Women gymnasts are able to engage in rhythmic gymnastics as an event in addition to the other events that are offered. With a style that is similar to a dancing routine, it also combines together aspects that are acrobatic with props as well. The types of props vary, but must be within certain guidelines in order to be used in a rhythmic routine.
The primary purpose of the rhythmic routine is to emphasize the athletes ability show power, strength, endurance, flexibility, agility and even dexterity while still controlling the prop and keeping up with the actual routine. This can sometimes be a very difficult concept for many gymnasts to grasp however; it is a very entertaining style that catches many peoples attention.
The first piece of apparatus or prop as they are called is a rope. This is used by swinging the rope around to create circles, wraps and various other movements. Often times the rope is tossed into the air while the gymnasts jumps and twirls and other times they simply swirl the rope around.
When using the hoop the gymnast can roll it, toss it into the air, spin the hoop around, move through the hoop, and even move around. In addition, many gymnasts enjoy spinning the hoop around various body parts while performing other tricks to show off their overall abilities to the judges and audience. Many advanced rhythmic gymnasts also combine high throws with various other acrobatic techniques to create a visually impressive routine.
Another piece of apparatus is the ball. This is used mostly for throws, catches, circles, and even a few waves. Most movements with the ball involve the use of the hands; however, skilled gymnasts may learn to control the ball using various other parts of their body to create stunningly impressive displays.
Clubs are another apparatus that is used in rhythmic gymnastics. The purpose of the clubs is to toss in the air and perform various tricks with them. Often compared to the clubs that clowns use for juggling they are not very small and can sometimes be quite bulky. Many of the routines that involve the clubs tend to focus around tapping and throws as well as catches above any other aspect.
The last piece of apparatus that is allowed in rhythmic gymnastics is the ribbon. This is used to create beautiful figure-eight movements as well as circles, throws and even spirals. As one of the more visually appealing apparatus in rhythmic gymnastics, it is quite easy to allow the ribbon to hang close to the body in the various acrobatic positions creating a visually stunning impression. One requirement that is involved in using the ribbon that is not present in other aspects is the ribbon must be in constant movement and is not allowed to come to a full stop during the course of the routine.
As a final option to rhythmic gymnasts, it is possible to perform as a group. When performing as a group give gymnasts are all working together using several different pieces of apparatus. However, it is not uncommon to see a group routine that only uses a single piece. The more stunning routines however involve the use of several pieces and constant exchanges as well as carefully planned and executed movements ensure that everyone is visually entertained.
Group rhythmic gymnasts are carefully trained together and have a very small area to work in. Because of this the overall presentation must be well rehearsed and all of the gymnasts must know exactly what they are doing and at precisely which moment. Most routines are quite elaborate and complicated however; the amount of time and training that goes into group rhythmic gymnastics is more than enough to create a perfectly cohesive group that can quickly anticipate the needs of various other members. Working together rhythmic gymnastics with a group is one of the best forms of rhythmic gymnastics to watch due to the teamwork required as well as complicated movements.
(word count 663)