Top 10 Hardest Gymnastics Moves to Do
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Top 10 Hardest Gymnastics Moves to Do

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Whitney Wilson
Only pros can pull off the hardest gymnastics moves. For this list, we'll be looking at the most difficult moves in women's artistic gymnastics across the balance beam, uneven bars, vault and floor exercise. Our countdown includes the Cheng, the Silivas, the Moors, and more!
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Top 10 Hardest Gymnastics Moves


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hardest Gymnastics Moves.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most difficult moves in women’s artistic gymnastics across the balance beam, uneven bars, vault and floor exercise.

What’s the craziest move you’ve ever seen in a gymnastics routine? Be sure to share with us in the comments below!

#10: The Moors (Floor)


Named for Canadian gymnast and Olympian Victoria Moors, this move is among the most difficult an athlete can pull off during a floor exercise. The move consists of a double twisting double back tumbling pass with the gymnast in the laid out position. With an intimidating I rating, the second-highest difficulty rating in women’s artistic gymnastics, the Moors has only been successfully completed by six gymnasts. From the time Victoria Moors first completed the move at the 2013 World Championships until 2019, the Moors was considered the most difficult move in the entirety of artistic gymnastics. While the move is terrifying to perform, it is incredible to witness.

#9: The Yurchenko Double Pike (Vault)


Named after Natalia Yurchenko, not even its namesake attempted to pull it off in competition. The Yurchenko Double Pike starts off with a roundoff onto the springboard. Then, the gymnast completes a back handspring onto the table, followed by two straight-legged backflips off the vault. The move requires a nearly impossible combination of speed and height and carries plenty of risks. Until 2021, the Yurchenko Double Pike had only been attempted in men’s competition, where it is called the Wei. Then, the incredible Simone Biles came along and successfully completed the move in 2021, making her the first woman in history to land the move during competition.

#8: The Silivaș (Floor)


As a close relative and predecessor of the previously mentioned Moors skill, the Silivaș is one of the hardest moves to pull off during a floor exercise. Named after Romanian Olympic gold medalist Daniela Silivaș, this move is also called the double double and involves two full rotations. The move, which consists of a double back salto tucked with two full twists, requires a staggering amount of strength and skill to execute properly. The “Code of Points” ranks the Silivaș as an H-level skill, which means it is among one of the most difficult moves in all of women’s gymnastics.

#7: Full-Twisting Shaposhnikova (Bars)


Performing on the uneven bars is scary enough, but this move involves a blind catch during the transfer from the low bar to the high bar. As a variation of the already complex transition move invented by Natalia Shaposhnikova, the full-twisting Shaposhnikova begins with the gymnast on the low bar, facing away from the high bar. They then circle the low bar and do a flying release followed by a full twist, going 360 degrees before catching the high bar in the aforementioned blind catch. The full-twisting Shaposhnikova was first completed by gymnast Aliya Mustafina of Russia at the 2013 World Championships.

#6: The Cheng (Vault)


This move, named for the stunning Chinese gymnast Cheng Fei, is considered a key move to earn an Olympic medal on the vault. The Cheng is sometimes called the Round-Off Half-On Rudi Off. It consists of a round-off onto the board, followed by a half turn onto the table, which allows the gymnast to face the table. Finally, the gymnast pushes off the table and performs a layout front flip with 1.5 twists, landing facing the table. Although very few gymnasts around the world can successfully complete the Cheng, it has become more popular in international competition due to its high score.

#5: The Back Full (Beam)


Walking along a four-inch-wide beam raised off the floor is difficult enough, but performing flips on it sounds nearly impossible. During a back full, a gymnast completes a backflip with a full twist. The move is not a dismount, which means the gymnast must complete it in its entirety on the beam while maintaining their axis so they do not fall off. The first gymnast to successfully complete a back full in competition was Aleftina Pryakhina of the Soviet Union. Although the back full has been featured in beam routines since Pryakhina debuted it at the 1986 Junior Europeans, very few gymnasts can successfully complete it.

#4: The Amânar (Vault)


A relative to the aforementioned Yurchenko Double Pike, this move consists of a roundoff onto the springboard. This roundoff is followed by a back handspring onto the table and two and a half twists in a back salto in the layout position off the table. Also referred to as the Yurchenko 2.5, the Amânar is named after the first woman to complete it at the 2000 Olympics, gold medalist Simona Amânar of Romania. Although the Amânar has been successfully completed by quite a few gymnasts in international competition since its introduction more than two decades ago, it is still difficult to execute perfectly.

#3: The Def (Bars)


Simply performing on the uneven bars requires a large amount of upper body and core strength, and this complex move is a feat few gymnasts can achieve. This particular uneven bars move is named after its creator, Jacques Def of France. The Def is a release move on the bars, during which the gymnast releases the bar, then performs a back salto layout and catches the bar once more. The gymnast ends up ultimately facing the opposite direction from which they started. The move takes the gymnast a baffling 540 degrees, and it requires an extraordinary amount of strength and coordination to complete successfully.

#2: The Biles (Floor)


Simone Biles is considered the greatest gymnast of all time, so it’s no shock that one of her many eponymous skills is found near the top of this list. This particular move consists of a double salto in the layout position with a half-twist, taking the gymnast 180 degrees. Because the skill requires the gymnast to complete two high-velocity flips in the layout position, it requires an extraordinary amount of core strength to do successfully. Since Biles completed the move at the 2013 World Championships, only a few other gymnasts have been able to properly execute it in competition. There’s a reason she’s the GOAT.

#1: The Produnova (Vault)


Also known as the “Vault of Death,” this move consists of a front handspring onto the table, followed by two tucked front saltos off of the table. The move intimidates even the most skilled gymnasts. In fact, the Produnova has nearly cost gymnasts their lives. When Egypt’s Fadwa Mahmoud first attempted the vault, she came close to landing on her neck. After this incident, the Produnova was almost banned from competition because of how dangerous it is. However, the move remains legal in competition, and has been successfully completed by only five gymnasts, including its namesake Yelena Produnova of Russia.
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