Using Motor Skills Tests in the Selection of Women Gymnasts for Learning the “Forward Danilova” on Beam


Artistic gymnastics is such a spectacular sport due to the strength and elegance of women gymnasts, as well as to the difficulty of exercises they perform. Gymnastics has seen a considerable rise over the years. We can appreciate that technical level has reached now its upper limit, for example the execution correctness and the complexity of artistic level are the most important methods that may difference between two gymnasts equal in terms of technical performance. The learning of any element, in our case the “Free (aerial) forward walkover, landing on one foot”, Forward Danilova on beam, must be preceded by verification of the motor skills that condition the execution. Any aimed improvement will gradually lead to independent and creative execution of the element and whole exercises. In this research, motor skills tests were used to evaluate certain components of coordination ability, considered fundamental in the learning of any element, and results were applied to select the 6 gymnasts who accomplished the program for learning the “Free (aerial) walkover forward, landing on one foot”. Also, results of the following motor skills tests: Balance rail, Bass test, Fukuda test, Miron Georgescu test demonstrated that the different levels of motor skills of women gymnasts put their mark on learning of the technical element studied.

Keywords: Artistic gymnastics, motor skills tests, balance beam


Analysis of major competitions in recent years highlights that women’s artistic gymnastics is

developing continuously, especially in terms of increasing difficulty, complexity and vision it

exercises, while perfecting the art and skill of execution. In artistic gymnastics, the learning of any

technical element is carried out based on a physical support that includes the integration of specific

motor skills and involves the identification of specific technical elements addressed (amplitude, muscle

strength or power, orientation in space, balance). There are also more specific analyses which can be

used as a guide (Dragnea, 1996; Tudor, 2005).

Using the experience gained in 15 years of activity as a high performance gymnast, I want to

underline that the coach should choose for the gymnast a learning element according to his/her

technical knowledge, motor abilities, personal characteristics (the level of fear when starting with a

new element) and morphological characteristics (we choose such elements which biomechanically

better suit to morphological characteristics of gymnasts). Evaluative processes used offer milestones

for control and are designed to ensure maximum effectiveness to training system, both in terms of

directing and especially operating in perspective (Tudor, 2005).

of the researchis that using the motor skills tests in the selection of women

gymnasts shortens the time affected for learning the “Forward Danilova” on balance beam and

provides appropriate gymnasts for learning it.

Materials and methods

This part of the research involved the following motor skills tests:Balance rail, Bass test, Fukuda

test, Miron Georgescu test,and was applied to assess some parts of coordination ability and to select

the 6 gymnasts of 12, who were to accomplish the algorithmic program for learning the “Forward

Danilova” on balance beam.

Procedure and subjects

The first stage in the motor learning is to know what is needed to be done. The coach has to describe

the element to the gymnast. The element “Free (aerial) forward walkover,landing on one foot”

(Forward Danilova) on beam is a dynamic acrobatic element, classified in salto group, which is found

in most integral exercises to balance beam and/or floor exercise and can be presented in many forms.

Depending on the gymnast’s skills, the coach can choose the basic variant (the one shown by us), with

landing on one foot, or landing on both feet. According to the (2008), the element has

the D value, which means a score of 0.40 points.

Rational training at this apparatus requires learning the technique as right from the beginning and to

educate the sense of balance. Competition exercises must contain combinations of elements of static

and dynamic strength that achieve a reasonable balance of forces in time and space, but also elements

of suppleness, flexibility and balance, resulting from the effect of conjugate plasticity, expressiveness

and harmony of movement (Vieru, 1997). From the beginning, we are always dealing with three kinds

of exercises (Čuk & Karácsony, 2004):

•Preparatory exercises - to develop the motor abilities; •Pre-elements - to train the movement structures entirely or partially similar to our chosen element; •The element as a whole (in easier and normal conditions).

For progress in gymnastics, good conditioning is a prerequisite, but to prepare a good conditioning

program, it is important to know how a muscle works, what motor abilities are important for learning

the elements and with what means we can measure and develop important motor abilities.

Evaluation of the content elements specific to sports training is presented as a system of structured

assessment types with internal logic (Dragnea, 1996). To find the start level, the quality and quantity of

knowledge already acquired by the experiment group, we applied test selection and objectification of

motor skills.

that we have applied are the following:

(Cordun, 2011) is represented by a piece of wood with 4.5 cm in thickness and 10 cm

in width (high beam). From standing position on one leg, with the other leg bent forward to passe,

hands on hips and eyes closed, the gymnast must maintain balance as long as possible. With this test,

we check the balance of the gymnast.

is best used in motor activity. A total of 10 rounds are marked on the ground at certain

distances. From standing position on one leg, the gymnast must perform successive jumping from one

foot to the other to keep balance for at least 5 seconds. We use this test to check the gymnast’s balance.

assesses the gymnast’s deviations from the imaginary line, while traveling with

alternative knee lifting 50 times, the eyes being closed. We followed the gymnasts who managed to

keep as much direction during the movement.

is aimed to determine the defining elements of neuromotor qualities, power

and control in the triple extension, in a maximum strength-velocity effort. It includes three series of 15

rebounds on both legs, right leg and left leg, with about a 30-second break between series. The trial is

maximal, assuming in each rebound to achieve maximum flight time and minimum contact with the

ground” (Stroescu, 2014).

After obtaining results from these tests, we selected the 6 gymnasts from a total of 12.


In the selection of gymnasts for applying the experiment variable, namely the algorithmic learning

program for the “Forward Danilova” on balance beam, four motor skills tests were applied in order to

assess the motor potential of the gymnasts. The first test we have applied is Balance rail (Table 1).

Table 1 - Results obtained at Balance rail test
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The 6 gymnasts who have exceeded the average of 16"68 are:25"32,17"25,30"18,

27"35,29"30,25"15(Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Comparison of results at Balance rail test
Comparison of results at Balance rail test
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The time maintained in each circle at the dynamic balance test - Bass test is specified in Table 2.

Table 2 - Results obtained at dynamic balance test - Bass test
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Gymnasts who have achieved the requirements are presented in Table 3 and Figure 2.

Table 3 - The number of jumps into the circles holding at least 5"
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Figure 2: The number of jumps into the circles holding at least 5"
The number of jumps into the circles holding at least 5"
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Fukuda test results are shown in Table 4.

Table 4 - Results obtained at Fukuda test
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M.A., C.I., Z.S., B.A., S.A. and R.M. recorded the highest number of steps at Fukuda test (Fig. 3).

Figure 3: The number of steps at Fukuda test
The number of steps at Fukuda test
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Miron Georgescu results are shown in Tables 5 and 6.

Table 5 - Results obtained at Miron Georgescu
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Table 6 - Average of the three series of repetitions
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Gymnasts who had the best height during stripping and the best time contact with the ground are:

M.A., C.I., Z.S., B.A., S.A. and R.M.

To verify the usefulness of the chosen tests and the influence of the main motor skills during the

learning process of the element studied, we divided the gymnasts into two groups of 6 and submitted

them to a test which consisted in inclusion of the Forward Danilova in the execution of the full

exercise. The differences and the score achieved in the 4 tests are shown in Table 7.

Table 7 - The final results and the final ranking
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The first group consisted of gymnasts who, after testing, occupied positions 1-6, and the execution

penalties were between 0.05-0.35 points. The second group had the gymnasts from positions 6-12, and

the execution penalties were between 0.40-0.65 points.

Table 8 - Mathematical indices
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The results of motor skills tests intended to evaluate certain components of coordination ability:

Balance rail, Bass test, Fukuda test, Miron Georgescu test,considered fundamental in learning,

demonstrated that the different levels of motor skills in women gymnasts put their mark on the learning

of “Free (aerial) forward walkover,landing on one foot” (Forward Danilova) on beam.

Analysing results in Table 7 and through the correlation coefficient (Table 8) presented above, we

find that M.A., C.I., Z.S., S.A., R.M. and P.A. are gymnasts who have achieved the best six scores in at least three tests applied. These gymnasts showed a high motor potential and recorded the best results in the tests designed to assess the quality of execution of the element we have studied.


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10 June 2016

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Cite this article as:

Stroescu, S. A. (2016). Using Motor Skills Tests in the Selection of Women Gymnasts for Learning the “Forward Danilova” on Beam. In V. Grigore, M. Stanescu, & M. Paunescu (Eds.), Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy - ICPESK 2015, vol 11. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 469-476). Future Academy.