Aerobic gymnastics (also known as sports aerobics) is a form of competitive gymnastics originating from traditional aerobic exercise. It includes high intensity movements as well as various gymnastic elements performed to music. Both male and females can participate and offers opportunities to individuals, mixed pairs, trios and groups.
There are three different groups you’re able to compete in.
- Introduction aerobic code where you can compete at any age.
- Regional/National where you can start competing from the age of 5 and upwards.
- International where you have to be 9 years (or turning 9 in the year) and above.
Exciting news…. We could be seeing aerobics in future Olympic Games as it has recently been added onto the Olympic sport list!
How is it different to general gymnastics?
Even though aerobics is a form of gymnastics, it differs to artistic gymnastics a lot. In general gymnastics or artistic gymnastics, the floor routines don’t necessarily include the aerobic steps. Some of the types of aerobic steps are:
- Knee lift
When first starting aerobics, the main focus mainly is spending time mastering the steps. Once you build up on your co-ordination and speed of these movements you then put them together resulting in continuous patterns making it more complex.
An aerobic floor is different to a gymnastics floor, it is still sprung but it is wooden! The floor also comes in two different sizes depending on your age, category and routine. Aerobic shoes must be worn as well as socks and tights. If a leotard has a mesh design, it must have skin coloured material underneath.
Performances are judged on artistry, execution and difficulty. Judges will deduct points based the aerobic code of points. There are certain requirements that need to be met when competing. Typically the routine lasts up to on average 1 minute 30 seconds. It can be anything from 1.15 to 1.45. It is all about cardio vascular and constantly moving with speed, closely followed by the synchronisation (for the groups). When lifts are performed they must be above head height and in group routines there has to be interaction along with different levels.
Smiling is another thing that is required in aerobics; gymnasts must smile throughout the whole routine. If they drop their smile they are at risk of losing marks. Gymnasts have their hair slick back in a bun with NO hair coming out and they could lose marks if any hair does come out. Because of this lots of gel and hair spray is top of their list when preparing for a competition!
There are four group requirements needed in each competition routine
- A dynamic strength e.g push ups
- B static strength e.g lever
- C jumps and leaps e.g split jump
- D flexibility and balance e.g spins
At least one element from each of these above groups must be in your routine. Certain age groups also have compulsory skills within each of these groups they also have to include.
Virtue always wished to include Aerobics in time within their disciplines. It was finally introduced in March 2019 when Celine decided to join our team. She has an incredible amount of knowledge and experience within the sport and had a very successful career herself, so it just made sense.
Celine started aerobics when she was just 6 years old and trained for 12 years! In these 12 years she competed at many high level competitions in various countries and made it into the GB team for the group category. Some of her achievements include NAC Southern Region Champion (individual), NAC British Champion (individual), FIG British Finalist (individual) and FIG Champion (trio and group).
At Virtue aerobics there are currently a total of 43 competitive aerobic gymnasts. We have 17 gymnast in the IAC group aged 4 – 13 years. 17 gymnasts in the RAC aged 9 – 15 years. 7 NAC gymnasts aged 10 – 14 years. And 2 gymnasts in our pre foundation group.
Virtue aerobics squad compete both regionally and nationally throughout the year and we have the hope to compete internationally in the near future.
Earlier this year we were so proud when seven of our gymnasts trialled for the Southern Region Squad. Out of these seven, five were accepted:
- Keira Frankum
- Emily Kays
- Isabelle Meikle
- Mary-ann Perrin
- Kaitlin Strudley
Being selected for the Southern regional squad means they will get to work with GB coaches as well as international gymnasts. They will attend a training camp four times a year.
During their first camp the girls were taught by Seb De Verteuil who is European Champion and double world silver medalist! He taught an aerobic dance to encourage gymnasts to be more confident and artistic. Check him out in action below:
In the short time aerobics has been at Virtue, we have had so much success and we will work hard for this to continue. We’ve medaled at so many competitions across all age groups and levels. We are extremely proud of our team and we can’t wait to watch Virtue aerobics continue to thrive! Watch this space!
Be watchful for blog #8!