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Artistic Gymnastics Equipment and History





Still rings

Two parallel rings 50cm apart, suspended from a cable and straps and held, one in each hand, for a series of exercises in men's artistic gymnastics particularly requiring stillness of the body; also called the "rings".

Uneven bars

An apparatus in women's artistic gymnastics with a top bar 2.4m above the floor and a lower bar 1.6m high, used for a continuous series of grip changes, releases, new grasps and other complex moves.

High bar

A bar standing 2.75 metres high, used in men's artistic gymnastics; also called the "horizontal bar".

Parallel bars (Artistic)

An apparatus consisting of two wooden rails on uprights, adjustable in height and used for swinging, vaulting and balancing exercises in men's artistic gymnastics.

Pommel horse

A solid apparatus 115 centimetres high with two handles, or pommels, on top that men in artistic gymnastics use for a series of manoeuvres defined by complex hand placements and body positions while holding themselves above the apparatus.


An imaginary surface where moves are performed, i.e. lateral, frontal, horizontal or diagonal.

Diagonal plane

An imaginary surface at less than a 90-degree angle to the floor, where moves are performed.

Horizontal plane

An imaginary surface, level with the ground, where moves are performed.

Lateral plane

An imaginary surface to the side of, and parallel to, the body, where moves are performed.

Safety platform

A large, thick mat that sits on the floor at each end of the trampoline to cushion the impact if anyone falls from the apparatus.


A solid apparatus similar to the pommel horse, but lacking handles, and used in men's and women's artistic gymnastics for a variety of handsprings from a running approach.


The springboard used in the men's and women's vault.