Gymnastics Terms

Knowing what certain gymnastics terms mean is not always the easiest thing. The sport has a lot of different terms, so it can be hard to keep up. Not only that, but some gymnastics terms are used in a different context then you may be used to. However, don't worry because the following list will explain the ones that are the most difficult to learn.

  1. All-around – This gymnastics term is used to describe a competition. When a gymnast is competing in an all-around, they are participating in every event. For women, they will compete in four events: the uneven bars, vault, balance beam and floor. The men will compete in six events: the high bar, parallel bars, rings, floor, vault and pommel horse.
  2. Chalk – This gymnastics term is the name that is used for a carbonate of magnesia. Gymnasts use it to make equipment less slippery. For instance, they will rub it on their hands before they get on the high bar. It's meant to keep them from falling or slipping off of the apparatus. In women's gymnastics, you will even see them rubbing it on their feet before they get on the balance beam.
  3. Springboard – The springboard is an essential piece of gymnastics equipment. All gymnasts use it on the vault because it is what helps spring them in the air. Occasionally, it also gets used in other events. For example, some gymnasts use it as an aid to mount on the parallel bars.
  4. Layout – This gymnastics term is used to describe a position. During a layout, the gymnast's body is fully stretched. It's when they have their legs straight and toes pointed. You will commonly see this move during certain tumbling passes that are performed.
  5. Release – The release is a gymnastics term that describes a skill taking place. A release can happen on three different events, which are the high bar, uneven bars or parallel bars. During a release, the gymnast lets go of the bar when they are in the air. They perform a trick and then grasp the bar again.
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