What is Gymnastics?

Gymnastics is a sport in which people move their bodies smoothly. A gymnasts needs to be strong, good at stretching their body and have good balance.

Gymnastic disciplines

Modern gymnastics has five different disciplines:

  • Artistic
  • Rhythmic
  • Sports aerobics
  • Sports acrobatics
  • Trampoline
Gymnastics Today

Gymnastics goes 2000 years back to ancient Greece. The word "gymnastics" comes from the Greek word gymnazein, meaning exercising without clothes.

Gymnastics was one of the sports in the first Olympic Games held in Athens, 1896. Some gymnastics has always been in both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. However trampoline only became part of the Olympic Games in 2000.

History of Gymnastics in Australia

The Australian Gymnastics Union was formed in 1949. It was very helpful in developing gymnastics in Australia.

The first national competition was held in 1950. The first international gymnastic competition was held in Australia during the 1956 Olympics.

Australia first participated in gymnastics at the 1974 Commonwealth Games held in New Zealand. Lindsay Nylund won the first gymnastics medal for Australia in the 1978 Commonwealth Games.


Artistic gymnastics is one of the sports people love watching at the Olympic Games. It is also one of the hardest to score well in. Gymnasts must be very fit and have lots of skills.

There is Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics. The gymnastics in each are different.

Men gymnasts need to be strong to do well in their events. Women gymnasts need to be able to stretch their bodies well and have a good balance.


Rhythmic gymnastics has five separate routines. Each uses different equipment– balls, ribbons, hoop, ropes and clubs. The judges gives points for style and how well the routines are performed.

Sports Aerobics

Sports aerobics combine gymnastic skills with dance rhythm. In this event gymnasts have to perform their routines non-stop with excellent timing. The event lasts between 60 and 90 seconds and is judged out of 10 points.

Sports Acrobatics

Sports acrobatic is a lot like sports aerobics. But the gymnasts need to balance more and do harder movements.


The gymnast does not stop jumping, when they are on the trampoline. They make all their moves in mid-air. The gymnast's routines are marked out of 10 points. A gymnast gets extra additional points for doing harder moves.


A gymnast must be 16 or over to compete in the Olympics and international events. Gymnasts often first start training when they are very young. The best gymnasts may train between 20 and 30 hours every week. Training sessions involve practicing moves, learning new skills, getting stronger and stretching.

Gymnast's bodies

Female gymnasts are small, lean and strong. Male gymnasts have strong arms and can bend and stretch easily too.

References & Sources

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