All-Around Gymnastics

An Exploration of Women's, Rhythmic and Men's Gymnastics

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The term all-around simply means all of the different gymnastics apparatus. All-around results would be the total of all four events in women's gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics or all six events in men's gymnastics.

An all-arounder is a gymnast who competes on every apparatus. In team finals of the Olympics, for example, not all gymnasts compete for every event; however, those who do are the all- arounders. Explore the various elements of all-around gymnastics including artistic, rhythmic, trampolining and tumbling, acrobatic and aerobic.​


Modern gymnastics such as artistic activities evolved at the end of the 19th century. The philosophy is backed by the ancient Greeks who thought the sport was about the perfect symmetry between the mind and the body. Specifically, they believed the connection happened when physical and intellectual activity was combined.

Artistic gymnastics may include the following exercises:

  • Vault
  • Floor exercise
  • Pommel horse
  • Still ringers
  • Parallel bars
  • High bar
  • Uneven bars
  • Balance beam


Rhythmic gymnasts participate in routines either individually or with groups of five or more. The sport combines various activities that include ballet, gymnastics, dance and apparatus manipulation. Manipulating an apparatus could include rope, hoop, ball, clubs, ribbon or freehand.

This type of sport became a part of the Olympics in 1984. While men do not compete in rhythmic gymnastics, women focus on different types of floor exercises, including tumbling.

The largest events for this type of activity may include:

  • The Olympic Games
  • World Championships
  • European Championships
  • World Cup
  • Grand-Prix Series

Trampolining and Tumbling

This competitive Olympic sport has gymnasts performing acrobatics as they bounce on a trampoline, from moves like jumps, tucks, and straddles to somersaults and twists. Tumbling is another type of activity that takes place without any props or equipment and includes flips, handstands, handsprings and other moves used in trampolining.

Historically, these sports go back to the archeological drawings of ancient China, Egypt, and Persia. Today, trampolining has become a part of the Olympics since the year 2000 in Australia.


The combination of dance and gymnastics is what makes up acrobatic gymnastics. Routines are performed by athletes in various pairs or groups by men, women or mixed categories. Exercises combine choreography and synchronization to display body control and show grace, strength, and flexibility. Due to the lack of apparatus, individual gymnasts must work together with dedication and trust when it comes to their partner(s).


This sport aerobic term is a competitive sport where complex and high-intense movement patterns are created to music. The ability to perform these types of continuous movement patterns has originated from traditional classes. However, with aerobic gymnastics routines, they are integrated with top notch coordination, flexibility, and strength. The focus at the professional level, such as in the Olympics and other shows, is to execute movements perfectly with a highly difficult performance level of lifts and more depending on the category.

Explore more types of gymnastics by visiting the glossary of gym terms.