The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Gymnastics is a sport involving the performance of sequences of movements requiring physical strength, flexibility, and kinaesthetic awareness, such as somersaults and handstands. It developed from fitness exercises used by ancient Greek soldiers, including skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and circus performance skills.

Modern gymnastics, as regulated by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique incorporates six distinct disciplines:

Of these disciplines, the two subdisciplines of artistic and rhythmic gymnastics are the best known, having been part of Summer Olympic Games competitions. Trampoline was also recently included in the Summer Olympics.

The discipline of rhythmic gymnastics is competed only by women, and involves the performance of five separate routines with the use of five props (ball, ribbon, hoop, clubs, rope) on a floor area, with a much greater emphasis on the aesthetic rather than the acrobatic. Rhythmic routines are scored out of a possible 30 points.

Sports aerobics involves the performance of routines by individuals or pairs, emphasising strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness rather than acrobatic or balance skills. Routines are performed on a small floor area and last 90 seconds (? - check this), being judged out of a total of 10 points.

Trampolining routines involve a build-up phase during which the gymnast jumps repeatedly to achieve height, followed by a sequence of ten leaps without pauses during which the gymnast performs a sequence of aerial tumbling skills. Routines are marked out of a maximum score of 10 points. Additional points (with no maximum) can be earned depending on the difficulty of the moves.

General gymnastics, sometimes called group gymnastics, enables people of all ages and abilities to participate in performance troupes of 6 to more than 150 athletes. They perform synchronized, choreographed routines. Troupes may be all one gender or mixed. There are no age divisions in general gymnastics. The largest general gymnastics exhibition is the quadrennial World Gymnaestrada which was first held in 1939.

See also

gymnast, Gymnasium, Turners, trampoline, gymnopaedia.

External link

Last updated: 10-18-2005 08:23:51
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