The sport requires all round fitness through: strength, mobility, endurance, flexibility, body control and co-ordination.
Routines are performed on six pieces of apparatus: floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar.
The first British Championships was organised in 1896 and the first British Champion ever was H. L. Cain from "Orion" Gym Club. An Olympic discipline; GBR has won three medals: Individual Silver won by Walter Tysall in 1908 (London), Team Bronze medal in 1912 (Stockholm), and Pommel Horse Bronze won by Louis Smith in 2008 (Beijing).
Floor Exercise (FX)
The floor measures 12 x 12 metres, with an additional safety border of 1 metre. The performance area must have a surface elasticity to allow for power during take-offs and softness for landing.
The gymnast's floor exercise should include movements that demonstrate strength, flexibility and balance. Each
routine must combine moves such as somersaults, twists and leaps. The whole floor area should be used and the
routine should show a personal touch of expression and execution. The minimum time is 50 sec. and maximum is 1'10 min.
Pommel Horse (PH)
Height: 1.05 metres. Length at the top: 1.60 metre. Distance between pommels: 40 to 45 cm.
The pommel horse routine should be a smooth continuous chain of circular and pendulum type swings, double leg
circles, scissor movements and undercuts using all parts of the horse.
Height: 2.55 metres.
Ring routines should include a variety of movements demonstrating strength, support and balance. The gymnast
should perform a series of swings and holds with both forward and backward elements and the routine should
finish with an acrobatic dismount.
Height: 1.35 metres. The Vaulting Table is situated length-wise to the approach run of 25 metres.
Each vault is awarded a value according to its difficulty. The vault should demonstrate clean and powerful movements
combining height and length with one or more rotations and finish in a controlled landing. Marks are also awarded for
the control of the body and the landing position.
Parallel Bars (PB)
Height: 1.75 metres.
Like the rings, the parallel bars require a combination of swinging movements with strength or hold parts. The
gymnasts should travel along and work both above and below the bars. The exercise should be predominantly swinging.
Horizontal (High) Bar (HB)
Height: 2.55 metres.
The gymnast should perform continuous clean swinging movements and must not touch the bar with his body. He is
required to demonstrate changes of grip, swinging movements both forward and backward, plus release and re-grasp of the bar. Dismounts are an important part of the total routine and are usually acrobatic and spectacular.