Some athletes prefer to use their own gymnastics equipment for their regular training. They don't want to use equipment that has been used by other athletes like them. However, buying gymnastics equipment entails a lot of details. Here are the different types of gymnastics equipment to consider.
- Gymnastics grip - These are worn on each hand by an athlete performing on uneven bars, high bars or rings. It has a strip of leather covering the gymnast's palm. It is secured by the gymnast's fingers at the top and a buckle wrist strap or Velcro at the bottom. A lot of competitive gymnasts use grips with wooden dowels to help them in gripping the rings or bars more easily. Although used in various gymnastic events, grips are optional and not used by all gymnasts.
- Gymnastics shoes - These are tight leather slippers with some traction on the bottom to prevent gymnasts from slipping on the balance beam.
- Balance beam - This is primarily used in artistic gymnastics. While learning, gymnasts often work on low beams that have the same dimension and surface with the standard apparatus but are only set a few inches from the ground.
- Gymnastics bars - These can be parallel bars (or symmetric bars) for male gymnasts and uneven parallel bars (or asymmetric bars) for women gymnasts. These bars are usually made of wood, plastic and composite materials. The frames for the uneven parallel bars are made of steel or metal.
- Gymnastics rings - These are used for gymnastic events known as the still rings and the flying rings. In this even the gymnasts are typically male and use ring grips while performing.
- Gymnastics vaults - This is also known as the vaulting horse, because it is very much like the pommel horse, only without the handles. Both male and female gymnasts use vaults.
- Gymnastics pommel horse - Historically, this was developed centuries ago by soldiers practicing mounting and dismounting a horse. It is made of a metal frame with a wooden body and a leather cover. But new designs may contain plastic and composite materials.
- Gymnastics mats and floor - Basically this is the floor used for gymnastics to reduce injury. It is also used for some gymnastic events and activities.
It is also important to consider where this equipment will be used: whether it is for home use or for public use. For home use, it is wise to consider the details of the material such as the weight, dimensions and durability. Home use gymnastics equipment must be lightweight so the gymnast can practically bring it anywhere. Institutional or public use gymnastics equipment should meet international standards because institutions hold gymnastics events such as competitions and training.
Success in gymnastics depends not only on the gymnast's correct habits, form and technique but also the type of gymnastics equipment they use for training. The gymnasts have to understand that the right equipment will give them correct practice and techniques which will lead to success.