bonus unless he holds it. New assistant coach (who recently moved from another state) told me that DS needs to either jump to momentary hold or press up and hold it. He said if DS presses up and doesn't hold it, not only does he not get credit for the bonus, but he'll get a deduction for not jumping up as described in the text.

Is this true? It seems bizarre to tell DS to jump up instead of doing a slow, controlled press when he is capable of pressing all the way up. But what do I know?
That is interesting. Our coach always had anyoen who could press, press. This was to prepare them for the next level, and eventually, with time, they could hold it. Our new coach seems to be the same. Maybe our coach just takes teh deduction on it, in building for the bonus/next level.

Hopefully a coach will chime in here!
Well the coach didn't actually say he would tell DS not to press, just that it would be a deduction if he pressed and then didn't hold, which sounds a little odd to me. Even if it does work that way, I'd almost rather him risk a deduction and just press all the way up. He is getting better at holding handstands and sometimes can hold it long enough for the bonus, but at this point it's not consistent. He is going into the season not expecting to score extremely high anyway, so I don't think he should substitute an easier skill for the harder one that he can do, just so that he can avoid a minor deduction.

It's not a huge issue for him either way. I guess I was just wondering if this is really the way it's interpreted. It seems counterintuitive to deduct for doing the harder skill, as long as that skill is done correctly.
Bonus is given with up to a medium (.3) deduction. If the hold is short, he'll lose .3 and gain .5. No hold will be a major ded. (.5) and no bonus. That is the gamble. I would recommend doing the press if it's close. It is too important of a skill to ignore.
Bonus is given with up to a medium (.3) deduction. If the hold is short, he'll lose .3 and gain .5. No hold will be a major ded. (.5) and no bonus. That is the gamble. I would recommend doing the press if it's close. It is too important of a skill to ignore.

Thanks. That is helpful. If I'm understanding you correctly, a press with a momentary hold would have a .2 advantage over a jump to press with a momentary hold, assuming everything else is equal. I was assuming he wouldn't get credit for the bonus at all if he didn't hold the full 2 seconds, but if a short hold is a medium deduction then what you're saying makes more sense. He can pretty consistently press up and hold momentarily, so he'll do that and keep working on being able to hold it for longer.

Just out of curiosity, does it work the same way with the back lever bonus on rings?
I think it will depend on how the judge sees it. HOwever, i don't think you would get deducted for pressing up and not jumping up. but I am not sure if you would get the bonuse since it does say 2 sec hold required. Same for the back lever. It says the hold is required. IMO at level 5, it is good to try though since the skills become important in higher levels.
I think the coach is wrong.

I think either he's wrong or I misunderstood him somehow. And not to belabor the point, but I also found this in the JO Manual under the general notes on floor:

"Level 5:

1. The jump to straight arm straddled press to momentary handstand should be done with the minimal amount of jumping action necessary to complete the element. The object is, of course, to eventually be able to press to the handstand."

It seems like the minimal amount of jumping action would be none.
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You know, a lot of DS's teammates did the press and didn't manage the hold at various and sundry meets last year, and they still did well on floor. It certainly didn't look from their scores like they were losing the value of the element. No one was permitted to do the jump up, as the coach did not see that as valuable or progressive. I suppose if a judge wants to be a real stickler, maybe s/he could take the element deduction, but I bet most of them don't.
While the jump-press to momentary handstand is the required element in Level 5 a straight arm press to a momentary handstand WOULD be equivalent. Your coach (while sticking to the manual) is wrong - and any experienced judge will recognize the effort made - if it is performed cleanly. A momentary hold of 1 second better (earning a balance of .2 towards bonus) - a press with a full 2 second hold best (for a +.5 bonus). If your son is struggling on the press - it usually either a lack of flexibility (hip flexion and abduction) or strength in shoulder flexion (which is raising the arms overhead) or CORE compression (maintaining a tight fold as weight is shifted from feet to hands). If HOLDing the handstand is the issue that usually is a problem with core stability. I'm uploading a compression training file (it's for L6 on P-bars but has equal value here) that may be useful.... and here's a quick video clip

of a drill/exercise that I use that is great for developing flexibility, core & shoulder strength simultaneously.


  • CompressionPBarSequence.pdf
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