Power Tumbling, Also Called 'Trampoline and Tumbling', Is a Form of Gymnastics.
Power tumbling is a form of gymnastics, although it is different from traditional gymnastics. Traditional gymnastics, often called 'artistic gymnastics' by those involved in the sport, is the form most people are familiar with. For girls and women, artistic gymnastics involves performing skills on the floor, balance beam, uneven parallel bars, and vault. Boys and men who participate in artistic gymnastics perform their skills on the floor, pommel horse, vault, rings, high bar, and parallel bars.
So then, what is power tumbling? Power tumbling involves many of the same skills as artistic gymnastics but uses a different set of equipment. In power tumbling, men, women, boys, and girls alike all perform tumbling skills on the floor, a traditional trampoline, and a double mini-trampoline.
Examples of Synchronized Trampoline
Power Tumbling Apparatus: Rod Floor
In power tumbling, the piece of equipment known as the floor is a long, narrow, slightly elevated tumbling surface. It is often referred to as the 'rod floor' because it is made from a series of fiberglass rods. The rods flex and provide additional bounce that an ordinary floor does not. The rods are covered in padding, and the padding is covered in a flooring material suitable for tumbling.
Unlike traditional artistic gymnastics, where routines are performed on a large 39' x 39' floor, power tumbling's rod floor is a 6' x 84' runway. Although some lower-level skills are executed from a standing start, power tumblers typically begin at one end of the floor, take a running start, then complete a series of skills called a pass. In competition, power tumblers perform and are judged on two, three, or sometimes four passes, depending upon their skill level and the rules of that specific competitive meet.
Power Tumbling Apparatus: Trampoline
Power tumblers also perform skills on the trampoline. Regulation competitive trampolines are similar to standard back yard trampolines, but they are designed to provide a higher, more powerful bounce. Competitive trampoline routines look effortless as the athletes fly high into the air, sometimes performing multiple skills within each bounce.
Lower-level trampolinists typically perform and are judged on one trampoline routine.
Higher-level trampolinists may perform two routines, depending upon their level, and each meeting's rules.
Most trampolinists compete individually. However, higher-level trampolinists may also choose to compete in synchronized trampoline, provided they have a partner and attend a competitive meet that offers this event; not all of them do. In synchronized trampoline, two athletes perform the same trampoline routine at the same time, on side-by-side trampolines. Each two-person team is judged on how well they execute the routine, as well as how closely the athletes' movements mirror one another.
Power Tumbling for Fun, Recreation, and Fitness
Of course, you don't have to compete in power tumbling. You can always take tumbling classes for fun, recreation, and fitness. It's great exercise and with hard work, plenty of practice, and a solid coach, you'll learn lots of impressive skills. If you're into cheerleading, tumbling classes are a terrific way to improve your cheer skills. In fact, many cheer coaches require their cheerleaders to take tumbling classes.
Tumbling classes are available for all ages and all levels, from toddlers to adults and beginners to advanced tumblers. To find tumbling classes in your area, type "tumbling classes" or "trampoline classes" and the name of your town into your favorite search engine's home page, or look in your phone directory under gymnasiums, tumbling classes, gymnastics classes, or cheerleading teams. You can also ask friends and neighbors if they can recommend a tumbling gym in your area.