Which Gymnastics Event Is The Easiest? (Ranked)

gymnast medals

Many people wonder which gymnastics event is the easiest, but this is a difficult question to answer as different people are suited to different events because of their strengths and weaknesses.

However, in this article, I look in-depth at each gymnastics event and analyze the key things that a gymnast needs to be successful in each one in an honest attempt to decide which one is the easiest.

Let’s get started!

Gymnastics Event List

Before we can rank the gymnastics events in terms of difficulty, let’s first take a look at all of the events.

Gymnastics EventDisciplineMale or Female
Floor ExerciseWomen’s Artistic
Men’s Artistic
Male and Female
VaultWomen’s Artistic
Men’s Artistic
Male and Female
Uneven BarsWomen’s ArtisticFemale
Balance BeamWomen’s ArtisticFemale
High BarMen’s ArtisticMale
Pommel HorseMen’s ArtisticMale
Parallel BarsMen’s ArtisticMale
RingsMen’s ArtisticMale
Hoop, Ball, Clubs, Ribbon, RopeRhythmicFemale
TumblingTumblingMale and Female
Individual TrampolineTrampolineMale and Female
Synchronised TrampolineTrampolineMale and Female
Double Mini TrampolineTrampolineSynchronized Trampoline

Each discipline can be made up of multiple events. For example, Women’s Artistic has four events (floor, vault, uneven bars and beam) however Men’s Artistic has six (floor, vault, high bar, pommel horse, rings and parallel bars).

Some gymnasts are considered all-around and will compete in all of the events whereas others will specialize in just one or two. As gymnasts get older, they are more likely to specialize to prolong their careers and reduce the extremely long training hours needed to be an all-around gymnast.

In my opinion, vault gymnastics is probably the easiest artistic event.

This is because it is the quickest – a vault takes less than 10 seconds from start to finish. It doesn’t require as much upper body strength as other events like bars or rings and it doesn’t have multiple hard impacts like a floor routine would require.

Some of the oldest gymnasts to keep competing at the highest level have been vault specialists. The oldest vault gymnasts in recent times are:

  • Ri Se-Gwang (32 years old) North Korea
  • Marian Dragulescu (36 years old) Romania
  • Oksana Chusovitina (42 years old) Germany / Uzbekistan

Of course, not every gymnast excels at the gymnastics vault, and they would most likely disagree with me!

Event ranking

This table breaks down each discipline into its events and I have ranked the physical characteristics needed to excel at each one. WAG is the abbreviation for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, MAG is for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics.

EventDisciplineUpper Body
Lower Body
High BarMAG534333021
Parallel BarsMAG534233020
VaultWAG / MAG324531018
Rankings out of 5

This table highlights that Vault relies on speed and power but not much else in terms of physical attributes. Other events require high levels of all-around physical attributes.

Competition scoring

At competitions, gymnasts earn their scores in two ways. The first is through the difficulty score – the harder the skill they perform, the higher the value. The second is through execution. This is usually out of ten and gymnasts lose points for errors that they make.

Vault scores can have a higher average compared to other events because judges are only marking a small number of things such as take-off and landing. Whereas in a floor routine or bar routine there will be eight or more skills that can each lose marks. Because of this, you could argue that vault is easier to get a consistently high score on.

Is male or female gymnastics harder?

Most people would agree that in artistic gymnastics, male gymnastics is harder because there are six events as opposed to the four in Women’s Artistic. By the time gymnasts have reached the senior age groups, men will usually be performing skills with higher difficulties than women.

For example on the floor, the triple tuck has been competed by male gymnasts, but never females.

On Vault men regularly perform double somersaults but these are rarely performed by women on vault.

However, the floor routines performed by women have music and dance that the men don’t so you could argue that these are harder to perfect. The balance beam is another very hard apparatus only competed by women and the flexibility and balance needed would be nearly impossible for the taller, bulkier male gymnasts.

Alternative gymnastics disciplines

Most gymnastics fans are familiar with Artistic gymnastics events, but there are actually 11 gymnastics disciplines in total.

Many people consider Artistic events the hardest because of the long training hours needed to master all of the apparatus. Events in other disciplines can be considered easier because they focus on one event and gymnasts can reach the top level of that discipline without the high workload of Artistic.

What are the easiest gymnastics disciplines?

Which disciplines can be mastered more easily? Remember that even the ‘easier’ disciplines require high levels of physical conditioning and mental strength. This often leads to gymnasts retiring early.

Double Mini Trampoline

Gymnasts run onto the DMT perform one somersault that lands on the top of the trampoline then jump immediately into another somersault that lands on the mat.

Double Mini Trampoline doesn’t require huge amounts of upper body strength or flexibility but it does create some huge (and dangerous) somersaults.

Aerobic Gymnastics

Aerobic gymnastics is often overlooked because it is so different from the other disciplines however it is one of the eight recognized FIG disciplines and has competitions all the way up to world championships.

It involves high-intensity movements and flexibility to music but doesn’t involve flips or other harder gymnastics skills.

Acrobatic Gymnastics

Acro combines dance and lower-level tumbling with balances in both groups and pairs.

acrobatic gymnastics event
Acrobatic gymnastics

Although the tumbling skills are not that hard, the balances do require precision and are spectacular to watch. Acrobatic gymnastics doesn’t demand the 30 – 40 hours of training per week that Artistic does, so could be considered easier.

Final Thoughts

Vault gymnastics in my opinion is the easiest of the artistic events to excel in but this does depend on the individual gymnast and their physical attributes. Artistic is always considered the hardest of all the gymnastics disciplines because of the wide range of skills needed and high training hours needed.

If you are wondering if gymnastics is harder than football, definitely check out my article here which answers that very question!


What is the easiest event in men’s gymnastics?

Vault is the easiest event for many male gymnasts as it is quick and requires less flexibility than floor exercise. When gymnasts get older they often specialize in one event so they can prolong their career. Vault is a popular choice for specialists closely followed by Pommel Horse.

What is gymnastics difficulty?

From a scoring perspective gymnastics difficulty relates to the value attached to each individual skill. These values are set by the FIG and listed in the code of points. When a routine is performed it can then be given an overall difficulty score, with harder routines being rewarded more by the judges.

What is the best level in women’s gymnastics?

Level 10 is the highest level in women’s gymnastics for those gymnasts taking the Development Program. It begins at Level 1 and if gymnasts reach the benchmark score at level 10 they are eligible to go into the elite program.