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Exploring The 5 Main Types Of Gymnastics In This Sport Today

When you think about gymnastics, you usually imagine athletic people doing flips, jumping on beams and tumbling from one corner of a floor to another. However, while often referred to as gymnastics only, there are actually more different types of it.

Unless you are a big fan of gymnastics or you actually train in this sport, there is a decent chance you are not aware of them.

Whether you want to know more for the next Olympics or championship, here is a brief description for each type. There used to be four types of gymnastics, yet a fifth one has been recently added to the list.

1) Rhythmic Gymnastics

types of gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics is only available to women only, yet there were a few attempts to add a masculine size to it – they all failed though. The name is quite self explanatory. Women are supposed to perform dancing movements full of grace using all kinds of accessories. They can use ribbons, but ropes, hoops and balls are also accepted.

This is one of the most appreciated types of gymnastics because of the agility and flexibility expressed in it. Most commonly, it is practiced on a musical background. While it can be practiced individually and in teams, team based events are not so popular.

Also, apart from dancing, it will also implement various elements of ballet. It is extremely eye catching, hence its popularity.

2) Power Tumbling Gymnastics

Power tumbling is one of the most sophisticated types of gymnastics. Due to its difficulty, it is not as popular compared to others. In fact, it is often overlooked at various championships.

To most gymnasts, it represents a more complicated version of another kind of gymnastics – trampolining. The difference? It adds a plethora of artistic elements to the game.

The good news is you do not need to understand too much while watching or practicing it, as the rules are quite simple. The gymnast is supposed to pass a 25 meter track twice. Eight different skills must be displayed on each pass.

Repeating them on both tracks is accepted, but not on the same track. Make sure safety is in place by checking out this article. The best gymnasts will come up with 16 different skills though.

For such exercises to be performed by the book, the gymnast requires lots of coordination and strength, as well as spatial awareness.

3) Artistic Gymnastics

Artistic gymnastics is by far the most popular type during the Olympics. It is split into two categories – women’s and men’s. They follow similar rules though – short routines performed on multiple apparatuses. Such routines take around a minute.

Women’s artistic gymnastics will bring in uneven bars, floors and balance beams – usually separately. You can see it in an individual form, but team events are also common. This type of gymnastics is so popular among fans because of the beautiful expression of strength and flexibility.

Men’s artistic gymnastics is different due to the techniques and apparatuses. Most commonly, you will see gymnastics bars, still rings, high bars and pommel horses.

The masculine version of this sport is more about strength and endurance. Unlike the feminine version, it does not display too much grace and flexibility.

4) Acrobatic Gymnastics

Acrobatic gymnastics is jaw dropping – it represents one of the most appreciated types of gymnastics during any event out there. The name says pretty much everything about it. Unlike other types of gymnastics, this is more common in team events. Teams are set upfront, so each participant must follow the rules.

There are usually two, three or four members in each team. They can be all males, all females or mixed – depending on the rules of the competition. All in all, the display of coordination is literally stunning.

There are several rules in this type of gymnastics too. No matter how many members the team has, they have to put together a perfect show consisting of three acrobatic elements. Balance routines will display strength, while dynamic routines are based on active movements involving throws and catches.

The third element is combined, so it is basically a mixture of the main two. The interesting part is that most of these throws involve actual people, so participants must throw and catch their own team mates.

The bad news is that acrobatic gymnastics is not recognized in the Olympics at the moment, but who knows? There are more reasons behind it – one of them being the fact that it can be risky.

All those stunning maneuvers are daring and can put the athletes at high risks. However, it is common in the international Junior Olympic program, as well as other less important competitions.

5) Trampoline Gymnastics

Trampoline gymnastics is one of the newest types out there. It may not seem new to most people. After all, trampoline is an integral part of most gymnastics programs out there. But then, it has just made it to being a unique discipline.

It was also adopted into the Olympic program in 2000. This type of gymnastics relies on high jumps and flying maneuvers. All kinds of movements are allowed to entertain viewers, from flips and twists to somersaults.

The point of trampoline gymnastics is to add dynamics, so routines move fairly fast and do not give too much time for brakes. The discipline can be synchronized or individual. Double mini events are also organized. It is suitable to both men and women.

A double mini trampoline is used for basic tricks and routines. Synchronized events require two different trampolines and a high level of discipline. When compared to other types of gymnastics that involve trampolines, the ones used for this type are way bouncier, causing jaw dropping gravity defying jumps.


As a short final conclusion, gymnastics is way more diversified than what it looks like at a first glance. Most people are familiar with all these types of gymnastics, but they have no clue about their classifications and rules. They simply watch gymnastics for the show or to support their own countries. However, a little education makes the sport more entertaining.

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    Elle Lori

    Hi, Elle here. I am a simple girl that loves gymnastics, cooking, fitness and of course, pampering myself with a good massage after a hard day at work. As a creative copywriter, I combine my passion mentioned above to develop reviews and content to help my readers get what they want.