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Welcome to the Rhythmic Gymnastics page on the CHP. Rhythmic Gymnastics is also known as Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics (RSG). We here at the CHP believe that RSG is the most beautiful sport ever created. It involves expressive, dynamic movements of the body, and of an apparatus. But, the apparatus is not what most (artistic) gymnasts think of when speaking about an apparatus. In rhythmic gymnastics, the apparatus is a small rope, hoop, ball, ribbon, or pair of clubs. The rhythmic gymnast must have excellent hand-eye-coordination to perform complex movements with the apparatus. The apparatus are often thrown high into the air and caught in risky positions, which requires an extremely high ceiling in the gym for competition.

RSG was first recognized by the International Gymnastics Federation in 1962, and the first World Championships was held the following year. It was not until 1984 that RSG was accepted as an Olympic sport for the games in Los Angeles. Up to two rhythmic gymnasts per country can qualify for the Olympics, assuming that they place in approximately the Top 50 at the World Championships during the year preceeding the Olympic Games.

To reach the elite levels of RSG competition requires physical conditioning that very few athletes can comprehend. Rhythmic gymnasts require a complete mastery of body control. They must have the strength to jump high, and to contract any muscles necessary to redirect their motion. They must be flexible enough to move effortlessly through positions that would be impossible for most people. They must also have the grace, musicality, balance, and expressiveness of a ballet dancer, combined with the hand-eye-coordination of a juggler. Rhythmic gymnasts are without question among the most highly trained athletes, and deserve every bit of the respect and admiration that we pay them here at the CHP.

The flexibility training techniques that are used in rhythmic gymnastics have taken the principles of contortion, dance, and acrobatics ... and expanded upon them. The coaches of the 1990's are achiving excellent results in the area of flexibility training. And, they are doing it safely. We show below some amazing examples of how flexibility training is being implemented among elite rhythmic gymnasts at the International (Brevet) level. If you like these photos, there are many more like them on Ron Dwight's Contortion on CD-ROM - Volume 2. And, don't forget to check out the Limber Links for lots of other links to RSG sites!

Is RSG a sport or an art?

Click HERE to find out!

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Photo and Scanning Credit: Ulrich Schmitt
Archival Credit: Ron Dwight

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