Top 10 routines that changed gymnastics forever

Inside Gymnastics thinks these are the ten routines that changed the sport. I think Inside Gymnastics is on crack.

If we are talking actual routines that changed the sport I agree 100% with Natalia Yurchenko being on this list. She created the vault that is now a staple of the sport. She should probably be first on this list even if you don’t follow the letter of the wording (routines that changed the sport)

Nadia Comaneci was ground breaking difficulty and perfect scores so I agree with her being on the list especially the very first 10. That routine and her overall AA win captivated an entire Universe ( from what I hear. I wasn’t alive to see it) so the routine itself changed the sport.

Olga Korbut had a lot of difficulty but her overall fame to the sport has more to do with her personality and skill level than any one single routine or result. If we are talking ground breaking gymnasts then she would get the nod but I don’t know if she fits the “routine” example and neither does Mary Lou Retton. She inspired millions of little girls to become gymnasts but if that vault had been a 10 and she has finished second the vault itself (which wasn’t perfect by the way) wouldn’t be remembered at all.

Simona Amanar is known for her Amanar which is pretty much a continuation of the Yurchenko but by definition her vault fits the description. Though personally all that Amanar did was ruin the sport. Too many gymnasts tried it and made mistakes and it lost them more titles then it won them. Same with the Cheng Fie vault. It’s not done enough to have made an impact.

But now the rest, Kim Zmeskal paved the way for the spunky highly difficult floor routines we see now? On what planet? She had a full in and a bunch of whips into an ugly double tuck. It wasn’t even the most difficult routine of the competition let alone motivation to what we see today (unless you want to give her credit for bad high school band music we hear in floor routines today this being included is a complete joke)

Beth Tweddle’s bars were amazing but changed the sport I cannot agree with. She certainly did a lot for her Country but come on and last but not least,


What do you think?

What top 10 routines that changed the world would be on your list?

61 Responses to “Top 10 routines that changed gymnastics forever”

  1. JAS4 Says:

    I would put Simone on that list before Carly or some of the others because at least she takes the sport to a whole new level especially on floor.

  2. Exgymgurl Says:

    shaposhnikova on bars….

    • gymbot Says:

      Absolutely – although again, not really her routine that changed the sport so much as value of her transition.

      • Exgymgurl Says:

        but thats just it. The way she did things completely changed gymnastics.
        onodi is another one, chusovitina heres the thing pavlova has changed countries and doesnt have success. so have others. theres something about her ability and now id put ferrari in that class too to stay world class for so long.

      • gymbot Says:

        I agree they were all important to the sport – Chusovitina as an adult athlete changes people’s perceptions on the sport being dominated by young women – but which routine in particular did that for you? For example, you can say that Bellu and Nadia changed the sport to a teen/tween sport. So an example would be Nadia’s exhibition floor routine in France which everyone went wild over.

  3. Exgymgurl Says:

    chusovitina in terms of defining longevity in the sport

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      But she didn’t change the sport with any routine. Besides vault and maybe floor she is very blah. If she didn’t keep switching Countries she wouldn’t have as many Olympics.

      • Exgymgurl Says:

        shes beating alicia in 2008 in her 30s It changes the sport. It wncourages ferrari, ponor mustafina and izbasa to keep going. Shes set a bar that you can have longevity in gymnastics. Ponor could get her third olympics and keep medaling after missing 2008. Thats incredible. Chusovitina has set a standard and changed the idea mentally of longevity in gymnastics.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        The point of the topic is ROUTINES that changed the sport not gymnasts.

  4. ilanchik20 Says:

    Not sure what routine Id include (maybe 1996 Olympics Beam EF)–Shannon Miller?

    Not changed the sport and I’m sure not the popular choice but I absolutely love and always will Aly’s London Floor routine in EF. It made me follow the sport a lot closer again after a long, long hiatus.

    I also love ASac although I don’t know what routine of hers Id pick–Prob just more of an overall gymnast, I guess.

  5. gymbot Says:

    Maybe Vera Caslavska, for competing the Mexican hat dance routine in Mexico – and thus the birth of jingoistic music selections?

    Maybe also more recently Komova, for inventing the bar routine that everyone uses these days. Similar to exgymgurl’s pick of shaposhnikova herself

  6. Kirsten Says:

    Omelianchik’s bird floor routine- dance and combination tumbling Silvia’s and shushanova floor routines from 88. Yang Bo on beam.
    Boginskya should probably make this list too.
    Although now you can see my age…

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      None of those routines changed the sport. If we are talking routines Boginskaya doesn’t fit answer wither. None Of Her Routines Changed The sport. Yang Bo didn’t either. She hit it like once at a major competition. Even if it was beautiful it’s didn’t change the sport.

      • JK Says:

        Maybe for Yang Bo it could be that her routine pioneered Chinese innovation on beam?

        *side note: I’m not too familiar about gymnastics pre-2000s, so I could be totally wrong.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        But the question isn’t what Pioneered Chinese gymnastics the question was routines that changed the sport not specific wins which is why I had any issue with all the answers.

        Yang Bo was great on beam, when she hit.

      • Cee Says:

        You disagree that Oksana’s Birdie routine changed the sport? She pioneered back-to-back tumbling runs–who else besides Dominique Dawes did back-to-back runs?

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Some Russians did it in the 80’s and Dawes did it what early 90’s. That specific routine did not change the sport.

  7. Exgymgurl Says: I wonder if nastia and carlyare invited. Anyone want to crash this ?

    • ilanchik20 Says:

      From what I’ve seen on Carly’s Instagram, she is actually bridesmaid in Vice’s wedding. I’m sure Nastia is just gonna show up. Hope there are some pics after lol

    • Case Says:

      The true question is….will Marta be there? And if so, what will she give as a gift?

  8. Exgymgurl Says:

    well thats nice, i dont follow carly on instagram…. at least now we all know where to shop for hollie

    • Dee Says:

      LOL…they registered at a ton of places. I only registered at one and now I feel stupid…but I do feel creepy for looking at theirs.

  9. Exgymgurl Says:

    nadias perfect 10 would be a routine that changed gymnastics because no one had done that.

  10. Melanie Says:

    Doris Fuchs Brause- 1966 Worlds bars routine. She was truly the first gymnast to actually swing the bars with continuous motion. Also the first to cast to a true handstand. The judges didn’t know what to make of her routine and gave her an incredibly low score. The crowd then famously protested for 63 minutes. Definitely a game changer, even if she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves.

    • Lithi Says:

      If I recall correctly, even Larissa Latynina was scratching her head over Fuchs Brause’s score; she thought FB deserved much higher.

    • gymbot Says:

      Thanks for suggesting this routine! It was quite intricate and lovely to watch.

  11. JK Says:

    I’m sorry, but Carly’s floor routines are super awkward to watch. There’s nothing “stunning” about them. She looks like a dancing scarecrow. Maybe they should have instead talked about her stuck Patterson dismount on beam during the Olympics AA – that’s always impressive to watch.

    • sanitynmotion Says:

      Carly, to me, is only going to me known for that Patterson beam dismount.

      Her floor I still have that image of her flapping her arms like a chicken during that one part of her routine…anyone know what I’m talking about?

      • Cee Says:

        What I remember is that one part where she’s standing in the corner, concentrating on her next run and then, right on cue, she turns and executes this random dance move that has nothing to do with anything else. And then she’s back to business, grimly focusing on her tumbling. Oh God. Carly, I love you on beam but MAN the girl could NOT dance. McCool always wiped the floor with her.

  12. JK Says:

    I do agree w/ Tweddle being named to the list. I *think* she was one of the first gymnasts to connect a high-low release skill (Ezhova) straight into a Shaposhnikova w/ a half turn (Van Leeuwen). There are so many gymnasts now that are doing similar connections (Aliya, Yao, Huidan, Kocian, Kyla, Spiridonova, etc.).

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Is it her routine or the way the code works? It also hasn’t changed the sport. I find all UB routines not done by the Chinese boring and all these damn toes on the bars release moves as boring. I am a huge fan of clean gymnasts and that is why I like the Chinese but there is nothing exciting in any of these routines today.

      • JK Says:

        I agree, I like clean gymnastics, which is why my favorite event to watch in WAG is uneven bars finals because I feel it’s the only event left where the gymnasts can’t get away w/ sh*tty form.

        However, there was something refreshing to me watching Tweddle (despite her flaws) because her routine was so different from the rest. The Chinese bar routines almost always look the same (as well as the Russians & Americans).

        As far as your question on whether it’s Tweddle’s routine or the way the code works: honestly, I have no idea. I think they’re both intertwined. Yes, that combination gives them a lot of CV’s, which is why I think many gymnasts today are doing them, but Tweddle was one of the first to do so, so wouldn’t she get credit for “changing” the way gymnasts are performing bar routines?

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        I love Beth Tweddle and was wow’d when she first did her crazy routine but I still say the code is why she added those skills together. To me for a routine to really be gymnastics life changing it just has to be something life changing.

        I don’t know I guess there is no wrong answer here but none of these routines except Nadia and Yurchenko fit the description to me.

      • gymbot Says:

        It may not have been the code. In 2004 she had multiple pirouettes in combination when they were valued higher. In 2005 she already did release combinations (markelov to gieger and tkatchev element to bail). At the time, in 2005 and the first 6 years of the new CoP, the pirouette elements Beth used to do were worth the same (E+D was 0.2 in CV while D+D release were worth 0.2).

  13. JAS4 Says:

    Maybe Khorkina on bars or vault or something. She wasn’t one of my favorites but she did create like a bajillion new skills that are still in use today.

  14. Dee Says:

    buhhhh probably the hardest question ever asked about gymnastics, IMO.

    I’m gonna put Amanar on my list because that dang vault changed the sport, even if it was not in the most positive way.

    I am completely stumped as to anyone else. I guess what makes it hard is that it’s routines that changed it, not individual skills.

  15. Case Says:

    Here’s an update on Jordyn if any of you are interested:

    • JAS4 Says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Jordyn eventually ends up coaching. Although I could actually see her coaching college gymnastics more than elite.

      • Cupquaked Says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if when Val eventually retires, Jordyn takes over. I think she would be a fantastic coach! She’s always been one of my favorites. I’m sad she won’t be trying for Rio but honestly, she’ll always be one of the best elite gymnasts in my opinion.

  16. sanitynmotion Says:

    This is a tough question because routines have largely changed with the code…gymnasts haven’t really “made” the sport change all that much.

    My best example is (like what some of you guys have already said) most bar and beam and even floor routines (the tumbling passes) are starting to look the same, and everyone is doing a Yurchenko (either a double or an amanar).

    The damn code-makers are making gymnastics boring.

    Figure skating is different. Torvel and Dean (not sure of the spelling here) changed ice dancing forever, in my book.
    I need to shut up about figure skating though because today it’s just a cheat sport. Damn, I’m still pissed about Sochi/the Russian figure skater.

    • G Says:

      Weren’t a few Russian girls doing those back to back passes before Dawes though?

      • G Says:

        Oops meant for this to be under the comment below, sorry!

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        Honestly I wouldn’t know. At the time Dawes was doing it, I was all of 12 years old, maybe younger, and I didn’t give a hoot about international gymnasts. I only paid attention to the US gals.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        yes years before she ever did it

      • Melanie Says:

        Yep, Silivas too. Way back in the mid-80s.

    • Cee Says:

      “Damn, I’m still pissed about Sochi/the Russian figure skater.”


  17. sanitynmotion Says:

    Oh, can I add that I thought Dawes’ double tumbling pass was cool. I was young then, but I thought it was super awesome at the time, although now I’d be like “that second one is so easy it shouldn’t even count.”

    Still, I thought that was something unique.

    Zemeskal should be nowhere near this list. Same with Patterson unless we give her super credit for her beam dismount, which was a cool skill.

    I of course want to say Shannon should be on this list but again, it’s hard to say what “routine.”

    I still go back to saying that routines didn’t change the sport though – the stupid code did. That’s why we are seeing the harder tricks being done for the sake of clean gymnastics.

  18. Mimi Says:

    I just watched Doris Fuchs on you tube. What a badass! I’m not overly cluey about gym history but her routine was ahead of its time.

    Unrelated: apparently Alexis Vasquez from Chos has finished up with elite… Anyone know what the deal is there?

    • G Says:

      Really? That’s so odd. Last I heard she was injured but not done with elite.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      She was always falling off something and had suspect form. Its a shame when potential fails but she’s a kid she might come back for College some day

      • H Says:

        What do you mean with “shame when potential fails …”
        please elaborate;-)

  19. Exgymgurl Says:

    vasquez is officially retired from elite on the usagym national team page

    • H Says:

      I liked the triple twist she was doing among other things – “hanging” in the air.
      Wonder why? I was hoping she she would excel in the coming months

  20. Case Says:

    Talia Chiarelli’s dad just got fired.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Yes he did and I am about to blog about it

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        I don’t even know who this is, or what it means. Can your blog update those of us totally not in the know, with our heads in the sand?🙂

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Do you mean Chiarelli? Sorry wordpress doesn’t let me know who replies to which comment. If you mean Peter he is Talia Michigan gymnast and former teammate of Aly Raisman dad. He was the GM of the Bruins and was fired today because he is an idiot and deserved to be fired.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        ah, okay. Yeah I meant Talia Chiarelli…and her dad. I have no idea who either are, lol.

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