Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
A History Lesson
An A-moo-sing Start
Gymnastics can trace its origins back to ancient civilizations in Asia and the Middle East. Although the ancient Olympics performed by the Greeks were exclusively for men, both men and women would attempt to achieve symmetry between their minds and bodies by jumping over charging bulls. The athlete would run toward the bull, grab its horns, and when tossed in the air, would perform aerial movements before landing on the bull’s back and then dismounting onto his or her feet on the other side of the bull. A great deal of courage, grace and maybe even a bit of foolishness was required. Who said exercise was bad for you?
Putting the Art in Artistic
The term, artistic gymnastics, was first heard around the early 1800s as a way to distinguish free-flowing gymnastics styles from military training techniques. Artistic gymnastics were first performed at the Olympics in 1896, but women were not allowed to compete. Women finally got their chance to shine during the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, where women’s artistic was a team event. Since the origins of women’s artistic gymnastics, this discipline has become a world recognized sport, and the most popular form of gymnastics.
4 Ways to Shine
Women’s artistic continues to be fascinating and popular among girls of all ages, likely due to the constant challenge it provides and its ability to develop an athlete’s coordination, courage and flexibility.
The 4 events in women’s Artistic gymnastics are the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
In this event, a 25 metre run leads to an explosive jump off a springboard, where the athlete launches over the vaulting table. While in flight, the athlete performs multiple twists and rotations before sticking a solid landing. It takes control, stability, strength and aerial mastery to execute this high-flying sequence.
Two bars means twice the challenge, with the lower bar being 170 cm tall and the higher one being 250 cm with 180 cm between the two. A gymnast needs strength, precision, rhythm and courage to execute twists and somersaults with grip changes, releases and high flights. The wind-up and dismount are among the most breathtaking moments of any routine.
At 10 cm wide, the balance beam is the most precarious and challenging apparatus for women. But with the challenge, comes incredible acrobatic displays that seem to gracefully defy gravity. With zero room for error, the gymnast performs a series of leaps, turns, steps, waves, flips and balances. A gymnast utilizes the entire length of the beam to show off her grace, strength and balance.
Considered to be the most expressive event, the floor is where each athlete’s personality shines. The routine is always accompanied by music, and combines dance movements, acrobatics and tumbling. The whole floor area is used, and the routine often changes to match the music’s mood and speed. These are gymnasts and artists.
The Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) program is made up of several levels of developmental and competitive streams. Younger gymnasts begin the WAG program in levels that focus on introductory gymnastics, learning and training to compete, and skill and ability development.
Each program is open-ended so that the coach can alter and adapt the program to best suit the needs and abilities of each athlete. The programs are also tailored to match the child’s strengths and weaknesses. This tailoring ensures that each child gets the best training possible and results in a unique experience for each athlete.
Athletes in the WAG program advance through these levels which are ordered by age and ability.
This is the first level of the WAG program, and is for 4- and 5-year-old athletes who are beginning their WAG focus.
The second level of WAG still focuses on developmental training, and is for girls ages 6 to 8. The athletes build upon basic skills and develop their strength, flexibility, coordination and balance.
Interested in a Program?
These programs are invitation only. We also host Tryout dates throughout the year, check out our website for upcoming dates. You can also Request an Assessment