Tumbling (gymnastics)

Tumbling (gymnastics)

In gymnastics, tumbling, also known as power tumbling is an acrobatic sporting discipline which combines some of the skills of artistic gymnastics on the floor with those of trampolining. It is practised on a 25 metre long spring track. It was developed from tumbling performances performed by entertainers from very early times but as a sport is now codified, regulated and judged and performed using standardised special equipment.

This sport is practised by both men and women. Competitors perform two passes, each containing 8 skills along the track, usually starting with a Round-off, Barani, or Rudi (the Barani and Rudi are forward, twisting somersaults) followed by a series of back-handsprings and/or whips (a fast, long back somersault done in a straight body position) ending in a 'dismount' skill. Only the feet and hands are allowed to make contact with the track.

Governed by rules established by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), tumbling is one of the gymnastic disciplines. Many elements of tumbling are also practised on Floor Exercise by participants of both Women's Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) and Men's Artistic Gymnastics (MAG). Tumbling elements such as the round-off and back-handspring (flic) are commonly integrated into the balance beam routines of gymnasts.

Tumbling has only been an Olympic gymnastics event once, at the 1932 Summer Olympics, and was a demonstration event in 1996 and 2000. It is one of the events of the World Games. There is an annual World Championships held in conjunction with the Trampoline World Championships.



When Power Tumbling was first started, and for the first ever US National Championships in Tumbling in 1886, gymnasts would perform their skills only on thin mats. From there, "floors" evolved in a wide variety of ways, including rows of skis tied together with the ends cut off under those mats, and then to the rod floor used today,[1] developed by Randy Mulkey, which is a 25 metres (82 ft) long by 2-metre (6.6 ft) wide track consisting of fibreglass rods (laid horizontally, to make it springy) under two layers of foam mats[2][3]. It also includes a 10 metres (33 ft) run up at the front and at the end is a mat where the gymnast lands their dismounting skill.


Competitors perform two passes, each containing eight skills along the track, usually starting with a Round-off, Barani, or Rudi (the Barani and Rudi are forward, twisting somersaults) followed by a series of back-handsprings and/or whips (a fast, long back somersault done in a straight body position) ending in a 'dismount' skill. In the lower levels, there are rules about what each pass should contain. At more advanced levels there is a choice about the skills performed. This includes adding much more difficulty to the passes by adding twisting somersaults (called single, double or triple fulls) in the middle of the pass. The dismounting skill is often another double or triple full or a double or triple back somersault, which can also include extra twists. Internationally, competitors frequently have 3 double somersaults incorporated in to each pass. All athletes in this sport at high levels are expected to have a finals pass as well as their other two passes. While not used at every meet, it is important to have three passes.

Scoring is similar to trampolining with five judged scores for execution (form, body position and final landing) and one for the degree of difficulty (number of somersaults and twists etc.). The top and bottom execution scores are dropped and the remaining three added to the Difficulty score to give the total for the pass.

Basic tumbling moves

  • Punch fronts
  • Back tucks
  • Back handsprings
  • Cartwheels
  • Roundoffs
  • Roundoff backhandsprings
  • Layouts
  • Front Hurdlers
  • Front Fulls
  • Double Full
  • Standing Fulls
  • Barani
  • Whip
  • double backs
  • ariel

Notable tumblers

Person Country
Alexei Kryjanovsky  Russia
Chrystel Robert  France
Elena Blujina  Russia
Fen Tao  China
Alexander Rasolin  Russia
Seamus O Cearra  Ireland
Damien Walters  United Kingdom
Seán Connon  Ireland
Andrei Krylov  Russia

External links

Videos of power tumbling

See also


  1. ^ Bertz, Jim. "Through The Years: How the Competitive Tumbling Floor Evolved". http://www.acrobaticsports.com/detail.do?noArticle=1705&noCat=274&id_key=274. Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
  2. ^ Ross, Athletic Supply. "Competition Equipment". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. http://web.archive.org/web/20071013062554/http://www.rossathletic.com/power-tumbling-equipment.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  3. ^ FIG (2009). "Part II". Apparatus Norms. pp. 83–84. http://www.fig-gymnastics.com/vsite/vnavsite/page/directory/0,10853,5187-188050-205272-nav-list,00.html. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tumbling — may refer to:* Tumbling (gymnastics), floor gymnastics similar to somersault, back handsprings, and roundoffs * Tumble polishingee also* Tumbler …   Wikipedia

  • Gymnastics — This article is about the general sport. For a specific form of gymnastics, see Gymnastics (disambiguation). Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance.… …   Wikipedia

  • Gymnastics at the Summer Olympics — Governing body FIG Events 18 (men: 9; women: 9) Games …   Wikipedia

  • Gymnastics (disambiguation) — Gymnastics may refer to:*Artistic gymnastics, an Olympic event that includes vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor for women, and floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, and high bar for men. *Rhythmic gymnastics, a …   Wikipedia

  • Gymnastics at the World Games — Gymnastics has been part of all World Games. Among the disciplines, trampolining and tumbling as well as acrobatics and aerobics.Individual rhythmic gymnasticsRopeClubsGroupsMixedMixedPairsTrampolineIndividualThis event was discontinued when… …   Wikipedia

  • gymnastics — ► PLURAL NOUN (also treated as sing. ) 1) exercises involving physical agility, flexibility, and coordination, especially tumbling and acrobatic feats. 2) physical or mental agility or skill: vocal gymnastics. DERIVATIVES gymnastic adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • gymnastics — [n] acrobatic exercise aerobatics, balance beam, bars, body building, calisthenics, floor exercise, free exercise, gym, horse, rings, trampoline, trapeze, tumbling, vaulting, workout; concept 363 …   New thesaurus

  • gymnastics — [jim′nastiks] n. [< GYMNASTIC] a sport combining tumbling and acrobatic feats, usually done with apparatus such as the parallel bars, the balance beam, etc …   English World dictionary

  • gymnastics — /jim nas tiks/, n. 1. (used with a pl. v.) gymnastic exercises. 2. (used with a sing. v.) the practice art, or competitive sport of gymnastic exercises. 3. (used with a pl. v.) mental feats or other exercises of skill: Verbal gymnastics. [1645… …   Universalium

  • Gymnastics at the 2008 Summer Olympics — The Gymnastics competitions at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics were held from August 9 to August 24. = Artistic = Artistic gymnastics events took place at the Beijing National Indoor Stadium. Events Fourteen sets of medals were awarded in the… …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.