Upgrades for 2014: Vault and Uneven Bars

4:49 PM Arabian Punch Front 4 Comments

Brenna Dowell at the 2014 American Cup
Photo Credit: Christy Ann Linder

We like making lists of new elements and who has competed what on what events. This is a list of skills that I think are attainable upgrades for gymnasts.

Amanar/2.5 Twisting Yurchenko
Noel van Klaveren - has a solid DTY and has been training the Amanar for at least 6 months now
Roxana Popa - the double just seems to easy for her.
Phan Thi Ha Thanh - will try to succesffully compete it, I'm sure. Her DTY seemed to deteriorate a bit at a meet before Worlds yet she still went with the upgrade for Worlds. She basically landed a DTY and miraculously avoided injury. She'll try it again, I'm sure, I just hope that the added time and training under her belt will help.
Giulia Steingruber - Giulia normally competes a Rudi and Tsuk 1/1 but had difficulties upgrading it. Just three months prior to Worlds, she learned Yurchenko vaults and competed a double twisting Yurchenko. Her Rudi is stellar but if she wants to remain amongst the top vaulters and avoid the dreaded 4th place, she'll need the Amanar.

? Kyla Ross and Aliya Mustafina - both have downgraded from the Amanar to very solid double twisting Yurchenkos. Will either risk the form (and injury) for the extra seven tenths in difficulty? In early 2013, I would have said no to either doing the Amanar but both of their DTYs have gotten so consistent and higher that it might be worth it. Kyla needs to add difficulty to be a major all around gold medal contender. The same applies for Aliya if she wants to remain on the top. Aliya has also brought back her 2nd vault so if she wants to be a worthwhile vault medal contender, she will need the Amanar.

Simone Biles & McKayla Maroney - There have been rumors of both girls training the Cheng vault - round off half on with 1.5 twists off named after Chinese gymnast Cheng Fei. Simone is the first with video proof of it. It still isn't competition ready but at least we know it's real! Also, based on how Simone and McKayla are recovering from their injuries, a sore shoulder and knee surgery respectively, we may only see 1 of the vault upgrades.

GIF by hope-strongerthanfear

Triple Twisting Yurchenko
Simone Biles
McKayla Maroney
Hong Un Jong
We'll just leave this here.

The uneven bars and balance beam are hard to predict. It's not easy to say, "Oh, you have a nice Gienger, let's add another full twist to it and do a Def!" Most of the upgrades will probably be new combinations.

Brenna Dowell finally succesffuly completed her Tweddle to Ezhova or Ray 1/2 (toe on straddled Tkatchev) to straddle back half.

GIF by hope-strongerthanfear

1 gymnast posted a training video then promptly deleted it. We shall see...

Ida Gustafsson - Ida has competed it before but has not successfully competed a full bar routine since she added it. If she hits at European Championships, she can likely make the finals again and maybe even medal.
Here she is at Worlds with a 5.9D score. VIDEO

Fabrichnikova/Double Double tucked dismount
Mykayla Skinner - Skinner actually warmed this up at 2012 Nationals because both Lauren Hopkins of The Couch Gymnast and I thought we were going crazy when we saw it, but it was real!
GIF by shutupmckaylasvaulting

If Nabieva was still competing, I would have added her to the Mustafina dismount list because the full twisting double tuck just seemed to easy for her. Guess we may never know...

Part 2 - Balance Beam and Floor Exercise!

Do you think Kyla or Aliya will add the Amanar? Do you think British gymnast Rebecca Tunney could maybe join the Amanar club? Any upgrades you see as possible for vault and uneven bars?


  1. From what I have read on Twitter and heard her coach say, Ellie Downie (GB junior) has an Amanar, but she will not compete it until she has to. For now her vaults and other routines are competitive (she is EYOF vault champion after all).

    Interesting that Janine Berger (GER) has her Rudi back, she just competed it at the National Team Cup today, which also was their first trial for Europeans. This might put further pressure on Giulia Steingruber to upgrade, as Janine's vaults should put her on any German team at the moment.

    1. Wow, thanks for the info! I can't remember if I heard rumors about Downie or not but she is very very competitive right now. Junior Euros is looking promising for Team GB. I had no idea about Janine though. That is super impressive and I'm thrilled! Definitely makes things tougher for Giulia!

      Thanks for the info!

  2. I was just about to say that I would be very surprised if Downie and Mattis were not thinking hard about Amanars. The decision for Ellie to train one doesn't surprise me at all because she's not as balanced AA as Tyesha and Amy Tinkler so in the future having a really big vault could help her a lot. I think it's a smart move, but also a good idea not to compete it much; she really doesn't need it to do well at Junior Europeans. Next year she'll be senior and then we'll see! Tunney I'm not so sure - her DTY is lovely but not that powerful. If she wants to be a contender for 2016 she should work bars and beam, as a team built around Mattis/Downie etc. will be very strong on VT already.

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