Artistic Gymnastics | The Different Apparatuses GL


Artistic gymnastics are divided into men’s and women’s gymnastics. Both men and women are required to perform exercises on several different apparatuses.

Male Gymnastics    

Male gymnastics are comprised of six events: pommel horse, floor exercise, still rings, vault, parallel bars, and high bar.
Female gymnasts, on the other hand, are required to perform routines in four different events: balance beam, vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise. I’d like to explain a bit about the different women’s gymnastics apparatuses.


The Floor Exercise

The floor exercise is my absolute favorite, because this is where the gymnasts can really demonstrate their full abilities.  Women’s routines are performed to music on a mat with an area of 12 m sq (39.4 ft. sq.) The entire exercise must last between 50-70 seconds, and has to consist of forward and backward tumbling, leaps, and turns combined with choreography that goes in rhythm with the music. With regards to competitions, I’d like to give you a tip: hold your head high and keep a smile on your face no matter what happens, the judges like to watch gymnasts who appear to be enjoying themselves.

The Uneven Or Asymmetric Bars

The uneven or asymmetric bars are used only by female gymnasts. The frame is made of steel or metal, and the bars are made of wood or fiberglass. The actual bars are about one and a half inches wide and about eight feet long. The height of both bars is adjustable, as is also distance between them. (between 130 and 180 cm), depending on the athlete’s needs. The gymnast must perform swinging, circling, transitional, and release techniques together with handstands. In practice and competition many athletes wear grips or gauze to protect their hands from rips and tears. I personally like to use a mixture of water, liquid honey
and magnesium carbonate.

The Balance Beam

The balance beam is another apparatus used in women’s gymnastics. It is a wooden plank  which is 5 meters (16.4
feet) long, 10 cm (4 inches) wide, and raised 125 cm (4.1 feet) above the floor and is covered with a protective padding. The duration of an exercise is between 1’10 and 1’30. Besides the mount and dismount, a balance beam routine should include a series of artistic leaps, turns, acrobatic movements, and flight elements combined with choreography.

The Vault

The last of the women’s elements is the vault. The gymnast runs at full speed
down a long narrow mat, 6 meters long and 2.5 meters wide, and bounces off a vaulting board which propels them onto a table (also known as the ‘horse’). Using their hands, they do a combination of flips and twists before landing. In a competition, a gymnasts has two tries, and their best attempt is used for their final score.

Women’s gymnastics is a beautiful sport to watch and has become one of the most popular sports at the Olympic Games. If you are an artistic gymnastics enthusiast and would like to learn more about it follow me at While you’re there browse through our store, and have a look at the many gymnastics products we have to offer.

This article was written by and is the property of GL.


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