Gymnastics or Tumbling: Which is Better for Your Child?

Cara DevenneyGymnastics 101, Miscellaneous4 Comments


If your child is one that has a lot of energy within him/her, what better sport to pick for your child than gymnastics or tumbling? Gymnastics and tumbling are great for any child that loves to twist, turn, flip, swing, climb and spin, and definitely will help your child release all of that wonderful energy we all wish we had!

Gymnastics and tumbling are both great because they both help your child build strength physically and mentally.

Both sports call for strength because your child will need to use that strength to be able to stick landings and be able to push himself/herself off the ground; luckily both sports focus on safe conditioning and use different equipment to make sure your child is safe and does not injure himself/herself.

If you are wondering if tumbling is a part of gymnastics the answer is YES. Tumbling is involved in every artistic gymnastics event and every gymnast practices tumbling. However, the two can be separated meaning that if your child does not want to be involved with gymnastics itself, he/she can just strictly tumble.

So, when it comes down to the two, which one is better for your child? Well, let’s find out!


There are typically four events for female gymnasts and six events for male gymnasts in artistic gymnastics. Female gymnasts compete in: vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. Male gymnasts compete in: floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bars.

Gymnastics is a sport that can be started young, so young that even toddlers can participate! You can contact your local recreational center or gym for this type of information because it would be a great exercise for your child to start moving around.

Gymnastics will help your child develop strength, coordination, flexibility, momentum, and stability. Gymnastics is definitely a fun way to engage your child in physical activity and there is so many different techniques, stretches, and exercises that your child will learn.


Before you research anything about tumbling, please know that it does not mean to be clumsy! The sport of tumbling is acrobatic and is performed on a long spring runway.

There are eight skills involved in a tumbling routine and each tumbler perform two passes. Tumbling is made up of round-offs, twists, somersaults, handsprings, tucks, and dismounts. If your child is interested in competitive tumbling than it is important to know that only hands and feet can touch the long spring runway.

Just like gymnastics, tumbling will help your child develop strength, flexibility, momentum, and stability. Tumbling is very entertaining because honestly, who doesn’t love watching people do cool flips and twists? Your child will learn different techniques, stretches, and exercises also.

Now what?

It is important that your child does warm-ups and cool-downs before and after both sports to prevent muscle aches, cramps, and injuries. Using every muscle in the body can be dangerous if your child does not stretch!

If you and your child are stuck between the two sports, sign your child up for one class for each sport that way your child will get to know the difference and pick which one he/she likes. It does not hurt to try divergent things, plus your child will learn the differences this way.

Please feel free to comment below to give any advice, feedback, experiences, or anything else that involves the subject of tumbling and gymnastics.

4 Comments on “Gymnastics or Tumbling: Which is Better for Your Child?”

  1. Thank you for explaining that gymnastics can be started young. I’ve been thinking about enrolling my daughter in gymnastics and have been wondering if she is too young to start, since she’s five. I’ll be sure to ask around because it seems like it would be a good time to start her on it.

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