Gymastics (Artistic) - Special Olympics Michigan

Gymnastics: Artistic
Training Guide
Events Offered
Women’s Events
• Vaulting
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
• Uneven Bar
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
• Balance Beam
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
• Floor Exercise
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
• All Around
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
2 Special Olympics Michigan
Events Offered
Men’s Events
• Floor Exercise
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
• Pommel Horse
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
• Vaulting
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
• Parallel Bars
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
• All around
Level I, II, III & Optional level IV
3 Special Olympics Michigan
Events Offered
Level A (Male and Female)
• Tumbling
• Vaulting
• Floor Exercise
• All around
4 Special Olympics Michigan
Uniform Regulations (male)
• Preferred Uniform: For male gymnasts, the preferred
uniform is a tank top (leotard) and long manufactured
gymnastics pants or shorts. A T-shirt that is tucked in may
replace the tank top. Gymnasts may compete in white
socks, gymnastics slippers, or bare feet.
Starting numbers may be required for technical and
organizational purposes.
Uniform Regulations (female)
• Preferred Uniform: For female gymnasts, the preferred uniform is
a long-sleeve manufactured gymnastics leotard with bare legs.
Gymnasts may compete in bare feet or gymnastics slippers.
Flesh-colored tights with bare feet are permitted, but not
recommended. Sleeveless leotards may be worn if temperature or
body type warrants it. Bandages may be worn as long as they are
secured fastened. Hip padding is not permitted. The only jewelry
allowed are stud earrings.
Starting numbers may be required for technical and organizational
Competition Levels
• Athletes may enter all 4 events in the same level and
compete for the all around awards, or be a specialist
competing in 1, 2 or more events in the same level.
• There are five separate levels of competition:
Level A – Developmental Athletes only (Mixed Gender)
Level I – Beginner Compulsory
Level II – Intermediate Compulsory
Level III – Advanced Compulsory
Level IV – Advanced Optional
General Rules
• Athletes who compete in artistic gymnastics may not
compete in rhythmic gymnastics in the same
• Level IV gymnasts perform an optional routine.
• In all-around competition, athletes must compete at
the same level in all events.
• Atlantoaxial Instability Rule: Athletes with Down
Syndrome must have an x-ray indicating that he/she
does not have atlantoaxial instability prior to
participation in any gymnastics event.
General Rules
• Each floor exercise will have a designated song and
routine for each level.
• Each score has a maximum of ten points possible to
earn and each event has its own set of point
deductions in the training packet.
• In the training packet there is a designated routine for
male and female performances on each event and
level of event.
Age Regualtions
• Age Group Divisions: 8-11, 12-15, 16-21, 22-29, and
30+. Schedules are sometimes presented as junior
(8-15) and senior (16+).
• Age groups may be combined if there are not a
sufficient number of athletes to have a competitive
Be Aware…
• Modifications: Athletes with hearing or visual
impairments are allowed cues and signals from the
coach. Coaches must notify the meet director and
judges of the athlete’s impairment before the event
Possible deductions
Neutral deductions are taken off the final score. There is a four point maximum to these deductions. Examples
1) Improper attire
0.3 each routine
2) Improper equipment and use of aids
0.8 each routine
(Coach may petition in case of special needs)
3) Undisciplined or unsportsmanlike behavior
0.3 each time
4) Failure to present to judge before or after
0.3 each time
5) Failure to remove board or mounting surface
0.3 each time
6) Coaching assistance (Special Olympics Modifications:)
a) Physical assistance
0.5 each time
b) Verbal assistance
0.3 each time
c) Signals to gymnast
0.2 each time
7) Not starting within 30 seconds of judges’ signal
0.3 each time
8) Not wearing competition number (if provided)
0.3 each time
Good to know..
Gymnastics is primarily an anaerobic sport -- or a sport that utilizes energy
without oxygen. As a result, strength and power are essential components to the
strength training of gymnastic conditioning. The goal of the anaerobic strengthtraining workouts is to increase maximum strength without sacrificing the
flexibility and mobility of the muscles and joints by significantly increasing muscle
Learning new skills and fundamentals must be preceded by building a sufficient
amount of strength. The strength level ensures that the skill and fundamentals
are learned correctly the first time. Without sufficient strength, it will be nearly
impossible to execute the fundamentals correctly, or the skill will need to be
relearned as strength levels improve.
With the specific demands of gymnastics fundamentals, the strength-training
exercises must be sport-specific. These sport-specific exercises resemble the
movement patterns used during a gymnastics competition. Sample strengthtraining exercises include pull-ups, pushups, handstand pushups, situps, lunges
and squats. The specific exercises help to build functional strength essential for
learning new skills.
Flexibility is a key skill for gymnastic events. By improving your
flexibility, you expand your range of motion, making it easier to
maintain correct form while reducing the risk of injury. Flexibility can
also improve body awareness and relaxation of the muscles, which
can also improve a gymnast's performance. As preparation for a
workout, practice dynamic stretching, which uses movement to
reduce the tightness of the muscles. Examples include lunges and
arm circles. For general work on your range of motion, opt instead
for PNF, or proprioceptive muscular facilitation, stretches. For a PNF
stretch, first hold a passive stretch, using an external aid for support.
For example, lie with one leg straight on the ground and the other
elevated as close to vertical as possible. Have a partner gently press
your extended leg toward vertical to the point of mild discomfort.
Next, contract your hamstrings, pushing slightly further against your
partner's hand. Finally, relax the hamstring muscles and let the
partner do another short passive stretch.
Strength Training
• Before beginning a new strength-training routine, consult with
your gymnastics coach for the best practices for your level and
area of expertise. Isometric strength training is one effective
practice for gymnasts because it trains your whole body to
maintain static postures. Examples of isometric approaches
include callisthenic exercises, such as the plank, in which you
straighten your entire body into a rigid line and support
yourself, off the ground, with just your toes and your arms. For
your abdominal core muscles, lie on your back and bring your
legs, shoulders and head off the ground. Stretch your arms
straight, fingers pointing toward your toes, and keep your feet
only slightly off the ground, legs straight.
To improve your balance, adapt regular exercises
to slightly more challenging scenarios. For
example, practice arm circles or bicep curls while
standing on one foot. Incorporating an inflatable
stability ball or a BOSU ball into your workout can
also improve your balance. For improved
coordination, try lunging, jumping or stepping
exercises using a BOSU or squats using a
stability ball.

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