Rhythmic gymnastics apparatus

rhythmic gymnastics clubs

The use of clubs requires maximum psychomotor precision.

The practice of rhythmic gymnastics involves not only the gymnast but also a series of gymnastic elements or apparatus, the dimensions of which are standardized by the International Gymnastics Federation. This body also decides which parts are appropriate for each age category in the competition: benjamín (below nine years), alevín (from 9 to 11 years), infantile (from 11 to 13 years), junior (from 13 to 15 years) and juvenile (from 15 years onwards).

The devices most used in this practice are:

Rope

Made of hemp or other synthetic fibres, it has knots at the ends, like handles, and its length varies according to the gymnast’s age. Its execution consists of turns, blows, throws and harmonic jumps, ensuring that the rope touches the ground as little as possible.

Ring

It is a rigid plastic hoop, weighing about 300 grams and between 80 and 90 centimetres in diameter, and can reach the gymnast’s waist in height. It can be smooth or rough and is usually wrapped in coloured ribbons. Its execution involves the imaginary creation of a space within which the gymnast moves, entering and leaving the hoop in a graceful and coordinated manner, making it roll, jump and turn simultaneously.

The ball

It is a rubber or plastic ball between 18 and 20 centimetres in diameter and weighing at least 400 grams. It accompanies the gymnast in her execution and must keep moving: rolling, turning, bouncing, but never remaining immobile on the ground.

The gymnast is expected to handle the ball smoothly and efficiently, without gripping it too tightly, and perform vertical throws, bounces, rolls, rotations and other spins while always keeping the ball under her control.

The maces

These are plastic, rubber or wooden rods of about 8 to 5 decimeters and about 150 grams in weight, with a spherical head and a thin neck that allow them to be held firmly.

It is ideal for ambidextrous gymnasts since it requires both hands to handle it through turns and other asymmetric figures that imply maximum psychomotor precision. The maces can hit each other gently, be thrown in the air or be held in the hands.

Tape

Made of a non-starched material such as satin, it consists of a cloth ribbon tied at one end to a wooden, plastic, or fibreglass rod or stiletto, which is used to control the ribbon and move it around the gymnast or her limbs.

The ribbon is 4 and 6 centimetres wide and 6 meters long. It is usually used to create zigzag figures, spirals and other silhouettes that harmonize with the movements of the gymnast in such a way that the end of the tape never touches the ground and is in continuous motion.

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