Acrobatic gymnastics (ACRO) officially joined the FIG in 1999. Practised by men and women alike, dynamic sports acrobatics are among the oldest known disciplines.
The sport was practised as early as the ancient Egyptian period, as we can see in certain frescos. Its name comes from the Greek acrobateo, meaning to rise or go forth. The discipline requires courage and stamina, while demanding flexibility and skill. Exercises are accompanied by music, harmoniously in keeping with gymnasts’ choreography, body movements, and musical culture.
Acrobatic gymnastics favours body control in various positions, both on the ground and in the air. For this reason, the sport is welcomed and very often included in the training programme of pilots, cosmonauts, and parachutists. Acrobatics is practised as men’s, women’s or mixed pairs, as women’s groups (3 gymnasts) or as men’s groups (4 gymnasts). The time allowed for each exercise is 2 minutes and 30 seconds and the floor area measures 12 x 12 m. The exercises must include a harmonious combination of choreography, collective acrobatic elements (holds, throws, catches), and individual acrobatic elements (floor acrobatic series), all in perfect synchronisation.
Some common terms:
- Balance: The term applied to a competition routine in which competitors must demonstrate strength, flexibility, agility, static holds, mounts, and motions.
- Dynamic: The term applied to a competition routine in which competitors must demonstrate the ability to initiate, assist, interrupt, and stop flight.
- Combined: The term applied to a competition routine in which competitors must demonstrate the characteristics of both balanced and dynamic routines.
- Top: Usually the smaller partner of a pair, and the smallest of a group, that balances on their partner(s) or is the main flier in a dynamic exercise.
- Base: The supporting partner in a pair or group.