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Types Of Gymnastics [7 Different Category From Artistic to Rhythmic]

types of gymnastics

Some of us might have probably thought that when we are flexible enough, can do splits and some tumbling, we automatically qualify as a gymnast. Well, it can be partly true because flexibility is just a start to becoming a successful gymnast.

And yes, this is not just a general athletic sport. There are 7 different types of gymnastics that are officially recognized in the world. Here's what you should know.


1) Tumbling

Also known as power tumbling, this type of gymnastics enables athletes to master complicated twists and flips over a spring runway.

The spring helps the athletes to engage as they flip and bounce on air without missing that perfect landing. The spring runway is bouncier than the mat that they use for floor routines.

Although it's a type of gymnastics, one can't compete in an Olympic event as it's not part of the competition. However, in the United States, it is recognized as a Junior Olympics program where athletes get the chance to compete overseas.

During the tumbling competition, the athlete gets to have two passes to perform in each competition level as they advance. Every pass has a total of 8 elements to fulfill. 

2) Trampoline

When doing trampoline gymnastics, the flips and twists are ultimately higher and challenging compared to tumbling.

Every bounce exudes a well-executed routine, making the gymnasts more spectacular to watch when performing.

During the Olympic competition last 2000, trampoline gymnastics has become one of the disciplines being observed. Men and women participated separately, aiming for that medal after the competition.

In the event of the competition, gymnasts need to perform both voluntary and compulsory routines that consist of all ten skills. It has to be performed on the same trampoline.  f you are interested in this category, make sure to invest in a good quality trampoline that is fit for gymnastics.

3) Rhythmic Gymnastics

In rhythmic gymnastics, more varied routines are being performed, such as leaps, jumps, tosses, and other routines that involved other equipment.

As of the moment, this type of gymnastics is only competed by women.

For the rest of the competition, gymnasts can choose to compete from the 3 categories: individual all-around, individual competition, and group competition. 

The rhythmic gymnastics competition goes by starting with 5 athletes performing two different routines from one another. They need to use the same equipment while performing the routine. For example, in the first round, they will use a ball, and in the second, they will use a hoop.

4) Acrobatic Gymnastics

Acrobatic gymnastics is a more challenging sport compared to the rest of the three listed above. Instead of just using equipment or gymnast tools, it's the athlete that they use.

Usually, there will be two to four athletes performing the routine: balancing one another, handstands, throwing team members on-air, and other tricks.

Although it might sound as professional and detailed to perform, it's not part of the Olympics competition. Still, enthusiasts can participate in contests organized by the US Junior Olympic program. It's a chance for them to hone their skills and compete with other acrobats internationally.

During the competition, athletes perform their acrobatic routine in men's or women's pairs, mixed pairs, and by three's (can be mixed). All of which shall be performed on the floor exercise mat.

5) Group Gymnastics

Group gymnastics enables athletes to team up with the best performers from 6 or up to 16 members.

They all train and compete together during competitions and can be all male or female and even mixed. In the US, they have a famous gymnastic group called TeamGym

Although TeamGym is not as extravagant as the Olympics, it organises competitions in the US and even invite international participants during invitational meets. They have certain competitions such as the locals, regionals, nationals, and international competitions. 

The highlight of the competition is seeing all the gymnast groups competing in performing different routines like: vault, tumbling, and mini-trampoline. They can also be seen doing floor exercises together on the mat.

6) Women's Artistic Gymnastics

Also known as Women's Gymnastics, this is by far the most well known type of gymnastics sport in the world. It attracts more participants and audiences because of all the big events organized around it, including the Olympic games. Spectators often get their tickets ahead of time as they sell out pretty quickly months before the competition.

Athletes can participate in three different categories: as a team, individual all-around, or individual events. All of these have a different phase and process on how to level up to score big points to advance for the championships.

During the competition, all athletes need to perform their routine with at least four gymnast tools: floor exercise, vault, uneven bars, and beams. 

7) Men's Artistic Gymnastics

And last but not least on our list is the Men's Gymnastics. Also a popular sport worldwide, men's gymnastics entails more gymnastic tools than the women's category. Instead of just 4, they need to use six gymnast tools: pommel horse, still rings, floor exercise, parallel bars, horizontal bar, and vault.

The competition is no different from women's. It observes the same discipline and competition pattern as the women's. The only difference between men's gymnastics during competitions is that they have to perform on six events with six different gymnast tools instead of just 4.

Final Thoughts

Gymnastics is not for everybody, but once you train early and get the hang of it, you'll be just like Simon Biles or Nikolai Adrianov in no time. Before pursuing this sport as an athlete, it's also important to note which category or type you fall in. Do you like competing in groups, performing solo, or both events?

Early on, identifying your own identity as a gymnast can help you excel in your craft. You'll be more focused and train harder because you know what you're good at. This makes you more effective as an athlete and maybe become the next world champion.