Hard to decide which one is for your gymnast?
Been there too. There’s not an universal rule to decide which one is the best, but we all have different aptitudes, so it might help to recap some of their both features to see where we are more gifted.
Artistic and rhythmic gymnastics are two distinct forms of gymnastics, both governed by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique.
At its core, rhythmic gymnastics is all about presentation and style: rhythmic gymnasts perform routines of leaps, contortions, and dance that flow in time to music.
Artistic gymnastics, on the other hand, is more technical, rewarding precise movements and athletic strength.
Only women compete at the Olympic level in rhythmic gymnastics, while both genders compete in separate competitions in artistic gymnastics.
Scoring: Rhythmic gymnastics is scored on elements such as use of space, body language, and synchronicity with music. In artistic gymnastics, athletes are scored on the basis of the difficulty of their movements, their exhibition of certain skills on each apparatus, and their ability to combine multiple skills into different movements.
Props: Artistic gymnasts do not use props. In rhythmic gymnastics the apparatuses consist of a variety of props that must be kept in constant motion during a routine. Each routine features one prop or apparatus. Approved props include the rope, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon.
Team Competition: Both artistic and rhythmic gymnastics have team competitions but in very different ways. In artistic team competition, individual members of the team perform one at a time on a given apparatus, often using the same routines they performed in individual competition. Their scores are then summed. In rhythmic team competitions five athletes perform at the same time in a cohesive unit. They are judged on synchronization and harmony in addition to mastery of a skill.
Men and Women
Artistic gymnastics features both men and women. Each gender has its category and rules for performance. Rhythmic gymnastics is only performed by women. Although some men's rhythmic gymnastics groups have appeared in countries like Japan, they are not yet recognized by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique and cannot compete at Olympic events.
Which one is the Best?
What’s the best between chocolate and ice-cream? The one you like the most, right? If you love more acrobatics than the dance, artistic is the best for you. If you are more musical, with a less technical approach, more close to the ballet movements, than the rhythmic gymnastic is more likely to be your option.
The most successful artistic gymnasts are extremely strong and powerful. The strength and power are needed for propulsion on the vault and difficult tumbling passes on the floor.
Gymnasts that are more flexible and graceful may fare better in rhythmic gymnastics where the primary focus is ballet-like agility.
The most important is that in mathematical terms, there is none of them lower or higher that the other. In more subjective terms, you should look carefully what makes your heart beat, and that’s what the best for you. They are both spectacular!