Gymnastics equipment: types of exercises, men’s and women’s equipment

Gymnastics equipment

In the article “Gymnastics equipment” we will tell you about the equipment in gymnastics. You will get acquainted with the history of gymnastics, with the types and features of the equipment.

#GymnasticEquipment #SportsEquipment #SportsGymnastics

Sports gymnastics is an ancient sport, harmonious, beautiful and requiring total dedication on the part of the athlete. Gymnastics was born during the ancient Olympics. In addition to exercises, ancient gymnastics included such sports as swimming, running, wrestling, boxing, horseback riding, as well as other disciplines.

But not only the ancient Greeks were familiar with gymnastics, in China and India since ancient times there have been complexes of exercises aimed at increasing flexibility and physical strength.

Even before our era, various countries used devices similar to gymnastic equipment. In ancient Rome, the basics of horseback riding were taught on a peculiar simulator resembling a modern gymnastic horse.

Initially gymnastics did not include floor exercises, and competitions were held only on the apparatus and vault. The changes came in 1932 with the Olympics in Los Angeles, and it was then that the floor exercises were officially included in the all-around. Over time gymnastics became popular in other countries, including Russia.

The first gymnastics association was formed in Europe, in 1881. And after six years it was transformed into an international federation. Gymnastics became so popular that it was included in the official list of disciplines at the 1st Olympic Games of our time.

Korbut Loop
Korbut Loop

Since then, gymnasts from different countries have been competing for Olympic awards. However, during this time the set of gymnastic disciplines has changed several times. Gymnasts receive medals in individual and team competitions.

Our compatriot Olga Korbut has become a true legend of world gymnastics. Olga became the Olympic champion 4 times (1972, 1976), won the World Championship 2 times (1974).

Olga Valentinovna is the inventor of two elements that are named after her. The first element is called the “Korbut Loop”, made on the bars in 1972. Now this element is officially banned, as it is considered very dangerous. The second element is the “Korbut flip” and it is performed on a log.

The modern gymnastic all-around includes competitions on shells, floor exercises and support jumps. We will focus on the shells in more detail.

Men and women have different inventory. Girls compete on bars of different heights and a log, and men on a horse, rings, parallel bars and a crossbar.


Do not think that warm-up is not such an important element of the competition. If a gymnast fails to show up for warm-up, the judges may award penalty points to him or his entire team. There are other restrictions, such as the coach is not allowed to talk to the gymnast during the performance.

Dressing out of uniform may result in points being deducted, or the athlete being removed from the competition altogether. The equipment of a gymnast performing on the apparatus is not just an athletic uniform. It also includes devices that ensure the safety of the athlete, such as palm pads, elastic bandages, belt loops and special shoes for training and competition.

Palm pads are made of leather and make it easier to grip the bar or the rings. To prevent the gymnast from being torn from the apparatus during the program, athletes go for a little trick, splashing their palms with water mixed with sugar and honey. Very often they also use magnesia.

A committee evaluates the performance of the gymnasts, including the head judge and a team of eight other judges. Two of them evaluate the complexity and composition of the gymnasts’ performance using a 10-point system, while the other six judges evaluate the technical execution.

Gymnastic rings
Gymnastic rings

So many judges are needed because the gymnastics program is very intense. For example, if an athlete falls, the judge deducts 0.5 points from him/her. During an exercise on the rings, uneven bars and crossbar a special assistant may be nearby who watches the athlete and helps him to take the initial position.

Let’s talk more specifically about the projectiles themselves. The oldest gymnastic apparatus is a horse. Outwardly it does not look like a horse, and it is so called because its predecessors emulated the shape of a horse’s back. So it turned out that the tackle has changed, but the name remained the same.

Just purely male projectiles are the rings and the crossbar. Rings are at a height of 2 meters and 55 centimeters. The bar is located at the same height as the rings. Around the bar the gymnast performs rotations in different directions, it is very important not to touch the bar with the body.

Gymnastic horse
Gymnastic horse

If the horse is a male apparatus, the beam is a gymnastic apparatus on which only gymnasts compete. “Ten centimeter hell” is 5 meters long, 1.25 meters high from the floor, and only 10 centimeters wide.

Performing on the balance beam is a true triumph of the athletes’ skills. Time is also of the essence, as a gymnast must cover the entire program in only 1.5 minutes.

And finally, the gymnastic apparatus, which is present in both men and women. This, of course, is the uneven bars, a distant relative of the ordinary horizontal bar. Gymnastic bars represent two long poles fixed on a support. Men perform on parallel bars set at a height of 1 meter and 75 centimeters.

Gymnastic balance beam
Gymnastic balance beam

The women, on the other hand, perform on different-height bars. One bar is located at a distance of 1.65 meters from the surface, and the second 2.45 meters. Because of the differences in the equipment, the exercises of men and women are also different.

The bars are made of translucent plastic, flexible and very strong. The outside of the plastic is covered with a wooden veneer. By the way, the poles for high jumping, exactly the same stuffing.

Exercises on the bars, it is not one or two somersaults, but a whole series of different rotations, performed at a high pace. The high tempo of the exercise is maintained by the laws of dynamics. An athlete spends a lot of energy on the first somersault, and on the following elements he saves energy due to inertia, but without training it is impossible to achieve the maximum effect.

The different high bars
The different high bars

It is best to come to gymnastics at an early age, so children from 4 years old are accepted into sports sections. However, there are groups in which girls begin to study from the age of 7 or 8.

In addition, if the coach sees the exceptional natural data of an older candidate, he can make exceptions. But not everyone can become champions, so you can find a gymnastics group according to your age. And if you are set up for records, then gymnastics classes will require perseverance and diligence from you.

Men’s gymnastics equipment

Women’s gymnastics equipment


Gymnastic equipment is a highly specialized equipment in acrobatics, sports, artistic and aesthetic gymnastics, which is an integral part of these sports and contributes to achieving the highest results in competitions.

To perform a support jump, a gymnastic goat is used, a jumping horse and a horse for a support jump, a gymnastic bridge (a push-off point for a gymnast with springs), a sports and gymnastic mat.

There are 4 types of horse in total: Jumping (without handles), Flywheel (with handles), Universal (you can perform both jumping and flywheel elements) and a Horse for a support jump. In a separate category, preparatory varieties are distinguished: A low horse, a horse with floor handles, a gymnastic mushroom, a board with handles, a Safe horse for a support jump and a projectile for a support jump.

( 6 assessment, average 5 from 5 )
Russian sports - national sports portal