Rhythmic Gymnastics: The Perfect Mix of Art and Sport

GymnasticsRhythmic gymnastics is a sport that highlights the complex interplay of the elements in these physical activities: dance, ballet, gymnastics, and apparatus manipulation. This involves five separate performances using balls, ribbons, clubs, hoops, and ropes.

The performance takes place on a flat surface area. The judges will rate the performance based on the aesthetics instead of the usual acrobatic display. According to the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), only women may compete in rhythmic gymnastics.

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Apart from the techniques, you should also familiarize yourself with the following apparatuses:

Ball

This is made of a synthetic material like that of rubber — the ball can be of any color. This should rest in the gymnast’s hand, not on the wrist. The most fundamental elements of a ball routine include bouncing, throwing, and rolling. The performer must use both hands and maximize the whole floor area, while displaying continuous flow of movements.

Ribbon

This should be made of satin or another similar cloth material of any color. Performers may use a multi-colored one or ribbons with designs. The ribbon connects to a stick through a supple attachment, such as a nylon cord, thread, or a series of articulated rings. Ribbon performances often include flicks, snakes and spirals, circles, and throws.

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Gymnasts must have a high degree of coordination to create the movements during this routine. Any accidental knots that will form in the ribbon may cause the performer to lose points. During a ribbon routine, judges specifically look for smooth, flowing movements.

Clubs

Clubs are thrown from one hand to another. Each one passes underneath the other club; the performer must catch the club using the opposite hand. With the complex techniques in this routine, performers must improve their skills in apparatus mastery, coordination, and body elements. Multi-piece clubs are the most popular among gymnasts.

Rope

Gymnasts use the rope to for skipping and leaping, while adding in swings, circles, throws, and rotations. They need to be agile and flexible to pull off this routine.

Hoops

This may be made of plastic or wood, so the hoop can retain its shape during the routine. A basic hoop routine includes rotation around the hand or body, as well as circles, swings, throws, and passes through and over the hoop. Just like with clubs, the routines in hoop involves mastery in both apparatus handling and body movements.

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With proper training and discipline, performers can better improve their rhythmic gymnastics. The rewards of learning this sport will be worth the effort and visits to studios.

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