Rhythmic gymnastics is a kind of sport that is extremely popular all over the world. This is a combination of dance routine, plastic movements, leg swings, hop jumps and other elements that are accompanied by music. The most important component of any dance is an aesthetic element, that’s why rhythmic gymnastics can be called, without doubt, the real art not just a kind of sport.
Having started its development in the USSR, rhythmic gymnastics went through a thorny path. Its history as a full-fledged sport can be divided into two stages:
1. The first period (1947). Rhythmic gymnastics was formed for the purpose of women movement education, as well as for the creation of a gymnastic school of that time. The first competitions took place in the form of contests, and later a sport classification was published that had a great influence on the further development of rhythmic gymnastics.
2. The second period (1963). This period is characterized by the intense development of this sport in the USSR. At that time a commission on rhythmic gymnastics was created and Soviet gymnasts began to take part in various international competitions. 1984 became a significant year for the development of rhythmic gymnastics as a kind of sport as well as art, since it was included in the program of the Olympic Games! At the same time the main rules, which should be followed by all participants during the competition, were set up.
These two main stages determined the further development of rhythmic gymnastics as one of the most popular kind of sport.
Thanks to the combination of certain movements, today there actually exists rhythmic gymnastics. So what are those moves?
1. Aesthetic gymnastics. Every single body has its own language, that’s why the connection between emotional state and movements is very important.
2. Rhythmic gymnastics. The key element here is music. It strengthens physical and emotional health, develops the rhythm and human in general.
3. Dance gymnastics. It is efficient to do exercises on muscle relaxers, their stretching, dynamic and dance movements. Performance which includes items such as a clubbell, a ball, a hula hoop, etc develops coordination of movements, smoothness, grace and body posture.
4. Free dance. A combination of sport and art. Also, performance which includes gymnastic objects.
Especially owing to these four directions appeared such kind of sport as rhythmic gymnastics.
Rules of modern competitions
Like any other kind of sport, rhythmic gymnastics has its common rules and principles that all contestants must adhere to. This direction of sport is constantly evolving and changing.
1. According to general rules gymnasts can give a performance with special gymnastic objects as well as without them. But one should know that the lack of items is allowed only for gymnasts of the younger age.
2. Each performance lasts from 75 to 90 seconds, and the musical accompaniment is chosen by the coach and the gymnast.
3. The number of elements performed by the athlete is up to 9, in addition, the most complicated of them are evaluated. So what does it mean? It means if the element is not fully performed, the gymnast can repeat it during his or her presentation, but in a more difficult form. In particular, it is the one that will be evaluated at the end by the referee.
4. Points can be reducted for the movements that were performed out of the music rhythm. The lack of balance between movements and their wrong combination with musical accompaniment is also punishable.
With the requirements for performance everything is clear, but what about the gymnastic objects?
- a jump rope. The length depends on the height of the gymnast, so there are no clear requirements. The material from which the rope is made is the yarn;
- a ball. Its diameter ranges from 18 to 20 cm, and the weight is usually not less than 400 g. The main thing is that the object should fully fit in the hand of a gymnast;
- a hula hoop. The material is wood or plastic. Weight should be not less than 300 g and diameter ranges from 80 to 90 cm;
- a ribbon. It consists of a stick (50-60 cm) and satin ribbons (6 mm), which can be detached if necessary;
- a clubbell. It is made of plastic or wood, and each of them is at least 150 g
It is obvious that this component of rhythmic gymnastics is an essential part. It is necessary to differentiate between gymnastic leotards used for performances and for regular training since they are not the same. For performances it is better to choose a leotard with sleeves or without, designed according to the style of performance. Usually such leotards for competitions are tailor made, decorated with various rhinestones, sequins and other details. In addition, the objects which the gymnast uses during his or her performance are also chosen to suit according to the image of the girl and the performance itself.
If we talk about the usual clothes for training, then there are no special requirements. In this case, the simple tights will do but they should be as comfortable as possible.
Why do we practice rhythmic gymnastics?
Most important what the girls get during their classes is a strictly planned physical exercises load they need. Gymnastics develops a sense of harmony and the beauty inside them. Also appears the ability to show oneself, to be confident, to have a sense of purpose. If we talk about physical features, then:
- improves coordination of movements and a wonderful sense of rhythm;
- body posture becomes more sophisticated, and the movements become smooth;
- appears endurance and flexibility of the entire body.
Consequently, rhythmic gymnastics as a kind of sport and art has passed through a long way in its development. Constantly changing, it caught the hearts of many girls. And that's really great, because the benefits of gymnastic training are enormous!