Junior Gymnastics Badge:
  1. What does a gymnast do to warm up and stretch before beginning her session? Try some stretches.
  2. Learn about or try the balance beam, vault, or tumbling and floor exercises.
  3. How could you participate in gymnastics in your community?
  4. Watch a pro gymnast do their routine.
  5. How are gymnastics routines scored?
  6. Learn about different types of gymnastics: rhythmic, sport acrobatics, trampoline.
  7. Learn about Rhythmic Gymnastics. Try ribbon, ball, hoop, rope.
  8. How is gymnastics different for boys and girls? Why?

Gymnastics requires:
  • physical strength
  • flexibility
  • agility
  • coordination
  • balance
Types of gymnastics:
  • artistic
  • rhythmic
  • trampolining & tumbling
  • aerobic
  • acrobatic

The word "gymnastic" comes from Greek gymnastikos "fond of athletic exercises" and gymnos "naked," because Greeks historically exercised and competed in the nude.

Artistic gymnastics is the best known type of competitive gymnastics, typically including uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and vault (women's events) and floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, and high bar (men's events).

Rhythmic gymnastics: Typically only women compete in rhythmic gymnastics, combining ballet, dance, and gymnastics with 5 routines using ball, ribbon, hoop, clubs, and rope. However, Japan has begun a men's version rhythmic gymnastics.

Boys and girls gymnastics: Men and women compete in different gymnastic events.

Dominique Moceanu
Athletic attributes of a female gymnast:
  • strength, balance, flexibility, air sense, and grace
  • courage to attempt difficult tricks and to compete under intense pressure
  • discipline and work ethic to practice a routine many times
Women's events:
  • vault - run, jump on springboard, and vault over a vaulting table
  • uneven bars - swings, pirouettes, and dismount
  • balance beam - routine of mount, leaps, jumps, flips, turns, and dismount
  • floor exercise - 90 second mat routine of tumbling, leaps, jumps, and dance moves
  • good form and execution
  • height and distance
  • stuck landing (not moving the feet)
  • uniqueness of routine
Famous Female Gymnasts:

Ivan, Mighty Silverback

Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lived for 27 years in a Tacoma, Wash., shopping mall, chews on his finger at the Atlanta Zoo in 1996. The story was the inspiration for Katherine Applegate's book The One and Only Ivan. John Bazemore/AP

Learn more about Ivan
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