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Event in gymnastics competition consisting of various ballet and tumbling movements (including jumps, somersaults, and handstands) performed without apparatus. Women's routines are performed with musical accompaniment, men's routines without it. The whole routine must be performed with rhythm and harmony and must be designed to use a major portion of an area 12 m (39 ft 4 in.) square. It was included as an Olympic medal event for men in 1936 and for women in 1952.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on floor exercise, visit Britannica.com.