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  • Writer's pictureBrad Smeja

The Basics of Gymnastics



Gymnastics is a sport that requires strength, flexibility, balance, and grace. It involves performing a variety of movements and skills on different apparatus, including the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise.


If you're new to gymnastics, it can be a bit overwhelming to understand all of the different movements and terminology. In this blog post, we'll cover the basics of gymnastics and help you get started on your journey.


The Fundamentals of Gymnastics

Gymnastics is made up of several basic movements that form the foundation of the sport. These movements include:

  1. Jumping: In gymnastics, you'll be jumping a lot! Whether you're jumping onto a springboard, jumping over the vaulting table, or jumping off of the balance beam, jumping is a fundamental skill that you'll need to master.

  2. Rolling: Gymnasts often perform rolls to transition between movements or to reduce the impact of a landing. Rolls can be forward or backward, and they require good control and coordination.

  3. Balancing: Balance is key in gymnastics, and it's something that you'll work on constantly. Balancing requires a combination of strength, flexibility, and focus.

  4. Swinging: On the uneven bars and high bar, gymnasts use swinging motions to build momentum and perform skills. Swinging requires good coordination and body awareness.

  5. Flipping: Flips are the most iconic gymnastics movement, and they can be performed on the floor exercise, vault, and even the balance beam. Flipping requires a lot of power and control.

The Apparatus

In gymnastics, athletes perform on different apparatus, each of which presents its own unique challenges. Here are the four main apparatuses used in gymnastics:

  1. Vault: The vault involves running down a runway and jumping onto a springboard, which launches the gymnast into the air. The gymnast then performs a skill before landing on a padded mat.

  2. Uneven bars: The uneven bars consist of two bars of different heights, and gymnasts use swinging motions and release moves to perform a variety of skills.

  3. Balance beam: The balance beam is a narrow beam that's elevated off the ground, and gymnasts perform a series of movements and skills while maintaining balance.

  4. Floor exercise: The floor exercise involves performing a routine of dance and tumbling moves on a padded mat.

Getting Started

If you're interested in trying gymnastics, the best way to get started is to find a local gym or training center. Look for a gym that specializes in kids gymnastics and offers classes for beginners. You can also check with your local parks and recreation department to see if they offer gymnastics classes.


Before you start your first class, make sure you have comfortable athletic clothing and shoes. You may also want to bring a water bottle and a small towel.

Gymnastics can be a challenging sport, but it's also a lot of fun! By mastering the basics and working hard, you can develop strength, flexibility, and confidence, and achieve your gymnastics goals.

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