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Freerunning and gymnastics the same? Here are the differences!
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Freerunning and gymnastics the same? Here are the differences!

If you've been practicing the sport of Freerunning for a while, you will undoubtedly have heard it before. Someone who says: "Freerunning is a kind of gymnastics but on the street?" To help clear up this misunderstanding, we describe the differences between Freerunning and gymnastics in this blog!

Similarities Between Freerunning and Gymnastics

It is of course not very strange that outsiders compare the 2 sports. There are also a number of similarities. For example, some elements are the same, for example a forward or backward somersault is reflected in both sports.

Other elements

A number of elements therefore correspond, but with Freerunning you still have many tricks that you will not see in a gymnastics hall. Examples of this are the wallflip, as in the photo above, but also the cork, palmflip and so on. In addition to flips, there are also a lot of other parkour elements that suit freerunning. Examples of this are vaults such as the kong, dash, speedstep, but also jumps such as playos and strides are not found in gymnastics. In fact, at Freerunning you can also come up with your own tricks, everything is fine as long as you enjoy it. While in gymnastics there are fixed elements that you have to master.

No rules

In my opinion, the biggest difference between the two sports is that there are no rules in Freerunning. In gymnastics there are strict rules that you have to follow, while during freerunning you are completely free to do as you want. Pay attention! There are of course safety rules in freerunning, you can read more about this in the blog: You should pay attention to this while freerunning


Creativity is a big part of Freerunning. You can be as creative as you want with any environment. You decide what to do where and when. You can come up with a new trick or develop your own style. There is often no room for that in gymnastics.

No soft materials 

At Freerunning you originally do not use resilient materials. Trampolines, airtracks and tubling lanes are therefore not really used. You can of course use this when practicing new tricks. In gymnastics, a lot of use is made of a resilient gymnastics floor, springboards and trampolines.

Especially training outside

In any case, freerunning does not actually take place indoors. Originally, the sport is practiced outdoors, especially on stone walls and other hard obstacles. You only do gymnastics in a gymnastics hall. Nowadays there are parkour gyms where you can freerun indoors, but these look completely different from a gym.

No stretched toes

In the sport of gymnastics, the emphasis is very much on the execution of your exercises. There should always be tension on your body and your toes should be straight at all times. In freerunning, the execution is certainly also looked at, but slightly less strict. Everyone can develop their own style, so there is no one right way.

Way of training

Another big difference is in the way of training. If you want to gymnastics, you can do this at a local gymnastics association. If you want to freerun, you can take a freerun class, for example at Minded Motion. In addition, you can practice the learned tricks outside on your own initiative. Freerunning can be done anywhere. Since freerunning is still an emerging sport, there is a relatively small community of people who practice the sport. There is a very nice atmosphere in this community. Everyone wants to help each other and learn from each other. Events, camps and jams are therefore regularly organized. Then all kinds of freerunners from all over the country come together to train. This of course makes the sport extra fun.


When it comes to competitions, the sport is very different. In gymnastics you have the parts: floor, beam, bridge and jump. In freerunning you don't have parts but different types of competitions. For example, you can participate in speed competitions, where you want to complete a course as quickly as possible. In a style competition you can come up with your own run and it is then judged on execution, difficulty, creativity and flow. Sometimes other competitions are also organized such as skill and tag competitions. In a skill competition you have to perform all kinds of challenges correctly. In a tag match you try to tap an opponent within the time in a field with obstacles.

In short, in gymnastics and freerunning you are both busy making cool tricks and flips. Furthermore, there are a lot of factors that distinguish the two sports from each other. Which of the two sports do you prefer?

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