Difference Between Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics

Artistic vs Rhythmic Gymnastics

The sport of gymnastics is beautiful and exciting to watch. Every four years, the world watches with baited breath the smooth and gliding performances of gymnasts supporting and balancing their bodies during Olympics. We fall in love with those dancing dolls feeling as if they have rubberized bodies without any bones. Very few people, however, are aware of the fact that there are two distinct forms of gymnastics known as artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. Still fewer know the differences between these two types of gymnastics. This article highlights these differences.

Artistic Gymnastics

This form of gymnastics is the better known form of gymnastics as most of us love to see our favorite gymnasts perform on uneven bars, parallel bars, vault, floor exercises, balance beam, and so on. If you happen to be an artistic gymnast, you have to be able to perform on all the apparatus that is used in this form of gymnastics. Flexibility and strength are two of the most important prerequisites to perform artistic gymnastic exercises as a gymnast has to leap and tumble in the air and also perform somersaults. Artistic gymnastic is closer to acrobatics though skilled gymnasts make it look like a dance performance.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics are a form of gymnastics that are exercises performed on music, and make use of many different props that are dynamic such as hoops, ribbons, balls, clubs etc. Gymnasts perform exercises that require flexibility, balance, and poise along with acrobatics, which is a prerequisite of all gymnastics. Rhythmic gymnastics are always performed on the floor and do not require gymnasts to take support of vaults, beams, and rings.

What is the difference between Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics?

• While both male and female gymnasts take part in artistic gymnastics, only women participants are allowed in rhythmic gymnastics.

• Strength and agility are more important in artistic gymnastics whereas flexibility, rhythm, coordination of hands and eyes, grace, poise, dancing skills etc. are more important in rhythmic gymnastics.

• Artistic gymnastics makes use of static props such as vaults, beams, bars etc. whereas rhythmic gymnastics makes use of dynamic props such as ribbons, ball, hoops, clubs etc.

• There is no music in artistic gymnastics except floor exercises performed by women, whereas all exercise in rhythmic gymnastics is set to music.

• Artistic gymnastics has roots in ancient Greece’s athletic competitions, whereas rhythmic gymnastics has roots in ice skating and figure skating.

• The floor in rhythmic gymnastics is padded.

• Russia is credited to have introduced the sport of rhythmic gymnastics to the world.

• Tumbling and acrobatics remain at the focus of artistic gymnastics whereas grace and poise are given marks in rhythmic gymnastics.