Ottawa-Gatineau Gymnastics

[ Background | Equipment | Where ]


Gymnast on the uneven bars

Gymnastics requires agility, balance, strength, and coordination. Gymnastics is often used to improve athletes in other sports.

There are two types of gymnastics: rhythmic and artistic, both are judged events in the Olympic Games. Rhythmic gymnastics, involves harmonized movement to music using clubs, balls, hoops, and ribbons. Rhythmic gymnasts concentrates on juggling and dance techniques.

The purpose of artistic gymnastics is to execute each move correctly, with grace and control of the movement. Artistic gymnastics combines many different elements, including floor routines, vaulting, the balance beam, the high or uneven bars (depending on gender), and the rings.

Floor routines, performed on a foam mat, includes moves like forward and backward rolls, head and hand stands, forward and backward somersaults, cartwheels, and splits.

Vaulting is performed on an apparatus called a vault, typically with 4 legs that can be adjusted to different heights, which can be positioned with-wise or sideways. A spring board is used to assist the athlete over the vault. The two kinds of vaults are the squat vault and the hand spring vault, which vary the position of the athlete's legs and arms. After the vault, the gymnasts land on two feet, and hold their arms at their side.

The balance beam is a wooden bar 10 cm wide and 5 metres long, with adjustable height. Routines on the beam consists of mounts, turns, jumps, balances (including splits, squats, and kneeling positions), ending with a dismount. The mount and dismount refer to the gymnast's ascent to and descent from the beam.

The uneven bar and high bars, made of a flexible fiberglass) require the athletes to be much more adventurous in their routines. Women use the uneven (asymmetric) bars while men use the high (parallel) bar. The uneven bars are adjusted to the height and weight of the competitor. Gymnasts move from bar to bar, and routines include moves like swings, rises, and rotations.

The rings are the most difficult piece of equipment for a gymnast to master, requiring great upper body strength, and are used only by male gymnasts.

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The athletic wear for gymnastics needs to be lightweight and stretchy. A good ensemble would be a T-shirt or sweatshirt with cotton leggings. The gymnastics equipment, like the horse, uneven bars, high bar, and mats are provided by the gymnastic facility.

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There are two gymnastic clubs around Ottawa, most with fall, winter, and spring sessions. The sessions are usually 12 classes and cost between $100-$130. Contact any of the following:

Club Les Sitelles



Gloucester Challengers

5510 Canotek Rd, Gloucester, ON K1J 9J4


Kanata Rhythmic Gym. Club



Canadian Gymnastics Fed.



McNabb Gymnastics Club

180 Percy St, Ottawa, ON


Nepean-Corona School

155 Colonnade Rd S, Nepean, ON K2E 7K1


Ottawa Gymnastics Centre

294 Elmgrove Av, Ottawa, ON K1Z 6V1


Ottawa Rhythmic Club

50 Vaughan St, Ottawa, ON K1M 1X1


Ottawa Westboro Club



McNabb Gymnastics Club

Percy St.


Starr Gymnastics

2764 Lancaster Rd, Ottawa, ON K1B 4S4


Tumblers Gymnastics Centre.

330 Vantage Dr, Orleans, ON K4A 3W1


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