Get Inspired: How to get into Gymnastics

Most people don't know it, but gymnastics isn't just one sport. It's a whole range of different types (or 'disciplines', as you'll often hear them called).

Trampoline gymnasts performing aerial somersaults, to men's artistic gymnasts hanging on the rings, or teams of acrobatic performers standing on their partners' shoulders. Gymnastics is a spectacular sport to watch, and it's even better taking part!

You've probably seen some of them on TV on shows (like BBC One's Tumble ), through famous performers like Spelbound and Cirque de Soleil, or during the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. If so, you'll know gymnastics is a spectacular sport to watch. And it's even better taking part.

Why is it good for you?

Every type of gymnastics has the same goal: to improve the way you move. The best gymnasts move with incredible strength, control and flexibility. Which means they can perform amazing jumps, tricks, balances and holds.

One great thing about the activity is there's a type of gymnastics to suit every age, fitness level and personality. From toddlers learning motor skills to adults looking for a fresh way to workout, everyone can get a kick out of learning new physical skills.

Get Involved

Some people do gymnastics just to improve their physical condition. Others enjoy competing in regional, national and international competitions. But by far the biggest reason is the fun factor.

Getting involved in gymnastics couldn't be easier. You don't need any special equipment, just your body and a desire to learn. You'll find there are clubs in almost every town and city across Britain, running sessions for every age and ability. British Gymnastics  have a tool to help you find the perfect gymnastic activity for you.

To get you started, here are a few different disciplines of Gymnastics you can get into, and some variations offered by British Gymnastics designed to bring a little gymnastics into your life:

Men's artistic gymnastics

Men's artistic gymnastics - the rings

Your muscles flex, your heart pounds, you tuck into a spin and go for the perfect dismount.

Men's artistic gymnastics  is all about strength. Club sessions are designed to help you learn the six activities that make up the sport (the floor, the pommel horse, the rings, the vault, the parallel bars and the high bar). Then, as you get to grips with the core skills, you'll learn to perform powerful routines full of exhilarating moves.

Women's artistic gymnastics

How to get into women's artistic gymnastics

One moment you're upside down, spinning around a bar. The next you're balancing along a beam no wider than the length of an iPhone…

Women's artistic gymnastics  is a great sport to learn. You'll have fun discovering four separate activities (the vault, the uneven bars, the beam and the floor). As your ability grows, you'll learn to perform elegant routines that show off your strength, skill and control.

Acrobatic gymnastics

Acrobatic gymnastics

You climb onto your partner's shoulders and take a deep breath. The next thing you know you're flying through the air, spinning and twisting.

Acrobatic gymnastics  is all about working as a team to pull off the most spectacular balances and throws. By learning as a pair or group, you can have a lot of fun developing your skills, strength and co-ordination. You'll begin by getting to grips with the basics of gymnastics plus a few moves you can only perform in teams of two or more.

Rhythmic gymnastics

How to get into rhythmic gymnastics

The ribbon flows elegantly around you, the hoop flies above, and the ball rolls effortlessly over your shoulders.

Rhythmic gymnastics  is all about spellbinding routines performed on the floor and for women and girls of any age. As you're taking your first steps, you'll learn how to move gracefully with apparatus like the hoop and ribbon. As your skills improve, you'll start putting more complex moves together into mesmerising floor routines.

Trampoline

You're upside down, twenty feet in the air, experiencing a moment of weightlessnesss, this is how it feels to fly.

How to get into Trampoline

Trampoline  is one of the most exhilarating sports there is. From your very first day, you can experience the thrill of leaping higher than you ever have before. Then, as you build your strength and skill, you can challenge yourself to go higher and higher.

First you'll learn how to perform simple aerial tricks and maintain your rhythm. Then, as your skills grow, you'll build up to some incredible big-air stunts.

Tumbling

woman upside down in mid-tumble

You're thundering down the runway, launching into your fifth backflip in a row.

Tumbling  is a truly breath-taking type of gymnastics not to mention a whole lot of fun. It's all about somersaults, flips and twists - and linking them together, one right after the other. You see tumbling during artistic floor routines as gymnasts back flip, somersault and spin in the air travelling corner to corner.

You'll start by learning how it feels to perform simple tricks on a sprung runway. Then, as your technique and confidence grows, you'll learn to perform amazing sequences of flips and twists.

Aerobic gymnastics

young boy performing aerobic gymnastics

You get your trainers on, the music kicks in and your whole body comes alive in a blur of muscle-burning jumps, lifts and lunges.

Aerobic gymnastics  is an activity for people with energy to burn. With high-octane routines performed individually or in groups, it's a great way to improve your fitness.

If you like the idea of high-energy performances, you'll feel right at home. And with classes for all adults, teens and children, it's easy to get started.

Adult gymnastics

two ladies bending back

You can get involved in adult gymnastics at any age from eighteen up - even if you've never done anything like this before.

Adult gymnastics  provides a new opportunity to try out an amazing sport. You can test yourself in a range of activities and on apparatus offered at your local gymnastics club. And by building your strength, flexibility and control, you'll see your performance improve in other sports too.

Whether you're looking to take your first steps in gymnastics or get back into the sport, adult gymnastics makes it easy. There's a big social element, which makes the sessions a lot of fun.

Pre-school gymnastics

small child reaching up to a hula hoop

Bouncing, spinning, rolling - children are natural-born gymnasts.

Pre-school gymnastics  teaches children important skills like balance and co-ordination. With expert supervision and a playful environment, it's a great way for them to have fun and lay the foundations of a healthy, active lifestyle.

With an adventure playground to explore and lots of exciting activities to get involved in, the sessions are always energetic and entertaining. And while they're having fun, they'll also be getting a head start in the world of physical exercise.

Disability gymnastics

young girl balances on one leg

Gymnastics is an inclusive sport and mainstream gymnastics sessions can be adapted to include people with a physical or learning disability, sensory impairments or health conditions. But if you prefer to start with dedicated classes, this one is for you.

Disability Gymnastics  sessions will teach you the fundamentals of gymnastics. As you begin to develop your strength, skill and control, there really is no limit to how far you can go. From local challenges to elite international competitions. Of course you can also get involved just for the fun and fitness.

TeamGym

group of young girls in costume performing as a group

One moment you're performing a hypnotic floor routine. The next, you're somersaulting down the runway. The pressure's on. But your mates are right there with you - every step of the way.

TeamGym  takes skills from other types of gymnastics and adds a team element. So you can train and perform right alongside your mates.

You'll start by learning the basics of the three activities (the floor, the trampette and the tumbling track). As you develop your skill and strength, you'll work as part of a team to learn and perform more and more amazing routines.

FreeG, freestyle gymnastics

girl performing freestyle gymnastics

You leap across a huge drop, sprint up a vertical wall, then execute a back flip off the top. Are you showing off? Yeah, maybe a little. But isn't that the whole point?

FreeG  is about total freedom. Combining elements from martial arts and stunt performance as well as gymnastics. there are no rules or competitions. You learn the tricks you want to learn, pick the lines you want to pick, and express yourself how you want.

You'll start by getting to grips with some of the basic techniques. Then it's over to you to get creative. FreeG, freestyle gymnastics is aimed at ages eight and up including adults.

GymFit

a row of people doing exercise

Want to ditch the treadmill?

GymFit  is a new awesome way to work out, whether you want to get more involved in gymnastics or not. With a huge variety of exercises focusing on your cardio, core, upper and lower body, you'll come away from every session feeling fitter, healthier and one step closer to that gymnast's physique.

While the focus is primarily on developing your fitness, you'll also pick up some of the basics of gymnastics.

MYClub

Lizzy Yarnold, Britain's skeleton gold medallist at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, visits a thriving community gymnastics club in central London.

Designed especially for ages thirteen to nineteen, MYClub gymnastics sessions are geared towards having fun as well as improving your skills.

MYClub  is designed to give you total control over your gymnastics sessions. Whether you want to work hard on mastering that backflip, get together for a group display, or blast through some fitness training - it's your time, your club and your decision. To see a group in action, take a look at Olympian Lizzy Yarnold's visit to a MyClub in Central London.

To find out more about getting into gymnastics where you live, visit the Scottish Gymnastics  , Gymnastics Northern Ireland  , Welsh Gymnastics  or English Gymnastics  websites.

Are you inspired to try Gymnastics? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired  or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.