Gymnastics – what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals

It is well known that sports are the key to maintaining good physical fitness and improving human health. Over the millennia, mankind has invented dozens and hundreds of options for physical training, competitions and forms of sports, not only as competitive disciplines, but also to strengthen health for preventive purposes.

One of the most popular and effective types of locomotor activity to strengthen overall health is gymnastics.

Gymnastics (from the Greek gymnastike, from gymnazo – I train, exercise) is a system of specially selected physical exercises that have a complex effect on the human body that develops its physical capabilities.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
For each person, regardless of age and gender, there is a suitable type of gymnastics.

Popular sports types of gymnastics include: sports, artistic, acrobatic, aesthetic, team, aerobic. It is well known that sports are the key to maintaining good physical shape and improving health.

Over the millennia, humanity has invented dozens and hundreds of options for competitions, disciplines and forms of sports. One of these types of physical activity is gymnastics.

Gymnastics – what is it and why is it necessary

The concept of gymnastics combines a variety of physical exercises that contribute to the development or improvement of existing motor skills of students.

A distinctive feature of gymnastics from other sports is its versatile and harmonious effect on the human body and body.

Gymnastic exercises cover all the links of the musculoskeletal system, uniformly develop muscles and improve coordination. At the same time, gymnastics affects not only the physical condition of a person, but also forms certain moral and volitional qualities.

It is considered one of the most important components of the involvement of the population in sports. Gymnastics can be found in schools and kindergartens, it is practiced at home and in fitness centers, used in manufacturing enterprises and in medicine.

The variety of gymnastic exercises made it necessary to systematize the types of gymnastics, which was done at the All-Union Conference in 1984.

In general, all areas of gymnastics are combined into several large groups:

  • health gymnastics, the varieties of which are aimed at improving human health (the existing classification includes more than 30);
  • gymnastics, which, in essence, is a professional sport;
  • educational and developing species that pursue not only recreational goals, but also educational ones.

Health Gymnastics

Improving gymnastics is one of the forms of physical education, which, as a rule, does not require good physical preparation and is aimed at improving the overall health of a person , improving the current state of the body, improving working capacity and the quality of life.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
For health-improving gymnastics, special physical training is not required.

Some types of health gymnastics have long earned well-deserved recognition, while others are only gaining popularity in the past few decades.

Morning exercises (exercise)

Charging involves a set of simple exercises aimed at activating the physiological processes in the body after waking up.

The main movements:

  • turns and tilts of the head;
  • rotational movements of the shoulders and torso;
  • arms and legs, etc.

A set of exercises lasting 15-20 minutes provides a charge of vivacity and a positive mood for the whole day.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Morning exercises should begin with the rotation and tilt of the head.

It is scientifically proven that morning exercises have a beneficial effect on all organs and systems of human life:

  • stimulates blood circulation and metabolism;
  • optimizes the functioning of the heart and respiratory organs;
  • develops muscles and joints;
  • strengthens the immune system, etc.

Introductory gymnastics

Introductory gymnastics is a small set of exercises that have found their application in enterprises and organizations before the start of the working day. Their task is to ensure the rapid entry of a person into labor activity .

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Introductory gymnastics is carried out in industries before starting work.

Therefore, all exercises in their content and orientation are as close as possible to actions performed in the process of work. As a natural result increases the efficiency of the staff.

In general, exercises such as are used:

  • steps and running in place;
  • various kinds of movements with arms and body;
  • muscle stretching exercises;
  • exercises that help improve concentration, etc.

The duration of the gymnastics is 5-7 minutes. Form: collectively or individually.

Physical education (physical education at educational institutions)

Physical education minutes are a type of gymnastic exercises that are used in educational institutions (mainly in primary grades and in preschool educational institutions). Physical education minutes, as a rule, consist of 3-4 special exercises. Their duration does not exceed 1.5-2 minutes.

The form may be:

  • dance;
  • sports;
  • motor – speech;
  • warm-ups for fingers or eyes;
  • breathing exercises.

Physical training minutes have established themselves as an effective way to maintain students’ performance. It is noted that their holding allows you to relax the nervous system and skeletal muscles , which are in tension from prolonged sitting at the desk.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Physical education helps to improve the mental and physical performance of students.

In addition, physical education minutes provide the necessary rest for the eyes and hearing organs. And ultimately, they help students overcome fatigue and drowsiness, and relax mentally.

Hygienic gymnastics

The task of hygienic gymnastics is to ensure the maintenance of the human body in the most healthy condition. A distinctive feature from other types of gymnastics in combination with physical exercises with hardening elements and hygienic components (control of the ambient temperature, the form of clothes and shoes, hygiene and a number of others).

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Regardless of the type of hygienic gymnastics, you can perform exercises at any age and with any physical preparation.

In addition to general strengthening exercises, stretching exercises are used. No improvised tools required.

In fact, the concept of hygienic gymnastics combines such types as:

  • morning gymnastics (exercise);
  • gymnastics in the working day mode (introductory, physical education minutes);
  • evening gymnastics (before bedtime).

Hygienic gymnastics is suitable for people of all ages and different levels of training.

Rhythmic gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics (rhythm) – physical education in dance form. The exercises used are simple, but effective, because they cover all muscle groups. Their pace, form and intensity depend on the music. Characteristic movements are: bending and unbending, turns and rotations, swinging legs and arms, running, jumping, jumping, etc.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Rhythmic gymnastics is a simple combination of exercises that are performed exclusively to rhythmic music.

Regular exercises have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the heart and lungs , strengthen muscles, develop endurance and a sense of rhythm. From an emotional point of view, rhythmic gymnastics improves mood, removes a sense of tension and adds vitality.


Designed for the rehabilitation of patients with neurological and cardiological problems, injuries of various nature and origin, etc.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Therapeutic gymnastics is performed under the full supervision of the attending physician.

All exercises of therapeutic gymnastics are performed in statics , that is, as a rule, are done slowly and energized. Their action is aimed at improving the work of a particular body. Therapeutic exercises are often combined with breathing exercises.

The scope of medical gymnastics is very extensive:

  • injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system (including immobilization);
  • scoliosis
  • neurological diseases, etc.

Form of conducting classes: in groups and individually. The general course of treatment usually consists of 3 stages: introductory, basic and final.

Alternative health gymnastics

In recent decades, non-traditional types of physical activity have been increasingly attracting public interest.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Each of the varieties of non-traditional recreational gymnastics positively affects the general condition of the body, the work of the heart and other organs.

These types of gymnastics include:


Stretching (gymnastics poses) is a workout that helps stretch muscles and ligaments, due to which the whole body gains more flexibility. Pros of stretching: helps to lose weight, removes toxins and toxins from the body, improves posture.


Callanetics – improving your own body by performing static exercises. The growth of the load is achieved by holding a certain posture for an increasing time. Pros: weight loss, muscle development, normalization of metabolism.

Shaping system

Shaping system – a distinctive feature is the individual selection of a training regimen based on computer testing, which takes into account the peculiarities of the body structure.

The shaping system has many subspecies: shaping classic, shaping uni, shaping for pregnant women, etc. Pluses: impact on certain parts of the body, weight loss, the ability to form the desired shape and proportion of the body.

Oriental Wellness Systems

Oriental wellness systems of gymnastics include various types of yoga, qigong, tsaiji chuan and other exercises, the homeland of which is the East. The main idea of these teachings is a combination of mental and physical balance.

At the same time, a harmonious attitude to the world and normalization of the emotional state are the key to successful physical development of a person and preservation of his health. Advantages of systems: not only strengthen the body, but also develop a harmonious perception of the world.

Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga is one of the branches of Indian yoga, which is a variety of exercises aimed primarily at achieving physical perfection.

This practice includes breathing exercises, elements of psychoregulation and self-control, static poses of asanas, proper nutrition. It is believed that hatha yoga is a basic style of yoga, having mastered which you can go on to any other methods. Pros: increases muscle elasticity, endurance, develops a positive attitude towards the world.

Yoga – Peaceful Gymnastics

Yoga is one of the most popular areas of physical activity in recent years. At its core, this is not only a system of wellness exercises, but also a certain philosophical culture, of which India is the birthplace.

In fact, the concept of yoga combines several types of oriental gymnastics .

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
The main component of yoga is the exact implementation of special physical poses – asanas.

Specialists have more than 20 styles of yoga. But the main components of any direction are special physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques and meditati
on (or relaxation). Do yoga individually and in groups.

The high demand for yoga is associated with a number of its advantages compared to many other types of physical education, namely:

  • accessibility (does not require special equipment and a gym);
  • universality (many poses can be performed even by beginners);
  • contributes to the comprehensive development of man, including spiritual, relieves emotional stress, forms a positive mindset.

Breathing exercises

Respiratory gymnastics is a special type of exercise that develops the respiratory muscles. Her tasks include promoting health and combating a number of diseases, such as respiratory diseases, problems with the cardiovascular system, sexual disorders, etc.

The fundamental components of training are:

  • change in the frequency and depth of breathing;
  • Respiratory depression
  • change of direction of breathing (through the mouth and nose);
  • artificial resistance to external flow, etc.

According to experts, with proper exercise, breathing exercises are an excellent prevention of bronchitis and bronchial asthma , rhinitis. In addition, breathing exercises reduce stress, relieve insomnia, and strengthen the muscles of the body.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Properly performed breathing exercises improve blood circulation, develop respiratory muscles and contribute to the suppression of various diseases.

There are several types of breathing exercises. Among them: gymnastics yoga, gymnastics Strelnikova, gymnastics to combat excess weight, etc.


Sports types of gymnastics require a high level of training. Training begins in early childhood. Sports achievements and victories are the main task and motivation for those who are interested in gymnastics. Types (classification) include: acrobatic, rhythmic, sports and team gymnastics.

Rhythmic gymnastics

It is recognized as one of the most striking, elegant and memorable sports. Performances of athletes are a combination of exercises and elements accompanied by music . All movements are characterized by elegance and plasticity.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Rhythmic gymnastics involves the use by athletes of various attributes. it can be a tape, ball, hoop and others.

At world-class competitions, the use of various objects is mandatory: ribbons, balls, hoops, etc. Classes develop flexibility , plasticity, grace, form correct posture and gait.

Rhythmic gymnastics has age restrictions. They begin to engage in it at 3-5 years old , and, as a rule, as early as 14-16, most athletes finish their careers and go in other directions. This sport is one of the most affordable, but there are quite high requirements on the appearance of athletes.

Acrobatic gymnastics

Acrobatics is a section of gymnastics that consists of exercises such as:

  • hopping;
  • power;
  • ability to keep balance;
  • body rotation with support and without and a number of others.

Exercises are performed either on the floor or with the use of special equipment (rings, bars, gymnastic logs). They are dynamic (somersaults, coups, somersaults) and static (racks, pyramids).

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
To engage in sports acrobatics, you must have special physical training.

In sports acrobatics, a number of disciplines are distinguished:

  • soloists;
  • couples;
  • groups
  • trampoline jumping.

Acrobatics develops dexterity, courage, determination, willpower, dexterity, strengthens the musculoskeletal system, develops coordination and orientation in space.

Sports aerobics

Sports aerobics is a discipline in which all exercises are performed at a very high pace under musical accompaniment. All movements are characterized by sharpness and dynamism.

The athlete is required not only the complexity and clarity of the actions performed, but also the artistry.

Competitions are held both individually and in groups. It should be noted that sports aerobics is an extremely difficult sport in terms of physical exertion, which the gymnast is exposed to during the performance. According to experts, his work can be compared to running at 800m.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Sports aerobics performances are distinguished by their clarity and mobility.

Regular classes in sports aerobics allow you to maintain good physical shape, positively affect the athlete’s emotional state, and strengthen the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Educational gymnastics

Educational-developing gymnastics is called upon to exert not only a healing effect, but also to inculcate interest in sports, to understand and improve the functional capabilities of the body, to develop self-discipline.

Types (classification) include: educational, female, athletic and professional applied gymnastics.

General educational gymnastics

It is used in physical education classes in all educational institutions (schools, kindergartens, Universities, etc.) and in groups for middle-aged and elderly people.

The task of the classes is to develop and improve the simplest motor skills (running, walking, overcoming obstacles), to teach students to control their bodies and, in general, to introduce the younger generation to the sport.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Exercises of educational gymnastics are jumping, some acrobatic elements, running, etc.

Exercises of educational gymnastics are jumping (in height, length, through gymnastic benches, etc.), some acrobatic elements (a rack on the shoulder blades), and others. Training for the elderly is aimed at improving the clarity of the movements performed and their coordination.

Women’s gymnastics

Women’s gymnastics is designed specifically for women. It takes into account the structural features of the woman’s body. At the same time, the function of motherhood occupies a central place , therefore exercises to strengthen the muscles of the legs, pelvis, abdominals, etc. are an obligatory component of training.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Women’s gymnastics is aimed at strengthening the muscles of the pelvis.

Classes combine general developmental exercises, elements of rhythmic gymnastics and some dance styles. An important role is played by musical accompaniment. Women’s gymnastics contributes to the development of flexibility , grace, forms a beautiful statuary posture, prepares a woman’s body for pregnancy and childbirth.

Athletic gymnastics

A kind of gymnastics aimed at the development of power qualities. People involved in athletic gymnastics are distinguished by prominent muscles and proportional development of the muscles of their entire body.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Athletic gymnastics is performed to strengthen muscles and hone the figure.

Exercises in athletic gymnastics are performed both with objects and weights (barbells, dumbbells, etc.), and without them.  This type of physical activity trains the cardiovascular system , develops muscles, strengthens the nervous system, and instills self-discipline.

The availability of athletic gymnastics is explained by its high popularity. You can do it individually, in groups, at home, in the yard, etc.

Professional and Applied

Professional and applied gymnastics combines exercises and training that allow you to learn new or improve existing skills of people whose profession requires complex physical actions or resistance to increased loads.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
Vocational gymnastics is aimed not only at improving physical fitness, but also for the moral strengthening of workers and teams.

The classes themselves are focused on the development of not only physical, but also moral qualities, without which it is impossible to master the chosen specialty. For example, in many vocational schools for high-altitude installers, physical education classes are held on a hill , which removes students’ feelings of fear of heights and develops dexterity, self-confidence and other qualities.

Prevention of injuries, increasing labor productivity, improving skills in the chosen field – these are the goals of professionally applied gymnastics.

Its types (classification) depend on the field of application, for example, there is gymnastics for astronauts, pilots, firefighters, sailors, etc.

Team Views

It originated in the Scandinavian countries and is represented by 3 disciplines: floor exercises (with elements of dance and choreography), mini-trampoline jumping and acrobatic jumping. All exercises are performed to the music .

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
A distinctive feature of team gymnastics is the mandatory number of people from 6 people.

Competitions are held in 3 categories: women’s, men’s and mixed-team performances. The composition of the team ranges from 6 to 12 participants. This sport is characterized by high dynamism and entertainment, well-coordinated work of participants, a high level of technique for performing acrobatic elements.

A distinctive feature of the discipline is the setting of the final grade.

The result can only be a team. Judges take into account the complexity and accuracy of the technique for each gymnast and at the same time artistry and coordinated work of all team members.

Circus gymnastics

The genre of circus art, which is the performance and demonstration of exercises (tricks) in public with the use of special devices and shells, sometimes created for a unique circus number.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
The necessary attributes for circus gymnastics are selected for each number.

There is a separation of types of circus gymnastics depending on the place where the tricks are performed:

  • groundwork – exercises with the use of apparatus and shells mounted on the arena;
  • aerial – exercises using equipment installed above the arena.

Moreover, each type has its own branches: exercises on horizontal bars, rings, trapezes, bamboo, belts, etc. Often, circus gymnastics implies the presence of a scenario or even a theatrical production, the presence of a certain plot, in accordance with which the artists perform their tricks.

The task of circus gymnasts is to captivate and impress the audience. And if
gymnastics is competitive, then circus is a demonstration of skill.

Performances in the circus require good physical preparation, so athletes from other types of gymnastics often come there or the artists are the continuers of the circus dynasty who have been practicing it since early childhood.

Street (yard)

The concept gymnastics (Street Workout) speaks for itself – all training is carried out outside the home or gym . Exercises and elements are performed turnstiles and shells or simply on the ground. The main emphasis in the classroom is on strength and endurance, the ability to work with one’s own weight.

Gymnastics - what is it, types (classification), features, technique, goals
The main exercises gymnastics are: pulling up on the horizontal bar, from the floor or on the uneven bars.

This type of training includes pull-ups on the horizontal bar, push-ups from the floor, push-ups on the bars, etc. Street Workout has developed its own categories and standards and even holds competitions: in the free style or in the format of “battles” (including international level) .

The grading criteria are often not only the complexity and quality of the elements, but also the athlete’s artistry.

Since 2000, Street Workout has become increasingly popular in USA, Europe and the United States.

Flexibility, coordination, endurance, courage, determination, perseverance – these are just an incomplete list of qualities and skills that gymnastics develops. Its types and classification are very diverse.

You can choose the direction for every taste and for any financial opportunities. At the same time, sport, like other spheres of human life, does not stand still, therefore it is possible that in the near future all new gymnastic directions will appear.

Interesting videos about different types of gymnastics

In this video you can find out about the basic set of exercises of gymnastics, what it is, types, features and technique:

This video tutorial shows a set of exercises for the youngest (group 3-5 years old) in choreography and rhythmic gymnastics. Includes twine stretching, balance, balance, stance and position.


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