The Viewer's Guide to Men's Gymnastics

By Mike Canales

Men's gymnastics is composed of six events; each apparatus is characterized by a great display of brut strength and explosive power. Viewing a men's gymnastics meet is comparable to watching six different sports. There is never a dull moment, as each gymnast attempts to make his routines look effortless. Look for the Buckeye gymnasts to not only fulfill the minimum requirements on each event, but to go above and beyond the requirements to attempt to challenge the perfect 10.

Men's floor exercise is not performed to music. It consists primarily of tumbling passes performed in different directions. Acrobatic series must be performed, including at least one forward and one backward sequence, and a static strength hold is also required. The best gymnasts perform dynamic tumbling passes with multiple twists and flips with near perfect landings.

Considered by many as the most difficult of the men's events, the pommel horse, or 'pig', consists of primarily three movements: the scissors, the circles and the crowd-pleasing flairs. The only part of the body that should touch this apparatus is the hands. A stellar routine should flow with consistent and fluid rhythm.


The rings, or the hoops, should remain still throughout a routine and deductions will be taken for unnecessary swings and instability in all of the positions. The gymnasts that show the best command of this event will show precision in handstands, a perfect dismount, and most importantly - strength.

During the pre-flight of a vault, from the springboard to the horse, the gymnast must have perfect form. The post-flight, from the horse to the ground, is best known for an explosive acrobatic movement with numerous twists and flips. The best gymnasts will complete the vault with a stuck landing, and no extra movement of the feet.

On the parallel bars, or the rails, a gymnast must swing above and below the bars. The gymnasts are creative in how they fulfill these requirements. Exciting routines will contain high-flying double-flipping release moves that end with the gymnast re-grasping the bars and continuing his routine.

High bar is known as the most exciting event for the gymnasts and, more importantly, for the crowd. The gymnasts are required to execute at least one move in which he releases and re-grasps the bar (release move). The gymnasts have a variety of skills to choose from and the best routines will contain a number of release moves and sometimes release moves are connected together in a sequence. As if the excitement during the routine was not enough, gymnasts are just as exciting with their multiple flipping and twisting dismounts!