Understanding the 5 Different Types of Gymnastics
When people talk of gymnastics, they usually think of it as a singular discipline involving a LOT of acrobatics. The fact however is that gymnastics has branched into different specializations. Each sub-niche of gymnastics emphasizes a different aspect such as strength, agility, balance and coordination while utilizing elements of all.
In this article, we will be discussing five different types of gymnastics and how they can benefit your child.
#1 Artistic Gymnastics
The most popular gymnastics type is the biggest ticket seller in the Olympics, and consists of short 30-90 second routines performed on different apparatuses. The sport is further divided into men and women only events.
- Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG): Consists of routines performed on uneven bars, balance beams and floor exercises. WAG as it is popularly known is practiced both in individual and team based events and is one of the most beautiful expressions of form, flexibility and strength there is.
- Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG): Differs significantly from WAG and uses completely different apparatuses and techniques. Pommel horses, still rings, parallel bars and high bars are prominently featured here in both individual and team based events.
While both WAG and MAG require a lot of endurance, coordination and strength, the former is artistic, using beautiful, choreographed movements, while the latter emphasizes strength.
#2 Rhythmic Gymnastics (RG)
Rhythmic gymnastics is currently performed by women only. As the name suggests, it displays graceful movements emphasizing flexibility and agility using hoops, balls, ropes and ribbons. RG is broken into individual and team events and is usually practiced with music. The art form utilizes elements of ballet, dance and apparatus manipulation to showcase dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.
#3 Trampoline Gymnastics (TRG)
While trampoline training is an integral part of any gymnastics program, it has branched off into it’s own discipline and was formally inducted into the Olympic games in 2000. TRG utilizes high-flying maneuvers with jumps, somersaults and twists in fast moving routines to create a truly stunning spectacle. TRG is divided into individual, synchronized and double-mini events.
#4 Power Tumbling
Power Tumbling takes trampoline training to new heights and adds elements of artistic gymnastics to trampolining. Here, competitors make two passes on a 25 meter track, each time displaying a set of eight skills. Power tumbling requires tremendous spatial awareness, strength and coordination to be performed properly.
#5 Acrobatic Gymnastics
Acrobatic gymnastics is hands down the most stunning displays of strength and coordination in gymnastics! No equipment is used here. Teams of 2-4 gymnasts perform three types of acrobatic moves - balance routines that emphasizes strength, dynamic routines with throws, catches and somersaults and finally a combined routine that uses elements of both. Acrobatic gymnastics have earned fame for their exhilarating maneuvers that are daring and often risky!
All the styles of gymnastics discussed above are practiced across all age groups. If you will like to introduce your children in gymnastics, we advise you to consult with one of our counselors to help find a suitable starting point. Shoot us an email or call us and we will get back to you ASAP!