At Sports&Hobbies, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What are Some Types of Gymnastics Equipment?

K T Solis
K T Solis

Gymnastics is a dynamic sport that requires strength, flexibility, power, and speed. Anyone who decides to become a gymnast must be prepared to dedicate hours of training in order to become skilled at this demanding sport. A typical gymnastics competition includes gymnastic equipment that each gymnast must master in order to score well at each meet. For example, all female gymnasts are required to showcase their skills on gymnastics equipment that includes the balance beam, uneven bars, and vault. Each apparatus has its own challenges in order to perform successfully.

The balance beam is a piece of gymnastic equipment that is one of the most nerve-wracking events to perform and watch. It is a long wooden beam on which the gymnast must run, jump, tumble, flip, and pose. Performing on the beam requires the ability to balance and maintain control while moving on a narrow piece of wood that is a mere four (10.16 cm.) inches wide.

Male gymnasts use rings, which require a lot of upper body strength.
Male gymnasts use rings, which require a lot of upper body strength.

The uneven bars is a piece of gymnastics equipment made of metal or steel. The female gymnast must use the bar to perform flips, handstands, swings, and other acrobatic movements. Throughout the routine, she must alternate between the upper and lower bars of this particular gymnastics equipment.

The vault is an apparatus used by both male and female gymnasts. The gymnast runs toward a springboard that launches the gymnast into the movement. The gymnast's hands touch the vault and he or she performs a complicated series of twists and turns over the vault.

Gymnastics builds strength, endurance, flexibility, power and speed.
Gymnastics builds strength, endurance, flexibility, power and speed.

Male gymnasts use gymnastics equipment in addition to the vault. The rings is an apparatus that only men use because of the upper body strength required to use this particular apparatus. Men are required to execute handstands and static holds while holding the rings.

Men also perform on the parallel bars. The bars are usually made of plastic, wood, or composite material. The gymnast must perform swings, handstands, and static holds on the parallel bars. The high bar, built of metal or steel, is another piece of gymnastics equipment where male gymnasts execute a variety of acrobatic movements including giant swings, aerial release moves, and flips.

Gymnastics can help improve balance.
Gymnastics can help improve balance.

Both male and female gymnasts perform floor routines on the spring floor. The spring floor is comprised of springs, rubber foam, and wood in order to form a soft surface for gymnasts to tumble across. This helps the gymnast to land safely and increases the height of tumbling passes. During this exercise, females always perform to music, while males perform without the aid of any musical accompaniment.

Discussion Comments


Men also compete on the pommel horse. The pommel horse resembles an old school vault with handles on it. The pommel horse is considered to be the most challenging event in the gymnast community.

suggested edit. (Have not read the full article, I just emailed the team earlier about wanting to work on the wisegeek team. I thought a quick suggestion couldn't hurt my chances of success) This wisegeek is a lifelong gymnast with 8 years of coaching experience. I am Jake of many trades, master of some.

-Jake Degtoff


I always look forward to the summer Olympics, and watching the gymnastic performances are my favorite events. We have a local girl who was in the last summer Olympics, so many people around here take a special interest in it.

Since then the studio where she practiced has become very popular, and many young kids have signed up for gymnastics because of it.

I don't think there is a gymnastics event that I don't like, but I am just amazed at the strength when I see men perform on the rings and the parallel bars. When you look at the muscles on the body of a gymnast, you get a little bit of an idea of how strong they are.

I would be scared to death to attempt any kind of move on any of the gymnastic equipment. I think this is something that is easier when you learn very young and keep practicing.


My cousin has had a gymnastics studio for several years. She has taught many young kids how to properly perform many gymnastics moves. You have to get good with some basic tumbling moves before you even set foot on something like the balance beam.

Ever since she was a girl, she has loved gymnastics and dance and knew she wanted to own her own place some day. If she ever sees gymnastics equipment for sale and it is in good shape, she likes to buy more pieces for her students.

There is a lot to running a gymnastics business like this. The cost of insurance is high because there is a high risk of someone getting hurt. She also has to make sure she always has enough people there to assist and spot whenever she has a class going on.


The only time I tried gymnastics was in my high school PE class. We had a balance beam and uneven bars we could practice on, and I wasn't very good at either one of them.

In fact, both of them scared me and I never had any desire to be any good at it. I don't know how anyone can even walk across a balance beam without falling off. Then to be able to run, jump and do flips is beyond my comprehension.

Whenever I see someone perform a balance beam event, I actually find myself holding my breath until they land safely on the floor at the end of their routine.


When I am watching a gymnastics event, I think the floor exercises are probably my favorite. I have never personally tried gymnastics, so am not that familiar with all of the equipment.

I never realized that the spring floor actually has springs in the floor. That does explain why they are able to get so far off the ground. I knew the floor was made with soft foam, but had no idea about the springs.

I also prefer to watch the females perform because I enjoy listening to the music as they do their routine. When the males perform, it is amazing to see their strength, but it just seems so quiet without any music playing in the background.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Male gymnasts use rings, which require a lot of upper body strength.
      By: roibu
      Male gymnasts use rings, which require a lot of upper body strength.
    • Gymnastics builds strength, endurance, flexibility, power and speed.
      By: dacasdo
      Gymnastics builds strength, endurance, flexibility, power and speed.
    • Gymnastics can help improve balance.
      By: LoloStock
      Gymnastics can help improve balance.
    • Acrobats and gymnasts may use silks for their performances.
      By: Alexey Stiop
      Acrobats and gymnasts may use silks for their performances.