Major Compulsory Changes for 2021

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Every 8 years USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for gymnastics in the US, updates the compulsory routines. This applies to gymnastics levels 1-5. The routines have been updated for 2021-2029 with new music and some of the skills have also changed.

There is also a new name- the Junior Olympic program is now being called the Development Program.

Here are some of the major changes to the new compulsory routines:

1. Addition of Relevé “Lock” Stands

While compulsory routines have always had tight body relevé body holds, they are now being called relevé “lock” stands in the compulsory text. It seems like the technical committee (the group that makes the routines) wants to emphasize this tight body relevé body position.

These relevé lock stands are in every floor and beam routine from levels 1-5. It will be important to train gymnasts to highlight the relevé hold and to not rush through them!

2. Addition of Cartwheel Closes

There are now several cartwheel close connections in the new compulsory routines.

They are:

  • cartwheel close to a backward roll landing in a push-up position in the level 2 floor routine
  • front handspring step-out, cartwheel close to back extension roll in the level 4 floor routine
  • front handspring step-out, front handspring step-out, cartwheel close, back extension roll in the level 5 floor routine
  • cartwheel close to straight jump in the level 5 beam routine

The new routines are trying to teach gymnasts to connect skills with a cartwheel close. The connections get progressively  harder from level 2 to level 5. It seems like the level 5 routine is leading to a cartwheel close, back tuck dismount- even though in the level 5 beam routine right now they have the two skills separate.

3. Addition of a Squat Turn in the Level 4 & 5 Beam Routines

The leg swing turn has been changed to a squat turn in the level 4 & 5 beam routines. This change isn’t huge but it has the benefit of introducing the gymnast to level changes.

4. Mill Circle & Leg Cuts Removed from Level 3 Bar Routine

This is an awesome change! The mill circle (forward stride circle) and the leg cuts were removed from the level 3 bar routine, and now it is much simpler. Level 3 gymnasts also have the option to perform a kip as their mount now.

5. Level 3 Vault will now be a Handspring over a Resi

The level 3 vault will no longer be a handstand flat back. Instead it will be a front handspring over a resi mat, similar to the Xcel Silver vault. This vault will be another progression towards the front handspring vault over a vault table.

6. Front Handspring No Longer needs Flight

The front handspring step-outs in the level 5 routine no longer need flight. Where before it was a big deduction to do a fast front walkover, it is no longer one. It seems like they are just trying to encourage forward momentum, since there is a deduction for lack of acceleration.


These are the major changes to the compulsory routines that will be used from 2021-2029. All of GymnasticsHQ’s Skill Progression Charts have been updated to include the new changes for this year.

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1 comment… add one
  • Zlata October 14, 2021, 10:49 pm

    This means no mill circle in my routine !


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