Rhythmic gymnastics is one of the artistic and dance-focused sports that’s part of the modern Olympic Games.
A single player or a team of five players will try to earn the most points, determined by a panel of judges, for leaps, balances, pirouettes (pivots), apparatus handling and execution.
Athletes in rhythmic gymnastics use one or two of the following five pieces of equipment in their performances:
- Rhythmic gymnastics hoop
- Rhythmic gymnastics ball
- Rhythmic gymnastics clubs
- Rhythmic gymnastics ribbon
- Rhythmic gymnastics jump rope
Rhythmic gymnastics ribbon
The ribbon curled in the hands of the gymnast will always attract the eyes of the spectators.
The satin or viscose strip is attached with a carbine or pigtail of nylon to the stick, which is a conical (cylindrical) shape.
Athletes use ribbons up to four meters long in training and demonstrations.
A huge choice of colours will allow you to advantageously complement the gymnast’s costume, which is known as a rhythmic gymnastics leotard, with their ribbon.
How to choose the right ribbon for rhythmic gymnastics
|Age of gymnast||
|Tape material||Stick length||Wand material|
|Master of Sport||14 years and older||6 m||
|Candidate for the Master of Sports, 1-2 categories||9–14 years old||5 m||55–57 cm|
|3rd rank and below||Up to 9 years||4 m||50 cm|
Tips for the care and storage of gymnastic tape:
- Wash it in a warm soapy solution, making sure the water temperature isn’t higher than 30 degrees Celsius.
- Use shampoo for washing.
- Use starch to save its elasticity.
- Before a performance, treat the tape with an anti-static agent, so it won’t stick to the costume.
- Keep the tape tightly screwed onto the coil.
Rhythmic gymnastics rope
The jumping rope is the first apparatus in rhythmic gymnastics that female athletes will learn to use.
A 2.5-meter long rope made of cotton or polyester is suitable for toddlers and young gymnasts. This material is light, well-flying and soft, and it won’t hurt the legs when it falls.
For experienced gymnasts, a 3-meter nylon rope is recommended.
This type of rope is heavy and dense. It’ll retain its shape during flight and won’t change the trajectory of the throw.
Tips for the care and storage of gymnastic rope:
- Protect them from moisture.
- Wipe sweat off a rope immediately after training, with a dry cloth.
- Don’t wash it.
- Store it in a case.
Rhythmic gymnastics ball
These gymnastic balls are manufactured via high-quality rubber or rubber alloy.
On the balls of the Sasaki trademark, an additional coat is applied that gives an extra grip to the arm, which makes it easier for the gymnast to roll, catch and do a figure eight.
The standard gymnastic ball
The standard ball has a diameter of 18.5 centimeters and a weight of 400 grams, and is recommended for athletes from 10 years old and up.
For younger gymnasts and girls below 130 centimeters tall, choose a 15-centimeter ball. Before buying it, let the athlete pick up the ball and test it in the store.
On the market, the balls are presented in a diverse color palette, so you can choose one that suits your gymnastics leotards.
Best Rhythmic Gymnastics balls
You may also want to read about the benefits of Gymnastics for Toddlers & best age to start.
Tips for the care and storage of gymnastic balls:
- For pumping up balls from the Sasaki brand, use a pump of the same brand.
- When inflating a ball, moisten the pump needle with water.
- Wash each ball with soap foam.
- Store each ball only in the case or a special cover.
- Protect balls from direct sunlight, as temperature changes are not good for rubber.
Rhythmic gymnastics hoops
Here, we’re only interested in professional hoops. Professional hoops are made of durable plastic.
During classes and performances, they aren’t subjected to deformation, as it’s difficult to bend and break them.
The official weight of a rhythmic gymnastics hoop is 300 grams.
Buy a white hoop, and you’ll be able to change the color. To do this, use colored ribbons with a sticky layer, or acrylic paints.
How to choose the right hoop for rhythmic gymnastics
In the following table, you’ll learn how to choose the right hoop for rhythmic gymnastics, according to the age and height of the gymnast:
|Hoop size||Age of gymnast||Gymnastics Growth|
|60 cm||3 to 6 years|
|65 cm||6 to 7 years|
|70 cm||7 to 8 years||up to 135 cm|
|75 cm||9 to 10 years||135 to 150 cm|
|80 cm||10 to 12 years old||150 to160 cm|
|85 cm||over 12 years old||160 to170 cm|
|90 cm||over 12 years old||170 cm and above|
Tips for the care and storage of a professional hoop:
- Plastic doesn’t like temperature changes. Don’t expose the hoop to the effects of high temperatures and direct sunlight.
- Buy or sew a case for storage.
- Store the hoop only horizontally, in an upright position, or the hoop may become imperceptibly deformed.
- A cotton pad moistened with sunflower oil will help clean sticky spots off the hoop.
Best Rhythmic Gymnastics Hoops
Rhythmic gymnastics clubs
When buying clubs, give preference to combined multi-piece clubs or soft rubber shells.
A combined club’s rubber head is connected to a plastic handle, so girls won’t be afraid of throwing up the club, catching it and performing various tricks.
How to choose the right club size for rhythmic gymnastics
You should take into account the age range:
- 36 centimeters for gymnasts three to seven years old
- 40 to 41 centimeters for gymnasts eight to 11 years old
- 44 to 45 centimeters for gymnasts over 11 years old
The standard apparatus weighs 150 grams, and for children, 100 grams.
On the market, clubs are presented in different colors. You can add your own touch with colored tape, rhinestones or stickers.
Tips for the care and storage of a club:
- Wipe each one with a damp, soft cloth.
- A cotton pad moistened with sunflower oil will help remove sticky spots.
- Keep the shell in the case only.
When buying rhythmic gymnastics equipment, you must remember that items with a manufacturer’s logo and a “Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique ‘FIG’ approved logo” mark are only allowed for performances.
Standards and characteristics for each apparatus are listed in the FIG standards for gymnastic items.
Control over the observance of standards for gymnastic equipment is provided by the panel of judges.
Don’t wait, and start gymnastics for toddlers as soon as possible, as it’s recommended that you start at an early age.