Gym Vocabulary

Here is a list of words that are often heard around the gym. Test yourself to see what you know! A word in White means we use this word a lot in our younger classes. Bolded words are general gymnastics terms.

Airplane Arms - This is done on a balance beam, when you hold your arms straight out to your sides to help balance.

Freeze – This is another way we say, “Stop!” A freeze is done super fast and your hands are placed out in front of you.

Backward Roll – A somersault going backwards.

Balance Beam – A gymnastics apparatus. A 4-inch wide beam covered in thin leather used to perform feats of balance. This is a female only event in competition.

Bear Walk – Walking on all fours with the legs kept completely straight. Also accompanied by the occasional loud growl.

Carly Patterson- Winner of the Women’s All-Around Olympic Gold Medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

CCGC – This is your gym! Cape Cod Gymnastics Center!

Donkey Kick - A mini-handstand jumping off of both feet at once.

Floor – The spring floor is where warm-ups, and most of our tumbling skills take place.

Foam Pit – A large whole in the ground similar to a swimming pool, filled with 8″ foam cubes.

Forward Roll – A somersault going forwards.

Handstand – Both hands are placed on the floor and the legs are kicked up into the air (one at a time) and held, preferably nice and straight.

Headstand – Your head and both hands are placed on the floor, and the feet are lifted up into air.

Mary Lou Retton – The first female from the USA to ever win the Olympic All-Around Gold Medal. (1984 Summer Olympics)

Nadia Comanec – A Romanian gymnast who received the first ever perfect 10 score in the Olympics! (1976 Summer Olympics)

Olympics – A sporting event where all the best athletes in the world compete for a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal. For most competitive gymnasts, going to the Olympics is the biggest thing they could hope to achieve.

Paul Hamm – The first male from the USA to ever win the Olympic All-Around Gold Medal. (2004 Summer Olympics)

Parallel Bars – A gymnastics apparatus. Two bars that run parallel and are even in height. This is a male only event in competition.

Pencil Roll – This is done by lying in a straight position and rolling.

Pike – This position is done by sitting down with your legs out straight in front of you, and your feet together. Emphasis on straight legs and sitting up straight.

Pommel Horse – A gymnastics apparatus. Shaped like a loaf of bread and padded with two handles (pommels) on the top, horizontal to the floor. This is a male only event in competition.

Rings – A gymnastics apparatus. Two rings hanging side by side. Height is usually adjustable. This is a male only event in competition.

Ropes – Ropes that hang from the ceiling, used for climbing or swinging.

Routine – A choreographed set of skills put together in a certain order.

Spider Walk – This is done by putting your hands on the ground next to a wall (facing away from it) and walking your feet up the wall. (Like a spider!)

Spring Board – Two boards put together on one end, with springs in between. Used for jumping.

Straddle – This is done by sitting down with your legs straight and opened in a “V” shape. Emphasis on straight legs and wide “V”.

Ta-Da! – This is a move where we finish a skill or routine, then stand up in a Tickle Stretch and say, “Ta-Da!”. This lets everyone know we are done doing our routine.

Tickle Stretch – This means to stand up very tall and raise your hands up to the sky in a straight or “pencil” position.

Trampoline – A strong, taut sheet, usually of canvas, attached with springs to a metal frame and used for springing and tumbling.

Tripod – This is a progression leading up to a headstand. Both hands and your head are placed on the floor, with your head a little in front of your hands, and your hands at shoulder width. This will form a triangle shape. Now lift up your legs, and rest your knees on your upper arms. This is a tripod!

Tuck – This is done by sitting down with your legs bent and tucked into your chest. Emphasis on legs being tucked in all the way to your body.

Tumble Trak – A 6-foot wide trampoline that can be made very long. Built in 10′ increments. Cape Cod Gymnastics Center’s Trak is 30′ long.

Uneven Bars – A gymnastics apparatus. Two bars that run parallel but are uneven in height. This is a female only event in competition.

USA-Gymnastics (USAG)- The national governing body for the sport of gymnastics. Our competitive teams compete under USAG.

Wedge Mat - A foam mat shaped like a wedge or hill. Often used for rolling down.