Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic Gymnastics is a discipline that combines elements of dance and acrobatics, joined together following the music.

It develops the artistic expression, elegance, dexterity, coordination, flexibility and the relation music-movement while using different equipment. The modality includes routines with four apparatus: hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. It is held in an official area with 13 x 13 m with different formats for individual and group competitions. In #Santiago2023 this sport will offer quota places for the next Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In the picture, a female gymnast executes her routine with a white ribbon.

History of this sport

In the 19th century, rhythmic gymnastics was included under group gymnastics. Slowly, the discipline grew until the first experimental competitions were held in Eastern Europe in the 30s. The complexity of the events would also bring a wider audience.

The International Gymnastics Federation acknowledged rhythmic gymnastics as an official discipline in 1963. A year after an international championship was held in Budapest, which was declared the first World Championship. The champion of that event was Ludmila Savinkova, a soviet gymnast.

The discipline was integrated in the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, and it has been included in the Olympic program in every single edition after that. The group competition was added in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

Rhythmic gymnastics was included for the first time in the Indianapolis 1987 Pan American Games.

United States has had an impressive participation in the Pan American Games, with 52 medals in total, and 20 golds.

In the picture, a female gymnast executes her routine with a white ribbon.

How do you practice it?

In this discipline, which combine dancing, artistic gymnastics and acrobatics, only women compete. The gymnasts perform routines on a 13 x 13 m deck.

The individual competition offers four routines, each one with different devices (ring, ball, maces and ribbon). The team competition is performed in groups of five: one with five gymnasts with the same device, and another that combines two and a single device, and three with other.

In both modes, one medal is awarded per device, and in the general competition.

Get to know the devices of this discipline

The rope can be made of hemp or any synthetic material. The length depends on the gymnasts’ height and on each end it has knots in the shape of handles. The figures performed by the athlete are performed with the rope in a stretched or loose manner, with one hand. The movements performed may be spins, hits, jumps or throws. There are penalties applied if the rope touches the floor.

The ring is made of plastic, it weights at least 300 grams, it has an inner diameter of 80 to 90 cm and must reach the gymnasts waist. It may be wrapped in a colour tape. The movements are determined by the ring and the coordination of the athlete, since she has to move within the circle formed.

The ball may be made of rubber or plastic, it has a diameter between 18 to 20 cm and weights at least 400 g. Gymnasts move in perfect harmony with the body’s movements and the ball. In this discipline, the ball must not remain immobile on the floor, it must always be thrown, spun, turned or bounced.

They may be made of plastic, rubber or wood, must have 8 to 5 cm diameter from one end to the other, and weight at least 150g per device. In this discipline, the gymnast must use the maces to execute spins, throws and asymmetrical figures within the possibilities, combining them with the figures used in artistic gymnastics that does not use any complements. The exercises require a highly developed rhythmic sense, and a top-notch coordination and precision. The movements may be thrown with one or both hands, hits, slides or retention.

The material may be satin, or a non-starched material. It has a stick made of wood, bamboo, plastic or glass fibre. The ribbon is between 4 and 6 cm wide and it can be up to 6 m in length. It weights at least 35 g. The ribbon is long and shiny, and it may be thrown in every direction. Its function is to create designs in the air, its flight makes all kinds of figures and shapes. The gymnast performs spirals, zigzag movements or throws with the ribbon.


How large is the deck where artistic gymnastics is performed?

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Information for the community

The Chilean Gymnastics Centre is a group of gymnastics coaches and judges, Physical Education teachers, former athletes and sports and education aficionados. It is located in one the host regions for Santiago 2023, in Quilpué and Viña del Mar cities. The objective of this organization it to make children, teenagers and adults enjoy the gymnastics experience, while becoming better people through the sports practice. There, you can participate in men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, cheerleading courses and Baby gym and Edu gym programs.

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