The Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Gymnastic Events
Everyone knows that gymnastics classes are a great way to help young bodies grow and develop. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children from two to five years of age should engage in practices that help develop motor skills such as tumbling, running, throwing, and catching.
But if these skills are so universal for young boys and girls in a gymnastic class for kids, why is it that adult male and female gymnasts compete in such different events?
Women’s gymnastics events include the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor routine. Men, on the other hand, compete in vault, pommel horse, parallel bars, still rings, horizontal bar, and floor. Even women’s and men’s floor routines are wildly different: women’s choreography generally include music and dance moves, while men’s focus on tumbling passes alone.
Why such differences? The answers may be part tradition, part training focus, and part gender norms.
Men’s events in particular focus on upper body strength, as can be seen most clearly with events like the still rings. Women, in general, tend to carry more of their strength in their lower bodies. In addition, women’s events tend to emphasize grace and agility, traditionally feminine characteristics, but certainly not reserved only for women in today’s society.
Looking at some of today’s premiere gymnastic athletes, however, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Training in gymnastics for boys and girls alike has changed drastically over the years, and many coaches emphasize development in all kinds of different area strengths.
So will you see Simone Biles competing on the pommel horse any time soon? Probably not. Gymnastic events for men and women in the Olympic Games have been standardized since 1954, and those kinds of traditions are difficult to break.
That shouldn’t prevent aspiring gymnasts or new learners from trying out all kinds of different events, no matter their body type. Whether you’re looking for gymnastics classes for your children or would like to improve your strength, agility, and flexibility with adult gymnastic classes, you can find opportunities for all levels and interests at Arrowhead Gymnastics in Phoenix.