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Gymnastics For All

Gymnastics is a sport which develops balance, flexibility, coordination, strength and agility – all attributes of good physical development. It offers a wide variety of activities ensuring a participant will be challenged and be successful. Through interaction in the structured environment of gymnastics, listening skills, self respect, and respect for others are developed. And to top it all off, gymnastics is fun!

Recreational Gymnastics is one of the best activities for contributing to the overall development of a child as it teaches children how to control their bodies. For children and adults of all abilities, gymnastics provides the foundation for participation and success in all other athletic activities. In many nations, gymnastics training precedes introduction to any other sport as a way of avoiding injuries and helping children establish a foundation for future success and enjoyment in sport. Skills included in a basic gymnastics curriculum are running, skipping, rolling, swinging, turning, jumping and landing.

Cangym Program

The Cangym Program is Gymnastics Canada’s national skill development and evaluation program for Artistic Gymnastics. This program is intended for use with participants of varying abilities ages 6 and older. Utilizing the Cangym program allows participants, coaches, and parents to monitor progress in addition to being a motivational tool for athletes.

The Cangym program includes 3 levels of skill progressions (mastering fundamental movement patterns, mastering basic skills and mastering advanced skills). Each level consists of 4 badges for a total of 12 different coloured badges that participants receive upon successful completion of that badge.

The Cangym Program binder is bilingual and comes complete outlining the skills in each level, Participant Evaluation Forms and Progress Reports, and Certificates of Participation and Completion that can be given to the participants. This program can be adapted to a wide variety of age groups and abilities, and, paired with an enthusiastic coaching staff will help your club develop skilled and confident gymnasts. The second edition of the Cangym – Artistic is endorsed by Olympic Champion Kyle Shewfelt.


Men’s Artistic

Men’s gymnastics is a sport that exemplifies strength and dynamic ability. Many of the participants in men’s gymnastics experience the thrill of defying gravity, and performing skills that would seem impossible to the average individual.

Men’s Artistic Gymnastics is comprised of six exciting and demanding apparatus: Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar.

Men’s artistic gymnastics is the best way to initiate strong physical basics for all other sport development. Those athletes that choose to continue on with gymnastics past the introductory stages will enjoy the fun and challenge of further developing their coordination and concentration. Most male gymnasts begin at an early age, but will continue on in the sport into their late 20’s at the international level.

Floor Exercise

The entire floor area must be used during the routine, which consists primarily of three to five tumbling passes performed in different directions. Acrobatic (tumbling) series must be performed including at least one forward and one backward. There must also be a balance element on one leg or one arm. Transitional skills which include gymnastic movements performed in between tumbling and acrobatic passes, should be executed with proper rhythm and harmony. The exercise must be at least 50-70 seconds.

Pommel Horse

The gymnast must cover all three areas of the horse while performing continuous circular movements interrupted only be the required scissors elements. The only part of the body which should touch the apparatus is the hands. The entire exercise should flow with a steady, controlled rhythm. Considered by many to be the most difficult of all men’s gymnastic events, the pommel horse is also the most subtle. Each move is defined by complex hand placements and body positions. Look for a long series of moves with the hands reaching behind the back. The hand placements should be quick, quiet and rhythmic.

Still Rings

The still rings routine must include at least two handstands, one of which is arrived through strength, the other through swing. At least one element of strength must be held for two seconds. The rings must remain still throughout the routine. Deductions will be taken for unnecessary swings and instability of all positions. The body should not sag or twist, and the arms should not waver or shake. During the swinging elements, watch for stretched body positions and straight handstands.


Each gymnast may vault once only. The vault should have both height and distance, as well as good form from the board to the landing. A controlled landing is also important. Watch for vaults that include saltos from the horse to the landing mat.

Parallel Bars

A parallel bars routine consists of swinging, flight and hold elements, but swinging and flight elements are the most common. Strength parts may be used, although they are not required. The gymnast is required to execute two swinging elements, one in support, and one from a hang. The gymnast is also required to perform a skill in which both hands release and regrasp the bars, commonly referred to as a release move.

High Bars

The routine consists exclusively of swinging giants (full swings around the bar) without stops. The hand or body position, as well as direction can vary. The gymnast must do at least one release move, where he lets go and regrasps the bar. Look for high flying dismounts with multiple somersaults and twists.

Women’s Artistic

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics is definitely the most popular discipline in the gymnastics family. It is an incredibly challenging sport, demanding strength, power, flexibility, agility, courage, and a combination of technical precision and artistic creativity. When these elements are mastered, the performances appear almost effortless and are riveting to watch.

Although most gymnasts will learn new skills on various different pieces of equipment – including the trampoline, only four events are used in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics competition. They are: Vault, Bars, Beam and Floor.

Balance Beam

The beam is 480 cm. long, 120 cm high and only 10 cm wide. It can be the most challenging event. Routines should be lively and continuous, with no visible pauses, stops or wobbles. Watch for saltos on the beam. High jumps with large splits, as well as dismounts with multiple twists or saltos.


The vault is 120 cm in height. Approximate speed of the run up to the vault is 20-25 meters in 3.0-3.5 seconds. Each gymnast may vault twice and the best score is counted. The vault should have both height and distance, as well as good form from the board to the landing. A controlled landing is also important. Watch for vaults that include saltos from the vault to the landing mat.

Uneven Bars

The height of each the low bar is 160 cm and the high bar is 240 cm with a distance of 160 cm between the bars. Swinging movements are used in sequence to take the gymnast under and over the bars in both directions. It is desirable that the gymnast release the bar to re-grasp it or to grasp the other bar. The routine should be continuous with movements flowing into one another. Watch for saltos skills from the high bar to high bar and for double salto dismounts.

Floor Exercise

The duration of the floor exercise is 1:10-1:30. Floor exercise routines are accompanied by music and combine dance and acrobatic elements. Accomplished gymnasts can combine both difficult dance and tumbling to create a pleasing routine that is enjoyable to watch. Dance and choreography styles differ and routines are designed to suit each gymnast.

Trampoline and Tumbling

Trampoline Gymnastics consists of four events; Individual Trampoline, Synchronized Trampoline, Double Mini Trampoline, and Tumbling. The routines are judged according to difficulty and execution as seen in others sports such as diving.

Individual Trampoline

The sport of Trampolining has seen considerable advances in the equipment used, in its governance and its training. A competitor performs two routines; a compulsory and an optional. The compulsory routine consists of 10 pre-set skills, with the routine judged only on performance (execution) and not the difficulty. Optional routine also consist of ten skills, which are chosen by the competitor. The routines are comprised of ten different skills performed one after the other, with no breaks or extra jumps in between. For a skilled trampolinist, skills are performed at heights of over 30 feet above the trampoline with triple somersaults and multiple twists both forwards and backwards.

Synchronized Trampoline

This event is similar to individual trampoline in routine composition and judging, however two competitors perform the same routine at the same time on two separate trampolines. This event is by far the most artistic of the four, and requires the additional factor of precision timing. The routines are scored with the additional scoring of how well synchronized they remain throughout the routine.

Double Mini Trampoline

This event takes place on a smaller trampoline with the competitor running up to jump onto the trampoline performing a skill, landing back on the trampoline and performing a dismount skill onto a landing mat. The athlete performs two different routines with different skills in each.


Athlete performing a series of tumbling exercises along an 84 foot sprung floor. This event has also seen much improvement in the apparatus, with most competitions using what is called a rod floor (an elevated floor sprung with horizontal fiberglass rods). The innovation of this floor has raised the level of the sport to new heights, with routines consisting of two or more series of double or triple somersaults. Routines consist of 8 skills, and the athlete competes two different routines, one that contains twisting, and one that is straight somersaulting.