To a layman, gymnastics is just gymnastics. However, if you ask a gymnast or a gymnastics fan, not knowing the difference between artistic and rhythmic gymnastics is almost a sin! A lot of performers or fans have a special liking towards either and would not shy away from getting into a debate on which one is better. Let us know the difference between the two and know their characteristics for you to decide on one better.

The Similarity

Both of them are gymnastics forms which have been accepted as international sports. Both are  governed by FIG, Federation International of Gymnastics and are played at an Olympic level.

Both of these sports work on a grading or leveling system from 1 to 10 with 1 being the easiest form and 10 being the most difficult one.

The Difference

Both men and women can compete for artistic gymnastics. This form of gymnastics focuses on agility, balance and strength. An artistic gymnast will perform in many events during a competition and might compete in all four events including floor exercise, uneven bars, balance beam and vault.

Men compete in pommel horse, vault, still rings, high bar, parallel bars and floor whereas women compete in floor exercise, uneven bars, balance beams and vault. There is no music in artistic gymnastics apart from the floor routine.

As for rhythmic gymnastics, it is only for women. This type of gymnastics focus on eye-hand coordination, flexibility, grace and dance. Unlike artistic one who performs on all the events, rhythmic ones only compete on the floor. They use special type of instruments like ribbons, balls, hoops, rope or clubs to perform which is not used by artistic ones.

Till date, men rhythmic gymnastics is not recognized, hence cannot be competed at Olympic level, however, there exists few men’s rhythmic gymnastics teams.

Artistic gymnasts compete in teams but each one performs on all events and all of their scores are tallied up for team’s total. In case of rhythmic gymnastics, all the gymnasts compete as a team and they are judged based on their coordination and grace.

Which one is better

There is no good or bad here. Each one has its own advantages. It is totally a personal choice. That being said, a lot of gymnasts believe that the artistic one has more excitement and thrill associated with it as it is similar to acrobats and you get to do difficult tumble passes and flying flips off the uneven bars.

Rhythmic gymnastics is more appealing to people who like ballet and similar events which involves grace. There is choreography involved in the routine.

How to choose between the two

If strength and power are your strong points, you should consider artistic gymnastics as it involves propulsion on vault and difficult tumbling passes which need a lot of muscle strength.

If you are more on a flexible, graceful and creative side, rhythmic gymnastics might be a better choice for you. If you are a male gymnast and want to consider this as your profession, you should focus your attention mainly on the artistic one as the later is not yet recognized by Olympics.

Nova Gymnastics offer both type of gymnastics classes. We are a gymnastics center in Davie and provide all kinds of gymnastics along with summer camps for kids, competition groups and aftercare. Reach us out at (954) 476-3154 to more about our services.