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What are Different Types of Gymnastic Exercises?

Patti Kate
Patti Kate

There are numerous gymnastic exercises, including stretches and gymnastic tension exercises. Many of these are basic exercises for beginners. Some of these involve advanced range of motion and dexterity to accomplish. Some exercises are primarily for women's events, while others are targeted for men. Some fall into the agility training category.

The best gymnastic exercises for beginning gymnastics are basic tumbling techniques and squats. Cartwheels and splits are also basic gymnastic exercises. Tumbling gymnastics generally require a padded surface such as an exercise mat that cushions the impact. Many physical education programs in various grades of school require tumbling as a basic exercise.

Gymnastic exercises may include jumping on a trampoline.
Gymnastic exercises may include jumping on a trampoline.

To properly execute cartwheels, splits, and handsprings, agility and flexibility are required. The participant generally needs to build upper body strength to perform these exercises. A cartwheel will require good flexibility in the arms, as the participant needs to stretch her arms as much as possible to achieve results. Legs cannot be bent to perform a cartwheel with proper form. To execute an effective split, typically performed by a cheerleader, warm up exercises and gentle stretching are often done first.

Cheerleaders often perform gymnastic exercises in their routines.
Cheerleaders often perform gymnastic exercises in their routines.

Vaulting and balance beam exercises are generally reserved for gymnastic competitions. These exercises require many hours of practice to execute correctly. Handsprings and handstands are other types of gymnastic exercises performed by gymnasts of all skill levels.

Gymnastic bars are used in many forms of exercises. Some of the basic exercises done on a balance bar include front hip circles and glides. Any of these bar exercises usually require good timing for perfect execution. Air-bound exercises done using a balance bar are generally more difficult and require a good deal of practice. Some of these exercises include handsprings.

Many gymnastic exercises are meant to target specific parts of the body. Abdominal exercises are commonly done for toning and strength. Some exercises such as the abdominal crunch, are done on a balance bar while others can be done on an exercise mat.

Another type of gymnastic exercise targets the feet. Individuals with arch problems or other issues involving the feet may benefit from these stretches. For safety and health purposes, it is best to consult with a physician before attempting any of these exercises.

There are specially designed gymnastic exercises for pre-school children. Some include simple tumbling and trampoline jumps. These are typically taught by a trained instructor. Cartwheels are another basic exercise the youngster may attempt to master in a class for pre-school children.

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Discussion Comments


@Sneakers41 - My daughter took gymnastics for some time and was quite good, but she lost interest in it after a while. She loved it in the beginning, but got a little burned out with the practices.

She did not really care to compete. She just wanted to perform for fun, but her coach was much more serious and was really trying to groom her for competitive gymnastics, and she lost her love of the sport.

I think that teachers should try to understand that not everyone wants to compete and some people just like to learn the various gymnastics exercises because they are having fun, and it is a form of entertainment not a grueling exercise in order to compete. This is what turned my daughter off and I don’t blame her.


@Sunshine31 -I have to say that I have never participated in a gymnastics workout, but I love to watch it on television. I especially like when they do the floor exercises and perform these flips that are amazing.

I don’t have the flexibility to do these exercises but I can appreciate those that do. I know when a watch a gymnast perform on the balance beam I am always worried that they are going to fall especially when they jump on the balance beam and land on their feet. That beam is so narrow that I am always amazed when they don’t fall.


I remember when I was in high school; my school offered a gymnastics workout for physical education in one of the quarters of the school year. I absolutely hated every minute of it because I was so intimidated.

We basically did tumbles and worked on the balance beam and the parallel bars. The boys mainly used the gymnastic rings and I have to tell you I could not wait until my gym period was over.

We did do some stretching exercises before and after the workout and this was the only part of the class that I did not mind.

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    • Gymnastic exercises may include jumping on a trampoline.
      By: Gorilla
      Gymnastic exercises may include jumping on a trampoline.
    • Cheerleaders often perform gymnastic exercises in their routines.
      By: ViewApart
      Cheerleaders often perform gymnastic exercises in their routines.