Gymnastics, be it rhythmic or artistic, requires a whole lot of movements because this is what the sport is all about, the scores are even based on the athlete’s movements. To do said movements with maximum ease and safety in mind, gymnasts have to wear the proper clothes so they could execute their podium-worthy skills without hindrances.
While what they wear differs if they are training, competing, or maybe their certain gym or coach has a specific clothing preference, wearing the right kinds of clothes will allow for full range of motion, decrease the risk of injury, doesn’t get in the way of the apparatus, and help coaches or judges see the gymnast’s body in action easily. So what, really, are the correct gymnastics clothes?
Yes, although unusual, some gymnasts opt to wear slippers on some events. In rhythmic gymnastics, it is common to see athletes wear half shoes that cover just their toes up to the middle of their feet, leaving their heels bare. Artistic gymnasts, on the other hand, mostly prefer to compete or train barefooted but once performing on the floor or beam, they actually wear slippers as well if they deem it would help, as slippers are permitted in training and competitions.
The slippers are made from materials soft and flexible enough to fit snuggly on a gymnast’s feet, some are almost like socks, and some are made from leather with really soft soles. They have to be flexible because a gymnast’s feet forms are important in the scoring process; it should not hinder a gymnast’s foot movement. On the soles are anti-slip pads, which are what the gymnasts are actually after, so they would not slip or fall during a routine.
This type of clothing used to only be allowed during training and not in competitions, but lately we could see male artistic gymnasts perform wearing shorts in a major competition. Like pants, they have to be paired with a leotard during competitions and a T-shirt during training. They should not have pockets, strings, buttons, snaps or zippers because they can get in the way when performing and can cause injury. Like the pants, they also have to be tight fitting and just loose enough for maximum comfort.
During training, it is okay for rhythmic gymnasts to wear pants, provided they are soft and would not get in the way of their forms. While providing more coverage, pants still allow the judges and the coaches to see a gymnast’s body line when performing a routine. They have to fit just right to allow full range of motion and not loose as it could get caught in an apparatus. However, for competitions, it is necessary that a rhythmic gymnast wear leotards instead.
For artistic gymnasts, men most commonly prefer pants during competitions and even training. Pants are usually chosen for performances on pummel horse, rings, high bar or parallel bars because the extra layer of fabric can protect the skin from getting scratched. For competitions, pants must be accompanied by a leotard or singlet instead of a T-shirt.
As mentioned, T-shirts can be paired with pants or shorts during training and they are usually the most comfortable outfit for male gymnasts. They should not have adornments like buttons and pockets, must be loose enough to allow movements but tight enough to not restrict movements. T-shirts have to be tucked into the gymnast’s shorts or pants all the time to be a correct gymnastics clothes.
Leotards or Singlet
Of course, let us not forget the leotards. Gymnasts worldwide use this during training and even competitions. They can be short-sleeved or long-sleeved and the legs are cut off much like a bikini. If a gymnast is uncomfortable in this cut, they can wear singlet instead which is cut like a short at the bottom. These leotards are made from stretchable materials like cotton, polyester, nylon or spandex.
This can be worn during training, and is a must during competitions. For artistic gymnasts, most of them wear the long-sleeved one with no adorations on it like frills, straps and strings because it could cause a mistake in the routine. For rhythmic gymnasts, however, they thrive in adding difficulties to their performance. They use long or short-sleeved ones, but they put frills and tassels on it without fear of it getting in the way of their apparatus. Their leotards are usually adorned with glitters and combinations of colors. They wear it like their second skin, only much more fabulous.
Underwear can be worn under leotards provided they are not visible under the fabric, including bra straps. If a gymnast wanted, they can not wear underwear as the leotard already fits like a swim suit.
So that completes the list of the correct gymnastics clothes! To read more gymnastics-related articles, visit our educational blogs. Experience a fun and imaginative gymnastics training, come and enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy.