Women's Artistic Gymnastics demands body control, body awareness, suppleness, stamina, coordination, aptitude and courage. Routines are performed on 4 pieces of apparatus: Floor, uneven bars, beam and Vault.
The floor event occurs on a carpeted 12 m × 12 m square, called a "spring floor," which provides a firm surface allowing gymnasts to achieve extra height and a softer landing. A series of tumbling passes are performed to demonstrate flexibility, strength, balance, and power. Rules require that gymnasts touch each corner of the floor at least once during their routine. Female gymnasts perform a minute and thirty second long choreographed routine to instrumental music. These routines consist of tumbling passes, a series of jumps, several dance elements, acrobatic skill elements, and turns. Elite gymnasts may perform up to four tumbling passes that include three or more skills or "tricks".
On the uneven bars the gymnast navigates two horizontal bars set at different pre-set heights. Gymnasts perform swinging, circling, transitional, and release moves, as well as moves that pass through the handstand. Higher level gymnasts usually wear leather grips to ensure a grip is maintained on the bars while protecting hands from painful blisters and tears (known as rips). Gymnasts sometimes wet their grips with water from a spray bottle and then may apply chalk to their grips to prevent the hands from slipping.
One of the most difficult apparatus, which requires the highest level of perfection. The gymnast performs a choreographed routine from 70 to 90 seconds in length consisting of leaps, acrobatic skills, turns and dance elements on a padded spring beam. The event requires spectacular balance, flexibility and strength. The beam is 125 cm (4') high, 500 cm (16') long, and 10 cm (3.9") wide.
A gymnast sprints down a runway and leaps onto a spring board. directing her body hands-first towards the vault and then rotates her body (twists & Somersaults) to land in a standing position on the far side of the vault. A gymnast sprints down a runway, which is a maximum of 25 meters in length, before leaping onto a spring board. Harnessing the explosive energy of the spring, the gymnast directs his or her body hands-first towards the vault. Body position is maintained while vaulting the platform. The gymnast then rotates her body to land in a standing position on the far side of the vault. In advanced gymnastics, multiple twists and somersaults may be added before landing. Successful vaults depend on the speed of the run, the length of the hurdle, the power the gymnast generates from the legs and shoulder girdle, the kinesthetic awareness in the air, and the speed of rotation in the case of more difficult and complex vaults.