Is the Rudi as difficult as the Amanar?


I’ve always thought that the handspring-rudi vault is undervalued in comparison to the Amanar vault, but until now, I’ve never been able to prove my point. Recently I found some information that suggests the handspring-rudi may be just as difficult as the Amanar.

First of all, in the new 2013-2016 Code of Points, the Amanar is valued 0.1 higher than the rudi. In the 2009-2012 Code, under which the Olympic Games were conducted, the Amanar was worth 0.2 more than the rudi.

At the London Olympic Games in women’s qualifications, six Amanars (two-and-a-half-twisting Yurchenkos) were performed. Shown below are the names of the women who performed them and their execution scores:

  • Jordyn Wieber/USA: 9.433
  • Gabrielle Douglas/USA: 9.400
  • McKayla Maroney/USA: 9.400
  • Alexandra Raisman/USA: 9.300
  • Viktoria Komova/RUS: 9.133
  • Maria Paseka/RUS: 9.033

 Four handspring-rudis (a layout salto with one-and-a-half twists) were also performed in women’s qualifications at the Games:

  • Oksana Chusovitina/GER: 8.833
  • Elsabeth Black/CAN: 8.500
  • Giulia Steingruber/SUI: 8.483
  • Janine Berger/GER: 7.833

 As you can see, all of the execution scores from the Amanar-vaulting gymnasts were above 9.000—higher than any execution score garnered by a gymnast vaulting a rudi.

At the 2011 World Championships, in women’s qualifications, two gymnasts performed an Amanar. One was McKayla Maroney, and she scored a 9.033 in execution, while the other was Jordyn Wieber, who scored 8.933. Three gymnasts performed rudis (Oksana Chusovitina, Giulia Steingruber, and Alexa Moreno), and none of them topped 9.000 in execution. The highest score, in fact, was Chusovitina’s 8.866.

Here are my thoughts: if the world’s best gymnasts are consistently scoring higher in execution on their 6.3 Amanars than on their 6.2 rudis, then something just doesn’t seem quite right. Could it be that the Amanar is actually easier to properly execute than the rudi?

Let’s break down the two vaults phase-by-phase. The first phase is the preflight position. With an Amanar, the gymnast comes onto the springboard in a round-off, and the handspring-rudi is, as the name states, a handspring vault. I believe that while a round-off is harder than a handspring, it appears more difficult to twist out of a handspring than a round-off. (On a round-off, the gymnast has already achieved a twisting motion due to the half-turn onto the board, while a handspring has no twisting momentum.)

Looking at the flight of the vault, we see that the rudi has one-and-a-half twists and the Amanar has a full twist more. However, the rudi is a backwards-landing vault, so it seems harder to stick. I also feel that it runs a higher risk of injury than the Amanar, which is landed facing forward.

I want to reiterate the fact that at the London Olympics, six gymnasts did Amanars and only four did rudis. And since the 2009 World Championships, eleven Amanars have been performed in world and Olympic vault qualifications, and there have been only ten rudis performed. That’s not a large margin at all, but it is indeed a difference.

To me, all of this indicates that the handspring-rudi is just as hard as the Amanar, if not harder. I feel that when the FIG updated the Code for 2013-2016, they should have left the rudi valued at 6.3, so that it would start at the same level of difficulty as the Amanar.

Article by Anna Rose Johnson

Read previous article’s by Anna:

A History of the American Cup

Possible American Cup replacements for Price & Iordache



  1. Rien says:

    I agree with you completely. Ive always thought the Amanar was overrated. So many more gymnasts are capable of doing an amanar than a rudi. If it is as easy to execute as well as an amanar, why arent more gymnasts competing it? Considering it was only two tenths lower than an amanar if it truly was easier, I feel like we would have seen a lot more of them. Especially with gymnasts who struggle with the amanar, ross, paseka, raisman, etc

  2. Christian says:

    I do think that the Rudi is as hard as the Amanar, but I think it’s hard to objectively compare the two when we rarely see the world’s absolute best vaulters do the Rudi. We all know that with the ever-decreasing team sizes, the top gymnastics countries are placing more and more value on all-arounders so that lots of girls who could potentially be challenging for vault medals don’t have time to train a second vault, and the girls who do usually come from countries that don’t have access to the coaches/facilities/training programmes etc. that make for really top-class vaulting.
    Of course if it really were easier we might well see more all-arounders doing them anyway … but I’d love to see a really fabulous vaulter take on the Rudi! I feel like McKayla wouldn’t have so much success with handspring vaults, but you never know.

  3. Laura Anne says:

    I’m not disagreeing, but want to put something else into the mix. How often now do gymnasts training do rudi vaults as opposed to Yurchenko vaults? it seems that unless they are a vault specialist, pretty much every gymnast does a yurchenko vault – whether it’s half, full, one and half, double or amanar. Does that have a factor, that it’s easier to get used to a vault from a family you’ve always done trained and competed?

  4. Lauren says:

    One quick note: forward landings (such as the Amanar) are harder to land successfully because you can’t see the ground before you land. That’s why they are nicknamed “Blind Landings.” 🙂

  5. Rien says:

    I hope to see a much wider variety of vaults this quad with the new code requirements.

  6. Rien says:

    Actually in the case of rudi vs amanar, rudi is harder to land due to the fact that it is much harder to stop your momentum when you are landing backwards. Yes the amanar has a blind landing, however that does not make the stick that much harder. To put it simply, it is much easier to stop running if you are running forwards than backwards. But it is not that much harder to sto if youre blindfolded. A vault like a 1.5 ty is harder than a fty due to the blind landing, because less momentum is neccasary than necessary when competing a rudi. If that makes sense haha

  7. keepitrealin2013 says:

    I disagree I think a forward landing is much harder than a backwards landing. It’s easier to plant a vault when you land backwards, this was shown at the 2012 games when Mustafina was able to stick her double TY and four of the girls throwing Amanars didn’t. McKayla by far killed everyone with her vault in team finals. You’re able to stop yourself and your momentum when landing in the backwards position, where as the forward position everything if still traveling forward. The only reason the Amanar vault got lowered is because the USA killed the field with that vault, their start value was 7 tenths higher than everyone else and they came with all 05 girls able to throw them. If Kyla Ross had to throw that vault she would have. Let’s keep it real IOC & FIG want to try and keep it a close race. People will turn away “IF” one country comes to every major meet and dominates every time like the USA did 2011 worlds and 2012 Olympics in team. If a full team can dominate the Rudy then they will lower that start value too. They did the same thing with changing the rules to only 02 girls/guys per team can qualify for AA and per event, 2000 Romania made this very clear when they dominated by sweeping all three medals in AA. Everyone was crying about how unfair it was. They need to stop trying to change things to make it a fair race. This was never the case when the Soviets came in or the Romanians were back full blown their government. It’s sad that when the US steps in and finds a way to take what they were never able to obtain back when USSR & Romania were the power houses the FIG has to step in and start flipping things around, to “keep it fair!”

  8. Rien says:

    The dty is easier to land because it requires less power than a rudi or an amanar not because its backwards landing…and Kyla would not have thrown an amanar because she couldnt land it safely. Also the vault was devalued in order to lessen the difference in scores on vault and the other apparatuss, not because of the us.

  9. Nicola says:

    From my point of view, the Rudi is a little more difficult than the Amanar! Just few gymnasts performed it well (Sacramone, Chosovitina, Streigruber and Williams), but lots of gymnasts (especially from USA) did a near-perfect Amanar! Also, I have to say that Yourchenko’s vaults and twisting from a back handspring position are easier to teach and to do than front handsprings and front twists!

  10. keepitrealin2013 says:

    And you are? Oh wait I know who you are, you’re that ass (definition: Donkey or FOOL) that continues to get on here “Full Twist” like you’re some type of know it all god. You claim to be some type of reporter/journalist but yet seem to be on here preaching your WHACK opinion! The only thing that I have learned from any of your comments is you don’t read things through their entirety before casting your judgment. If I’m correct you’re the one that claimed the Amanar vault wasn’t the hardest vault being performed at the 2012 games. That’s odd it was the highest scoring piece of women’s gymnasts done at the 2012 games and that was done by McKayla 16.233 and her vault was the one you claimed wasn’t the most difficult vault. That vault has a max of 6.5 based on its difficulty. Then you’re also the “Know it all” that got on here claiming the Russian’s having higher start values than that of the United States. Once again you were wrong. Here are the real start values of both teams that compete with the 03 up 03 counts at the 2012 games. (Vault) USA/6.5/6.5/6.5 RUS 6.5/6.5/5.8 “USA took that one” (Uneven Bars) USA/6.4/6.4/6.6 RUS 7.0/7.0/6.3 “Russia took it” (Beam) USA/6.1/6.4/6.5 RUS/6.4/6.0/5.9 “USA took that one” (Floor) USA/6.0/6.1/6.5 RUS/5.9/5.9/5.7 even if you add Komova they still wouldn’t have had an higher start value. “USA took floor” USA 76.5 VS RUS 74.9 in start value. Now back to the topic at hand. I wasn’t saying (you may have read it that way) “it’s just because the US is the country that did the Amanar vault is way they lowered its start value,” I was stating that the FIG/IOC lowered the vault to make it a fair game. The USA used that piece of gymnastics to dominate the field in team and they jumped into the 1st and 2nd spots at the start of the AA because of that vault they knew only two others “maybe” throwing it & Komova should have stuck with her DTY which would have scored higher in the AA. Mustafina didn’t even perform the vault. For some odd ball reason you have this chip on your shoulder about the USA? They are both world and Olympic champions in both AA and Team get over it Russia is second to the USA!!!! We can go about this all damn day you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about you just shoot off at the mouth and it is annoying as hell, “SHUT UP!” No one wants nor needs your opinion; you try and bash those whom don’t share your whack opinion. Finally anyone who has done both forward and backwards tumbling will tell you it’s harder to land & stick forward moving gymnastics VS backwards moving gymnastics. No one said the “Rudy” wasn’t hard the question that was asked was do you think it’s harder that the Amanar. The Rudy is a punch front 1.5 twist landing backwards. The Amanar Round off back hand to a 2.5 twist w/a forward landing, not only does the Amanar have one more twist you are landing facing forward which is harder for one to stop the momentum from continuing forward and it’s a blind landing. This is why they score front tumbling higher than back. Patterson scores higher than a double back tuck on beam why because of the blind landing and it’s harder to stick. I know these things because I can perform both. Then if you look at floor most girls, Wieber for example can stick her double, double opening and has the hardest time sticking her 2.5 twist into her stag jump. So once again the Amanar which has that forward front facing tumbling is harder. Also before I shut this conversation down Kyla Ross WOULD have done her Amanar vault “IF” she was told too. They didn’t need her to but if they needed it she would have went for it, it wouldn’t have been no worst then the crap that Russia displayed. Komova AA, Paseka team finals, get a grip, a life then some facts worth reading!!!!!!!

  11. keepitrealin2013 says:

    and the comment above is talking to you Rien!

  12. Hai says:

    Thank you, Keepitreal2013. I agree with u. I remember having this disagreement with Rien as to the difficulty of the US vs Russia in the preOlympics days. I just didn’t see how he could claimed that Russia had higher D score coming in to the Games. Secondly, his only argument against the Amanar being the most difficult was Pena’s dangerous attempt at the Produnova- a vault that she landed on her back everytime, with her feet beating her other body parts ONCE in qualifications!!! She did get a ZERO in finals!! Sad.

  13. Rien says:

    First of all I am a girl. Second I am not gonna waste my time to read a novel about how you are always right and noone else ever is…third how are you gonna tell me that the amanar is the most difficult vault when there clearly is more difficult one. If you would like to say that the amanar is the most difficult vault being competed with consitent landings with no falls in an international competition then you are correct.

  14. keepitrealin2013 says:

    @Rien: First off I don’t know who the hell you think you’re talking too. No one said anything about you being a TRAMP ass girl. Once again topic at hand you think you know everything and you don’t. I don’t know what country you come from but you are ignorant as hell. I don’t give a crap if I get kicked off this site, but ignorant *** ****** like you shouldn’t be on here, posting their comments. You are proving my point ” Second I am not gonna waste my time to read a novel about how you are always right and noone else ever is” First off you’re a liar because you replied to my message. Second I NEVER said I was right you always get on here and always cast your none worthy opinion. Third no one ever said the Amanar was the hardest vault they topic/title was the hardest vault being done at the 2012 games. So once again YOU don’t read ignorant ***** read topics in full. DO we need to keep going?

  15. keepitrealin2013 says:

    @hai: LOL I read you and aaronellis78’s comments and I noticed Rien always has some STUPID response to both your comments. She need to have a full glass of “Shut the hell up!” I hate when DUMB people add their comments that have nothing to do w/the topic and it’s their own opinion!

  16. Sam says:

    This is misleading. Not only did you screw up the execution scores, Mckaylay Maroney had the highest not Jordyn Wieber, but you neglected to mention that the US has found a way to make training the Armanar easier, meaning they get higher scores. The Rudi is difficult, but it doesn’t have a blind landing and keeping on line and blocking are also easier compared to, not only the armanar, bu also any round off entry vault.

  17. Admin says:

    ALL – can comments please be kept clean. There is no need for name calling, profanity or personal digs. I will close comments and ban those using the above from commenting. Everyone IS entitled to their own opinion but please do use the words and digs about, that is not what this blog is about. I have kept comments there but have edited out the profanity.

  18. I’m not sure if you can judge difficulty based on execution. A lot of the issues we’re discussing could just be stemmed from the fact that few gymnasts train anything other than Yurchenkos. Maybe we’d be on a 2.5 twisting front handspring if front handspring vaults were as common in the higher levels of gymnastics as Yurchenkos currently are.

    The factor that gets me the most with the Rudi is the piking. Typically, you see gymnasts doing Yurchenko’s pike down too early on the landing or tuck as they get close to land. With the Rudi, however, it seems that it takes that much more to resists piking once they leave the vaulting table. Alicia has one of the best Rudi’s in my opinion and Chuso was actually the one that made me realize it. She’s horribly piked when she starts twisting and basically crashes into the floor.

    If you look at a lot of gymnasts doing the Rudi, that pike seems to be the biggest issue. I think that’s what makes the Rudi harder than the Amanar. In the Amanar, you’re at least going in the same direction while it seems like the gymnasts have to resist the momentum that their upper body has from the block as they’re twisting. Hope that made sense.

  19. keepitrealin2013 says:

    @ Arabian Punch Front: Interesting, I can see what your saying. Thanks for the input!

  20. Sam II says:

    It’s a good thought, but I don’t agree. The world’s best gymnasts train yurchenkos, so that’s what they’re good at. How many gymnasts who do rudis are good anywhere else except vault? None. If the other gymnasts had the time to train the handspring approach it would be easier for them.

  21. james says:

    i agree with the comments but it ignores one huge fact. if the amanar is easier and scores higher then why did any gymnasts at all even bother to do the rudi?

  22. Robbie says:

    I think it’s faulty reasoning to say that more girls do the amanar than the rudi, because it’s easier. I would say more girls train it, because it gets a higher start value. If the rudi had been a 6.5, and the amanar 6.3, my guess is that we would have seen many girls doing that one instead. People train what is most rewarded.

  23. TrishaG says:

    Obviously, both are very hard!! I think which is the harder varies by the individual based on their own natural abilities and training history.
    Front handspring entries require more power than yurchenko entries. This is why more female gymnasts perform yurchenko style vaults than front handspring, especially those who aren’t vault specialists. In the 80s, a lot of girls who struggled with vault switched to yurchenkos because it was the option that gave them the best chance to do a decent vault with sufficient difficulty to keep them in contention during AA. The mechanics of the round-off onto the springboard generate more power for gymnasts lacking power than a forward entry hurdle would in the same individual.
    So, the reason you don’t see many Rudis is because not many women can perform them. But also because all forward entry vaults are rarer than yurchenko entries. There are fewer women who can perform forward entry vaults well so coaches seem to focus on the yurchenko vaults instead that all can do. It’s safe to say that American gymnastics coaches favor yurchenko style vaults. A lot of the American elites are doing DTYs by the time they’re 12-14. That gives them several years to focus on adding a 1/2 twist. For that reason, amanars are easier than rudis for most American gymnasts.
    Sacramone is an exception. Vanessa Atler also had a strong rudi.
    Of those not currently competing a rudi, I could also see Brenna Dowell of the US and Maria Livchikova of Ukraine doing well with it. They both are exceptionally talented at front tumbling, and I think that rudis would be easier than amanars for them because of this natural affinity.

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