Men's Artistic Gymnastics Team
Men's artistic gymnastics is the oldest form of gymnastics, and the second most popular type of gymnastics in the United States. Approximately 12,000 men and boys compete in the US Junior Olympic program. Gymnasts must have many qualities: strength, control, power, balance, and flexibility are some of the most important. In addition, they also develop good psychological qualities such as the ability to compete under pressure, the confidence to attempt skills, discipline and work ethic. Boys often start young, though usually not as young as in women's artistic. This is partly due to the intense strength required that is difficult for adolescent boys. The age differential allows male gymnasts to compete at an older age then their female counterpart, often into their late teens to mid-20s.
- Floor Exercise: The gymnast performs a routine no longer than 70 seconds, usually consisting of four or five tumbling passes, a balance element or strength moves.
- Pommel Horse: The gymnast swings around the pommel horse on his hands, without letting any other part of his body touch the horse and without stopping during the routine. He uses the whole length of the horse, and performs circles, flairs, scissors, moves up to handstand and back down, and a dismount.
- Still Rings: The gymnast completes swinging moves, handstands, strength moves, and a dismount on rings suspended approximately 9 ft. from the ground. Unlike the pommel horse, a gymnast must stop and hold his strength moves for at least two seconds. During this time, the rings should be as still as possible.
- Vault: The gymnast runs down a runway, hurdles onto a springboard, and is propelled over a vaulting “table”.
- Parallel Bars: The gymnast performs swings, release moves, pirouettes, and a dismount using two horizontal bars set at the same height. The bars are about 6.4 ft. from the floor and made of wood or plastic.
- High Bar: The gymnast performs pirouettes, high-flying release moves, swings, and a dismount on a single bar, 9 ft. off the floor. The bar is smaller in diameter than the parallel bars, and is made of metal