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What is Competitive Gymnastics?
Competitive Gymnastics channels energy to develop power, strength and control. Mastery of the different apparatus requires the skilful combination of flips, balance, stretch, spin and landings.
– Builds strength and prepares the body for the challenges in life
– Enhances co-ordination and agility, allowing the body to move like lightning
– Develops posture and confident body movement, including the ability to land safely
– Challenges the mind and body to reach new goals
– Develops healthy minds and bodies for now and later life
Experience Competitive Gymnastics and feel the exhilaration of being in control as you fly and swing. It is the perfect sport for focus and self-discipline. You can develop your skills for fun and fitness or challenge yourself further through competitions from local to national and even international level.
The four competitive apparatus in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics are:
Vault – a 20m sprint to the vaulting table followed by springing onto and off the hands and landing perfectly on the other side. Extra rotations at any point increase the difficulty.
Uneven Bars – requiring strength, precision, rhythm, concentration and courage; the gymnast moves from one bar to the other, alternating grip changes, releases and regrasps, saltos and changes of direction with circular swings.
Beam – balance at its most extreme, adding an extra element to the acrobatic sequences, gymnastic jumps and turns. It is an exercise not only of flexibility, but also of concentration, rhythm and expression.
Floor – a creative combination of expressive dance, daring acrobatics and powerful gymnastics performed to music, where each gymnast communicates her own personality and style.
There are six competitive apparatus in Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG):
Floor – an exercise in pure acrobatics, alternating between powerful tumbling series and the composure necessary for balance and strength elements.
Pommel Horse – routines mostly involve circles of the legs together and pendulous, scissor swings with the legs split, spectacularly combining these movements while turning and travelling along the horse.
Rings – difficult combination of strength and swinging elements requiring control, strength and balance in the forward and backward swings and strength holds.
Vault – a 25m sprint creates the necessary power to explode from the board before the dynamic push off the table, to generate greater height for rotations and flight before landing on the other side.
Parallel Bars – routines require swinging above and below the bars with acrobatic flight, changes of directions and precise balances, ending in a dramatic dismount off the side or the end of the bars.
Horizontal Bar – a spectacular apparatus, largely due to the combination and variation of giant swings, acrobatic releases and re-grasp flight elements. The high dismounts from the bar allows the gymnast to show his acrobatic talents and landing prowess.
If you want to take your career in Competitive Gymnastics further, find out more about specific judging and coaching courses.
Competitive Gymnastics is governed internationally by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG).