You mean – there are EIGHT of them?

“Yes I am a gymnast. No, not the one with the ribbon…”

Have you ever found yourself trying to explain the difference between trampoline gymnastics and artistic?  You are not alone! Gymnastics is HUGE, a diverse sport made up of mini communities and talents. 

So why are there 8?

FIG, the governing body for gymnastics, are in charge of all aspects of gymnastics, including the gymsports. Some of the gymsports were gymnastics when FIG was founded (Men’s, Women’s, Rhythmic), while other sports were already in operation and then joined FIG later on. 

Meet the gymsports…

Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG)


MAG is the oldest of our gymsports, with versions of it occurring in the Ancient Olympics. Men’s Artistic Gymnastics is made up of 6 apparatus: Floor, Pommel Horse, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars and High Bar. 

While athletes often excel in 1 or 2 apparatus, athletes need to compete in all 6 for the all around event. Only men can compete competitively in MAG, however NSW offer female participation in masters divisions. 

MAG Fun Fact: NSW’s very own Prashanth Sellathuri has 2 Pommel horse skills in his name. 

Pinnacle Event: Olympic Games

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG)

WAG is a gymsport exclusively for women. Joining the gymnastics family in the 1940’s, WAG has quickly become the most popular gymsport in the world. Athletes compete on 4 apparatus: Vault, Uneven Bars, Beam and Floor. 

Like MAG, Women’s Artistic often sees specialists, however athletes must compete on all 4 apparatus to be eligible for the all around event. 

WAG Fun fact:  Oksana Chusovitina is the longest competing WAG athlete. At 42, she is hoping to compete in her 7th Olympic Games. 

Pinnacle Event: Olympic Games

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Next to the gymnastic party was Rhythmic Gymnastics. Rhythmic is considered the perfect combination of sport and art. The ladies of rhythmic gymnastics are often taller than artistic and are super flexible. 

Rhythmic competitors compete 4 routines. Internationally, athletes currently compete Ball, Ribbon, Hoop (like a Hoola Hoop) and Clubs (dainty bowling pins), although lower levels also use rope or freehand (no apparatus). Athlete must compete all 4 apparatus. 

Rhythmic also has a group competition, with multiple athletes all performing the one routine. 

RG Fun Fact: artistry is important for routines, with clothing, apparatus and skills all needing to match the theme of the music. 

Pinnacle event: Olympic Games.  

Trampoline Gymnastics

Already established as a sport, Trampoline joined us in the 1990’s and then really boomed in the 2000’s following Jai Wallace medaling at the 2000 Olympics. 

Both Men and Women compete in Trampoline; and unlike their gymsport cousins, athletes can specialize in one of the 4 trampoline disciplines: Individual Trampoline (one person big tramp), Double Mini Trampoline (one person smaller skinny tramp), synchronized trampoline (2 people, 2 big tramps) and tumbling (LOTS of flipping). 

TRP Fun Fact: Athletes are able to compete in different levels across disciples. 

Pinnacle event: Individual Trampoline- Olympic Games
Other disciplines – Senior World Championships. 

Acrobatic Gymnastics (ACR)

Acrobatic became a gymsport in the 1990’s. ACR is similar to what people see at the circus. It is made up of different combinations of people performing tricks and balances off each other. Groups are made up of; Women’s Pair (2 ladies), Women’s Group (3 Ladies), Men’s Pair (2 guys), Men’s group (4 Guys) and Mixed Pair (a guy and a girl). 

Each group performs 3 routines – balance (lots of holds), dynamic (lots of flips) and combined (a bit of both).

ACR Fun Fact: Teams are measured before competition, with deductions taking place if the base is too tall for their balancing top!

Pinnacle Event: Senior World Championships

Aerobic Gymnastics (AER)

You mean the dance style you can do at the gym is gymnastics? Yes it is! Aerobics is our most high intensity gymsport, and can also be performed by men and women. 

Athletes have 90secs to before a high intensity routine made up of kicks, turns and impressive displays of strength. 

Like Acrobatics, there are many varieties: Individual Men and Women, AeroDance (combination of Aerobics and Dance) and Group. 

AER Fun Fact: Internationally, athletes also compete in Step Aerobics! 

Pinnacle event: World Championships 


Parkour is our latest addition, joining the FIG in 2017. Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement (crawling) and other movements as deemed most suitable to get through a course. 

Pinnacle event: World Championships 

Gymnastics for All (GfA)

Finishing up our super 8 is the most dynamic gymsport of the all – GfA! Chances are if you have participated in gymnastics, you have been in a GfA class. GfA is a combination of General Gymnastics (recreational movement for all ages), KinderGym (pre-schoolers), Baby Gym (0-2), Fitter for Life (60+), as well as FreeG, TeamGym and Performance Gymnastics!

Gymnastics for All is the gymsport for all ages, all abilities and all interests. 

GfA Fun fact: The Australian Fitter for Life, TeamGym and FreeG programs all began here in NSW!

Pinnacle Event
: World Gymestrada