Floor Exercise - Artistic Gymnastics

Floor Exercise - Artistic Gymnastics

The floor exercise is an event for both, male and female gymnasts. One of the differences between male and female floor routines is that female gymnastics are allowed to perform with music and male gymnastics have to perform without music. The floor is a square of 12 x 12 meters which consists of several layers of foam, plywood and / or sometimes springs. This allows the gymnast to jump higher and reduces the impact when he lands. Find detailed instructions for a variety of artistic gymnastics skills at gymnastics main.


  • Dimensions & technical info:
    The floor is a 12 x 12 meter square plus a safety border, in case a tumbling sequence goes too far. The floor is made of following layers (starting from the bottom):
    • Foam blocks or springs
    • Plywood
    • Carpeted hard foam or hard foam plus a carpet.
  • This provides a firm surface which responds with force when it is compressed and allows the gymnast to jump higher. Additionally, these layers reduce the impact - protect your joints when you land.
  • Rules & Skills:
    The gymnast has to touch each corner once. Usually a floor exercise consists of 3 to 4 tumbling passes, circles, scales and presses. Women can also include dance elements.
    Men's floor exercises should be 60 to 70 seconds without music
    Women's floor exercises should be 70 to 90 seconds with music
    (only instrumental - no voices allowed)
  • Deductions: Points are deducted when you step outside the 12 x 12 m floor into the safety area, if a tumbling sequence doesn't end in a stuck landing (stuck landing = landing on both feet without an extra step), if you fall or make a mistakes, for bad form, if your exercise is too long or too short, etc.


  • When you practice tumbling sequences, you can put landing mats on the floor to make the landings even softer.
  • To learn new stuff you don't need the entire 12 x 12 m floor. A lot of gymnastics gyms only have a 12 to 15 x 2 m floor, which is enough for tumbling sequences. Tumbling skills can also be practiced on an tumbling track => long trampoline.
  • Tumbling = A sequence of acrobatic flips in one line. Example: Run + Round-off + Back Handspring + Back Flip.
  • Alternatives to the gymnastics floor.
    • Tumbling Mats: Bouncy, protective mats made for tumbling.
    • Judo mats - Often swallow the impact which leads to lower jumps.
    • Grass: You also practice on dry grass.
    • Beach or Beach Volleyball Sand: Practice without shoes.