Men's Gymnastics Floor Exercise Event
Men's floor exercise is an impressive show of strength and balance. Gymnasts perform routines that can look easy to spectators but are actually filled with incredibly difficult skills. They will attempt to complete these skills with as few mistakes as possible; strong execution and no mistakes means the athlete will get a high score. While these routines are not set to music like women's routines, they are still captivating for audiences because of the pure strength the skills show.
Floor Exercise Format
Men's floor exercise, while it takes place on the same surface as women's, looks quite different. Male gymnasts do not use music for their floor routines, and their skills are rooted in tumbling, strength, and balance. Their routines are less rhythmic than women's routines, and they are scored based on how well they tumble, how long they can balance in certain static poses. Men's routines last no more than 70 seconds, shorter than women's routines.
The floor exercise for men, while not as fluid as women's, still contains a variety of incredible feats. Gymnasts will complete tumbling passes from each corner of the floor and show off their strength in handstand holds or by holding their legs off the floor while spinning on their hands.
Floor Exercise Rules
The floor exercise is dictated by several rules that address the time of the routine, the skills allowed, and the boundaries of the floor. Gymnasts must follow these rules to ensure they received the highest score possible on their routine. These rules include:
- Routines cannot be more than 70 seconds in length.
- A step out of bounds results in a penalty: one foot out of bounds is 0.1 points, two feet is 0.3 points, and a fall out of bounds is 0.5 points.
- Gymnasts have to use the whole floor during their routine, starting or finishing a pass in each corner.
- Gymnasts cannot do a tumbling pass on the same diagonal more than twice.
- Both backward and forward skills must be performed during the routine.
- Gymnasts must perform balance or static strength skills as well as tumbling skills.
- Points will be deducted if gymnasts fail to complete their skills or execute them poorly.
Floor Exercise Equipment
Similar to most other gymnastics events, men's floor exercise does not require much equipment at all. The floor, or flex floor, is the only piece of equipment used in this event. The floor is where every part of the event takes place. It is a foam mat that measures approximately 40 feet wide by 40 feet long, covered in a soft vinyl lining to soften any falls and help prevent any injuries. There are springs hidden underneath the foam that let the gymnasts bounce and jump higher, allowing them to perform acrobatic flips and tricks.
There is a border around the edges of the floor, approximately 2 inches wide, that marks where on the floor is considered out of bounds. It will be a different color than the rest of the mat. The line is typically white to contrast against the blue most floors are colored. If the gymnast has their entire foot beyond that line at any point, they judges will deduct points from their event score.
Skills and Techniques
Men's gymnastics uses some skills similar to women's gymnastics, but it also employs other skills as well. Gymnasts will perform tumbling passes full of different aerial skills, as well as handstands and spins to showcase their strength and balance. Athletes will be scored by a panel of judges on how well they perform these skills. Commonly seen skills include:
- Back Handspring
- Flip (front/back)