What is a Giant in Gymnastics?

July 16, 2023
David Sunnyside

A giant in gymnastics is a 360 degree swing through around the bar with the body fully extended. This is an advanced skill that can be preformed on uneven bars and high bar in women's artistic gymnastics, and the parallel bars, horizontal bar and rings in men's artistic gymnastics.

To do a giant the gymnast starts in a handstand position and swings to the bar. The gymnast then regrasps the bar with both hands. They then begin to hollow their body and shift their wrists as they pass through the bottom of the back swing. Upon the end of their front swing they reach a handstand position, if they continue into handstand then they can perform another giant or other skills.

This is a very difficult skill to learn as it takes a lot of power to create the necessary momentum to get around the bar. The gymnast also needs to make sure that they keep a proper body shape and have enough space between the legs as they move around the bar.

Giants are usually performed right before a dismount in order to generate sufficient momentum for a salto or twist. They can be preformed several times to build up the potential energy for the dismount.

When a gymnast is performing a giant they typically have a spotter (or coach) to assist them with the skill. A spotter is there to help the gymnast in many ways, from cueing the gymnast during the swing through helping them to hold their handstand or even carrying them if needed.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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