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Welcome to Birkenhead Gymnastics Club


Girls Gymnastics

Artistic gymnastics is the discipline most commonly associated with the Olympics and includes floor, vault, beam and uneven bars for women and floor, vault, pommel, rings and high bar for the men.

Our facility is the only one on the Wirral with a full sized, permanent, sprung floor and is the only club that can coach full six piece men’s artistic gymnastics.

The recreational classes for both boys and girls develop a variety of basic gymnastics skills in a fun environment. The gymnasts get to experience all pieces of apparatus in a session. They also provide access pathways for those with potential to develop further.

Click on the content below to find out more about what is involved in artistic gymnastics

Men's Artistic Gymnastics
The sport requires all round fitness through: strength, mobility, endurance, flexibility, body control and co-ordination. Routines are performed on six pieces of apparatus: floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar.The first British Championships was organised in 1896 and the first British Champion ever was H. L. Cain from “Orion” Gym Club. An Olympic discipline; GBR has won five medals: Individual Silver won by Walter Tysall in 1908 (London), Team Bronze medal in 1912 (Stockholm) and in 2012 (London), and Pommel Horse Bronze won by Louis Smith in 2008 (Beijing) and Silver n 2012 (London).


Floor Exercise (FX)

The floor measures 12 x 12 metres, with an additional safety border of 1 metre.

The performance area must have a surface elasticity to allow for power during take-offs and softness for landing.The gymnast’s floor exercise should include movements that demonstrate strength, flexibility and balance. Each routine must combine moves such as somersaults, twists and leaps. The whole floor area should be used and the routine should show a personal touch of expression and execution. The minimum time is 50 sec. and maximum is 1’10 min.

Pommel Horse (PH)

Height: 1.05 metres from top of mat (1.15 metres from floor). Length at the top: 1.60 metre. Distance between pommels: 40 to 45 cm. T

he pommel horse routine should be a smooth continuous chain of circular and pendulum type swings, double leg circles, scissor movements and undercuts using all parts of the horse.

Rings (RG)

Height: 2.60 metres from top of mat (2.80 metres from floor). Ring routines should include a variety of movements demonstrating strength, support and balance. The gymnast should perform a series of swings and holds with both forward and backward elements and the routine should finish with an acrobatic dismount.

Vault (VT)

Height: 1.35 metres from floor. The Vaulting Table is situated length-wise to the approach run of 25 metres. Each vault is awarded a value according to its difficulty. The vault should demonstrate clean and powerful movements combining height and length with one or more rotations and finish in a controlled landing. Marks are also awarded for the control of the body and the landing position.

Parallel Bars (PB)

Height: 1.80 metres from top of mat (2.00 metres from floor).

Like the rings, the parallel bars require a combination of swinging movements with strength or hold parts. The gymnasts should travel along and work both above and below the bars. The exercise should be predominantly swinging.

Horizontal (High) Bar (HB)

Height: 2.60 metres from top of mat (2.80 metres from floor).

The gymnast should perform continuous clean swinging movements and must not touch the bar with his body. He is required to demonstrate changes of grip, swinging movements both forward and backward, plus release and re-grasp of the bar. Dismounts are an important part of the total routine and are usually acrobatic and spectacular.

Women's Artistic Gymnastics
This is the most popular discipline of Gymnastics in the UK and one of the biggest crowd pleasers at every Olympic Game since 1928. The sport demands body control, body awareness, suppleness, stamina, coordination, amplitude and courage. Routines are performed on 4 pieces of apparatus: Vault, uneven bars, beam and floor. The World Championships for Women have been organised since 1934; the European Championships began in 1957 and the National Championships for women in England were introduced in 1924. An Olympic discipline.


Vault (VT)

Height from the floor: 1.25 metres. The vaulting table is placed long way, and is the same for men and women. Each vault is awarded a value according to its difficulty. The height and the length of the vault are of crucial importance together with the exactness of the turns before and after the somersault and the controlled landing. Gymnasts perform only one vault for Qualifications, Individual All-around and Team Final unless they are attempting to qualify for Finals on Vault. In this case, the gymnast must perform two Vaults under the FIG stated rules, the scores of which are then averaged. The top 8 gymnasts then compete in the Vault Final.

Uneven Bars (UB)

Low bar is now measured from floor to top of low bar as 170cm and to high bar top at 250cm +/- 1cm. The maximum width allowed between the bars is 180cm. Swinging and continuous movements are required on this apparatus. The exercise should include movements in both directions, above and below the bars. Elements with twists and somersaults with multiple grip changes and high flight should be demonstrated to maximise scores. Often a spectacular dismount ends the routine.

Balance Beam (BB)

Height of the beam from the floor: 1.25 metres. The beam is five metres long and only 10 cm wide. A routine on the beam should be an artistic combination of a variety of acrobatic elements, gymnastic leaps, jumps, turns, step and running combinations, waves and balance elements in standing, sitting and lying positions. The gymnast should use the entire length of the beam, demonstrating elegance, flexibility, rhythm, tempo, balance, confidence and control. Dismount series of acrobatic elements can be very spectacular. The maximum time on beam is 1’30”.

Floor Exercise (FX)

The floor measures 12 x 12 metres, withan additional safety border of 1 metre. The performance area must have a surface elasticity to allow for power during take-off and softness for landing. The floor exercise, accompanied by music to enhance the performance, should combine dance movements and sequences with a variety of tumbling and acrobatic elements. The whole floor area should be used with the exercise being varied in mood, tempo and direction. Individuality, originality, maturity, mastery and artistry of presentation are key ingredients for a high score.