Rhythmic Gymnasticsis a beautiful Olympic sport which combines elements of dance with acrobatic skills and apparatus manipulation. Girls perform individual or group routines choreographed to music and accompanied by one of the five apparatuses: rope, hoop, ball, clubs, and ribbon. This unique sport combines elegance and beauty of a dancer with strength and coordination of an athlete.
Rhythmic Gymnastics poses much less risk of injury when compared to other gymnastics disciplines. Girls build strength when training various balances, turns, and leaps/jumps while encorporating flexibility and grace into movements. Like all sports, Rhythmic Gymnastics teaches discipline, team work, respect, setting and achieving goals, self-confidence and more. Those skills developed in the gym also enhance learning abilities in school!
Ball is made of rubber or a synthetic material. As the gymnast showcases her flexibilty elements, the ball should move fluidly as if another extension of her body. Technical movements include throws and catches, bouncing, swings, thrusts, and rolling over the body or on the floor.
Hoopoffers the greatest variety of movements and technical skills. The gymnast's routines should include rolls over the body or on the floor, rotations around the hand or other parts of the body, throws/catches, and passing over or through the hoop on various planes and levels. She must coordinate those movements as she demonstrates a mixture of balances, turns, and jumps/leaps.
Rope is considered to be a very dynamic apparatus requiring good jumping abilities and explosiveness. The gymnast must execute a variety of jumps/leaps, skips and hops throughout her routine. Other common technical groups for rope are rotations, throws/catches, figure 8's, sails, and small releases of one end.
Ribbonis used to create continuous designs in space. The most difficult element of this apparatus is to keep the ribbon in motion throughout the entire routine. As the gymnast turns she will create snakes, spirals, circles, figure eights, throws/catches, and small tosses of the stick. These mesmerizing movements can be done on the floor or in the air.
Clubsare a great hand game! The fundamental body movements for clubs are balance elements. The technical groups for clubs include mills, small circles, throws, catches, tapping and trapping. Handling includes thrusts, figure eights and asymmetric movements.
The Group event is requires athletes work together as one cohesive unit. Group is judged on the ability of the athletes to demonstrate mastery of body and apparatus skills in a synchronized, harmonious manner. In addition, the group athletes must execute elements involving both large and small exchanges of equipment. Group athletes are trained to work as a team. The close interaction of the athletes within the area and the many apparatus exchanges that occur during a routine require each athlete to be extremely sensitive to the movements and actions of her teammates. Many routines have been saved by the quick thinking and action of a team member.