What is gymnastics? Well, this article is written with you in mind to disclose all you need to know about gymnastics.

Gymnastics is an amazing sport that has been around for over a century. It started as a training exercise for acrobats and circus performers but eventually evolved into what we know today as the competitive sport of gymnastics.

Gymnasts balance on beams, vault through hoops, and perform all sorts of other feats on equipment specially designed to test their physical limits! In this blog post, we will explore what gymnastics is and how it became the popular sport that it is today.

The history of gymnastics

Gymnastics has a long and interesting history, with roots going back as far as ancient Greece. The first recorded instances of what we would recognize today as gymnastics were from the Greeks who practised acrobatics on equipment such as logs or poles balanced across stones to make what is called an A-frame.

In addition to these exercises, they also had sporting events. The first gymnastics competition was part of the 1896 Athens Olympics and it featured a tumbling event.

The sport has come a long way since then, with new moves and events being added all the time. Today, gymnastics is enjoyed by athletes of all ages around the world and continues to grow in popularity.

Three types of gymnastics are currently featured in the Olympic games, including artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline. Olympic gymnasts into trampolining must know the basics of trampolining. If you are an intending or pro gymnast, check out the best gymnastic trampolines for your journey.

Artistic gymnastics is the most commonly known. Men and women both compete on equipment like uneven bars, parallel bars, and rings. Perhaps, rhythmic gymnastics is the second-best known. Gymnasts all compete on the same floor mat, but they use ribbons, ropes, hoops, and other equipment.

Other types of gymnastics not currently on the Olympic roster include tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics, and group gymnastics.

What is gymnastics?

Gymnastics is a sport that can be competed as an individual or in pairs. It consists of exercises on different apparatus, including the floor, balance beam, uneven bars, and vault. The goal of gymnastics is to perform these exercises with strength, grace, and beauty. Meanwhile, you might be interested in the actual width of a balancing beam.

There is disagreement about the exact date when gymnastics was first performed. The earliest documented performance of what we know as gymnastics today happened in Germany but it could have been made much earlier by different cultures that existed before then. In fact, there are several cave paintings from around 30 000 BC that appear to depict acrobatic activities.

Acrobatic gymnastics

Acrobatic gymnastics is what most people think of when they hear the word ‘gymnastics’. It became an Olympic sport in 1984 and is what many gymnasts compete in.

Typical reliable 12ft rectangle trampoline and 14ft rectangle trampoline are necessary to improve your skills.

Artistic gymnastics

Another type of competitive gymnastic event is artistic, which athletes also do on different apparatuses like barres or rings. This style uses body movements to create shapes. Artistic gymnastics is popular because it can be done solo or in pairs.

Artistic gymnastics became an Olympic sport at the very first modern Olympics in Athens 1896, but what is now known as rhythmic gymnastics was added to this competition much later. It has been part of every summer games since 1984.

You can do artistic gymnastics on a trampoline with basketball hoop.

What is gymnastics gameplay like?

Gymnastics is a sport that can be competed in two different ways—as an individual or as part of a team. In individual gymnastic competitions, gymnasts compete against one another on four events, including balance beam, uneven bars, floor exercise, and vault.

The top six competitors from each event move on to the next round until there are only three people left.

Team events include men’s and women’s competitions on what is called the pommel horse, as well as a competition involving all four pieces of equipment.

In team gymnastics, one country competes at a time and rotates with other teams until everyone has had their chance to compete for that event. Altogether there are ten events in men’s gymnastics and twelve events in women’s gymnastics.

Rules and regulations during gymnastics events

The rules and regulations of gymnastics are extensive, but here are a few key points:

  • Gymnasts must wear a leotard and tights during competition or gymnastics events.
  • They are not allowed to touch the ground with their hands or feet outside of the event area.
  • They are allowed one false start, after which they will be given a penalty.

Other gymnastics rules include what type of equipment can be used, how to perform certain moves, and what the scoring system is.

Regulations of gymnastics are in place to ensure that all gymnasts are playing by the same rules and are performing at a high level. These rules are constantly being updated as the sport evolves.

You can learn more about the rules and regulations of gymnastics on the International Gymnastics Federation website.

Lingo and terminology

The lingo and terminology of gymnastics can be a little confusing at first, but with a little practise, you’ll be able to understand it. Here are some key terms to know:

  • Vault. A move in which the gymnast jumps onto a platform and then off of it, performing flips or twists in the air.
  • Uneven bars. A set of two bars that are different heights, with gymnasts performing swings and release moves off of them.
  • Floor exercise. A routine performed on a padded surface, often involving dance moves and acrobatics.
  • Balance beam. A narrow beam that gymnasts must balance on while completing tricks.

Skills and techniques gymnasts require

There are many skills and techniques that gymnasts must learn to compete. Some of these include:


This is the act of jumping onto a platform and then off of it, performing flips or twists in the air.


A flip where the gymnast rotates around their vertical axis.


A move where a gymnast dismounts from an apparatus, such as vaulting or uneven bars.

Release moves

This is any move that the gymnasts release their grip on what they are holding. An example of this would be swinging from uneven bars and then letting go with one hand to do a backflip.


These are what judges use to take points away from a routine. There can be many deductions, including things like landing out of bounds or not sticking the dismount.

Form and technique

How well you perform skills is determined by how precise your technique is! Even if all the tricks are completed correctly, gymnasts can lose points if their form is not perfect.

Acrobatic skills

These are what gymnasts use when they do flips and twists in the air.

Here’s a compilation of basic gymnastic skills you can learn as a beginner:

Positions and roles

There are many positions and roles in gymnastics, from the athletes themselves to the judges and coaches:


The people who perform the routines. They must be skilled in all events to compete.


Judges score routines and award points based on form and technique, as well as the difficulty of the moves.


Coaches help gymnasts prepare for competition and give them feedback on their routines. They often design the routines that the gymnasts will compete

Head judge

This is the person who oversees all aspects of the competition.

Team Manager

This person works with judges and coaches, determining what events will be included in the lineup for each gymnast.


The commentator explains what’s happening during routines so audiences can follow along.

What are some skills taught in gymnastics?

Some gymnastic skills include the flooring:

  • Strength and conditioning. This helps gymnasts build up the strength they need for physical fitness to perform difficult moves.
  • Balancing and coordination. Balance is key in gymnastics! Coordination allows you to move seamlessly from one skill into another. If your form or technique isn’t perfect then you are not likely to get very many points.
  • Discipline. Gymnastics disciplines and requires a lot of dedication and practise, which will help keep you focused on what’s important in your life.

Coordination is also taught as a gymnastic skill.

Benefits of gymnastics

Gymnastics is a great way to stay in shape and improve your overall fitness. It also has many benefits for the mind, including:

  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Increased discipline and dedication
  • Boosted self-confidence
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills

All of these benefits can help individual gymnasts in all aspects, including inciting group gymnastic discipline.

Many young gymnasts also benefit from these, especially to build their physical strength. Gymnastics requires determination for these to work, you want to stay motivated to do this exercise.

Equipment for gymnastics teams and individual

There are many different pieces of equipment used in gymnastics. Here are a few:


In gymnastics is used for a lot of what is done on the floor. It allows for somersaults and other skills to be performed easier, with a softer landing surface below the gymnasts performing these types of moves.

Meanwhile, trampolining, together with tumbling, comprises four events, individual and synchronized trampoline, double mini trampoline, and tumbling. Learn how you can set up a trampoline to get your journey started.

Vaulting table

This is the apparatus that gymnasts use to perform vaults. It is a flat, rectangular board with a cushioned landing area at one end.

Pommel horse

A typical pommel horse used by male gymnasts only. Also, a typical pommel horse exercise involves both single leg and double leg work

Uneven bars

These bars are what gymnasts use to perform release moves and swings. They are two metal bars that are different lengths, set at uneven heights.

Balance beam

This is a narrow beam that gymnasts walk across to perform balance skills.

Floor mats

These mats provide a safe landing surface for gymnasts who fall off the beam or vaulting table.

Referees and Officials during gymnastics games

There are many referees and officials involved in gymnastics. Here are a few of them:

  • Referees

These people are responsible for judging the routines and awarding points.

  • Scorers

Scorers keep track of the scores awarded by the judges during each routine. The English abbreviation for the event in gymnastics scoring is FX

  • Timekeepers

Timekeepers ensure that all routines are completed within the allotted time frame.

  • Announcers

Announcers help explain what is happening during routines so audiences can follow along!

  • Line Judges

These people watch gymnasts on each of the four apparatuses and make sure they perform their skills in order, beginning with trampoline followed by uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise.

  • Judges

There are five judges in total, one head judge and four line judges. The officials make sure that gymnasts perform their skills in good form (looking like they’re supposed to) as well as within the correct time frame.

Playing Surfaces where athletes perform

There are many different playing surfaces used in gymnastics. Gymnast performs on the following surfaces:

Trampoline matting

The mats that go under the trampolines provide a soft surface for when gymnasts land jumps or flips on them, so they don’t get hurt. The matting is made up of pieces of material sewn together.

Vault table

This is what gymnasts stand on when they perform a vault, which allows them to jump higher and rotate faster as the board makes it easier for their feet to slide off of it into a roundoff or handspring position.

Uneven bars

These bars are what gymnastics use to perform release moves and swings. They are two metal bars that are different lengths, set at uneven heights.

Balance beam

This is a narrow beam that gymnasts walk across to perform balance skills.

Floor mats

These mats provide a safe landing surface for gymnasts who fall off the beam or vaulting table.

Gymnastics drills

Gymnastics drills are a great way and probably all a gymnast also needs to improve their skills. You could do the following:

  • Forward roll. This drill helps gymnasts practise their forward roll, which is an important skill for floor exercise and vaulting.
  • Cartwheel. This drill helps gymnasts practise their cartwheels, which is an important skill for floor exercise and vaulting.
  • Hanging knee tucks. With this drill, gymnasts strengthen their legs by practising knee tucks, which is what they do when they swing on the uneven bars.
  • Pullovers. This drill helps gymnasts practise pullovers, a skill that’s used during uneven bar work and sometimes floor exercise.
  • Pike. Gymnasts can practise their pike, which is a position used in many skills such as handstands and backflips.
  • Straddle. This drill helps gymnasts practise their straddle, which is a position often used in balance beam work.

These are only a few of the many drills.

Final Thoughts

Gymnastics is a sport that requires a lot of skill, strength, and agility. It’s a challenging and exciting activity that has been around for centuries.

There are many different playing surfaces used in gymnastics, as well as many different drills you can do to improve your skills. Gymnastics is an amazing sport that everyone should try.