gymnastics - Gymnastics activities - gymnastics for kids

Is Boy Gymnastics Different from Girls?

Picture this: your daughter, with her eyes sparkling with determination, and your son, full of energy and curiosity, both fascinated by the flips, tumbles, and seemingly gravity-defying routines of gymnasts they watch on TV. 

You can't help but wonder, can they benefit from the same training routines? Are there fundamental differences in how boys and girls approach gymnastics? And if so, how do these differences influence their training, goals, and overall experience in the sport? 

I got it. As a parent, you want the best for your kids. Suppose they both have a passion for gymnastics. In that case, it's only reasonable to question if boys and girls approach the sport differently. 

I understand your curiosity because I've been there, exploring the details to guarantee that every child in our gymnastics programs gets the most out of their chosen passions. 

Brief Gymnastic History 

Gymnastics has not always exclusively been a male or female sport. Both men and women performed exercises and routines stressing total fitness and flexibility. However, as the sport developed and received widespread acclaim, it became clear that male and female competitors varied physiologically. Due to these distinctions, there are now separate male and female competitive divisions, each with a distinct set of equipment and routines catered to the individual strengths of the competitors.

Girls vs Boys Gymnastics - Key Differences

Physical Differences

So, flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to girl's gymnastics! Have you ever wondered how they do those splits and high kicks with such ease? Their extraordinary hip flexibility, which enables them to bend and twist in ways that look almost superhuman, is entirely responsible. This flexibility isn't just for show; it's necessary to master the risky balance beam routines and the gravity-defying floor flips.

It all comes down to upper body strength when we shift our focus to boys' gymnastics. These guys are like human powerhouses! Arm, shoulder, and core strength are essential for their exercises on the rings and parallel bars. Just imagine holding your body parallel to the ground while balancing on the rings; it's incredible! Their high bar routines, where they swing, release, and catch with jaw-dropping precision, benefit from this strength.

Apparatus Variations

The apparatus, the beating heart of gymnastics! Girls get to master the balance beam, a constricting, punishing strip that tests their physical prowess and mental concentration. Then there are the uneven bars, which swing effortlessly from bar to bar while defying gravity. The floor exercise is a canvas on which they can artistically display their dance routines and tumbling passes.

On the boys' side, there's the pommel horse, a difficult sport involving strength and balance. Imagine these men maneuvering quickly around a leather-covered device with handles to demonstrate their abilities. Then there are the rings, where they execute mind-blowing stunts while hung extremely high in the air. Additionally, they soar and twist while catching the high bar with split-second timing.

Skill Emphasis

Gymnastics routines for girls are like a beautiful dance on the floor. They captivate the audience with grace and style as they blend beautiful leaps, strong tumbling, and complicated dance moves. Balance and fluidity are essential, especially on the beam, where one wrong move can disrupt the delicate balance.

For boys, it's all about displaying their strength and control. They'll show off their daring releases and re-catches with powerful swings on the high bar. They hold gravity-defying positions on the rings, exhibiting their incredible upper body power, not to mention the vault, where both power and finesse are required for a successful landing.

Girls gymnastic routine - Skylark Sports

Gymnastics Routines - Boys vs Girls


Floor Exercise

The floor routines of boys are distinguished by powerful tumbling passes that include flips, twists, and somersaults. Their workouts frequently emphasize strength and dynamic movements, demonstrating explosive athleticism. You'll see outstanding acrobatic components combined to demonstrate strength and agility.

Pommel Horse

Boys perform complicated circular moves with their legs extended on the pommel horse. This event needs extraordinary core strength, balance, and coordination. Their performances include quick and accurate swings that showcase their control and precision.


The rings event highlights male gymnasts' upper body strength. They execute a series of static strength holds as well as swinging aspects. The routines frequently feature eye-catching strength maneuvers that demonstrate their remarkable power and stability, such as the iron and inverted cross.


Boys do powerful jumps and twist off the apparatus in the vault event, aiming for height, distance, and precise landings. The vault necessitates a combination of speed, strength, and precision.

Parallel and High Bars 

Both competitions include swinging aspects, releases, and complicated grips. Boys demonstrate courage and coordination by performing daring releases and grasps on the high bar. Swinging movements and difficult transitions emphasize power and fluidity in parallel bar exercises.

Girls' Gymnastics Routines


Girls, like males, complete vault routines, including dashing down the runway and flips and twists before landing. While the underlying premise remains the same, the emphasis for girls is on grace, form, height, and distance.

Uneven Bars 

Uneven bars routines for girls include swinging elements, releases, and intricate transitions between the high and low bars. The routines emphasize agility, precision, and elegance. Look out for beautiful pirouettes and high-flying releases requiring precise timing and control.

Balance Beam

The balancing beam routine tests a girl's balance, flexibility, and confidence. On the thin beam, the girls perform a combination of acrobatic elements, dance movements, and turns. Precision and grace are essential while doing flips, leaps, and spins with poise and control.

Floor Exercise

Floor routines for girls are an enthralling blend of forceful tumbling, expressive dance, and aesthetic choreography. They combine powerful flips and leaps with exquisite dance techniques to communicate emotions and tales via their shows. Their floor performances rely heavily on artistry and musicality.

How Parents Can Encourage Their Young Gymnasts Regardless of Gender

Encouraging young gymnasts, regardless of gender, fosters their passion, builds confidence, and nurtures a positive attitude towards the sport. 

Here are some ways we can support and inspire our budding gymnasts:

Accept Equal Opportunity

Gender should never limit your child's dreams regarding gymnastics. Encourage your child, whether he or she is a boy or a girl, to embrace gymnastics with the same zeal. Make sure that they have equal access to training and opportunity. Break down those gender barriers and show them that their passion is unlimited.

Clear up Gender Stereotypes

It is up to us to break down those stereotypes! Encourage your child to recognize the strengths of both male and female gymnasts. Girls can enjoy the grace in males' routines, and guys can appreciate the strength in girls' performances. Let us show them that talent does not have a gender in gymnastics.

Individual Strengths Should Be Celebrated

Isn't every child unique? Celebrate your child's abilities, whether displayed in powerful floor routines or exquisite balancing beam performances. Remind them that these abilities are about personal dedication rather than gender. Allow children to explore all areas of gymnastics and cherish what makes them unique.

Encourage Mutual Respect

Respect is essential, people! Please encourage your child to respect their teammates, coaches, and all other gymnastics participants, regardless of gender. Teach children to recognize their gym companions' different talents. It is about instilling a sense of belonging and respect in everyone.

Encourage Confidence

Boost their self-esteem! Remind your child that their gender does not define them. Encourage children to have great dreams, to create goals, and to work hard to attain them. Your confidence in their ability will motivate them to overcome obstacles and shine in their gymnastics career.

Be a Gender Equality Role Model

Parents set a good example! Show them the way by being respectful and fair to everyone. Discuss the importance of gender equality with them. Allow them to see your dedication to making the world a more inclusive place, not just in gymnastics but in everything they do. Your deeds will speak louder than words and motivate them to become equality advocates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don't male gymnasts compete on the balance beam?

The balance beam was designed specifically for women. It was never intended for males. One distinguishing element of a beam is that no upper body strength is required. Whereas all men's events demand upper body strength, most of them (bars, rings, high bar, pommel horse) require it 100% of the time.

Do gymnasts need to lose weight?

Low body weight and fat mass are vital for gymnastics regardless of discipline. Many gymnasts pursue low-calorie diets and other hazardous weight-control measures to pursue the perfect body weight or shape.

How can I ensure that my child, regardless of gender, is treated equally in gymnastics?

Encourage open conversation with coaches and inquire about their gender equality policy. Ensure that your child, regardless of gender, gets equal access to opportunities and training.

When do male gymnasts begin training?

Men's artistic gymnastics can be pursued at any age, from primary school through adulthood, even if this is your first time doing something like this. You'll begin by learning key skills and the fundamentals of the six activities (the floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, and high bar).


In the exciting world of kids' gymnastics, everyone can play, learn, and shine, whether boys or girls. As parents and as their second guardians in the gym, our job is to support our little gymnasts in following their dreams without any limits.

We can help our children by talking openly about gymnastics, supporting them no matter their gender, and encouraging them to be proud of what they achieve. Every flip and every routine they practice is a step toward their goals, and our love and encouragement make all the difference.

Remember, it's about more than just gymnastics—it's about teaching our kids that they can do anything they set their minds to, no matter who they are. Let's stand by their side, cheer them on, and show them that there's a place for everyone in this big, exciting world to shine.

Written by

Skylark Sports

Yes! we have a newsletter

Read our latest updates

Join our Epic Community

start a free trial