A Complete Guide to Floor Music for Gymnastics

gymnast dancing

Floor music for gymnastics is an essential part of any gymnast’s routine. It can help to motivate and inspire them, and it can also help to create a sense of excitement and anticipation for the audience. There are many different types of floor gymnastics music available, so it’s vitally important to choose the right music for your routine.

Read on to unlock the power of music in gymnastics and take your routines to the next level!

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While the focus is often on the physical aspects of gymnastics, the role of music in gymnastics is just as important. Music can help gymnasts to enhance their performance and add an artistic element to their routines.

There are many benefits to using floor gymnastics music, including:

  • Motivate and inspire you during your routine.
  • Set the tone and mood for your routine.
  • Stay in sync with your movements.
  • Create a more dynamic and visually appealing routine.

Choosing the best Music

If you are looking for the best floor gymnastics music, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the style of music that you prefer. Do you like upbeat, fast-paced music, or do you prefer slower, more lyrical music?

Second, think about the mood that you want to create with your routine. Do you want to be energetic and exciting, or do you want to be more graceful and elegant?

gymnast performing to floor music

Finally, consider the level of difficulty of your routine. If you are a beginner, you may want to choose easier music that will allow you to focus on your technique. If you are more advanced, you may want to choose more challenging music that will push you to your limits.

When choosing music for your floor routine, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • The tempo of the music should be appropriate for the level of difficulty of your routine.
  • The style of the music should be compatible with the theme of your routine.
  • The volume of the music should be loud enough to be heard over the noise of the crowd, but not so loud that it drowns out your movements.

Gymnastics Music Rules

Only Women’s Artistic floor routines use music, the men have none. Traditionally, the expectation for female gymnasts to dance gracefully has been part of the sport. But who knows what future developments may bring… it’s possible that one day male gymnasts will also have music as part of their floor routines as well!

Rhythmic gymnasts also use music, but as many of you will know already, rhythmic gymnastics is a female-only discipline, at least as far as competitive events are concerned.

The only gymnastics disciplines that see male gymnasts perform to music are:

Music and Floor Routines

Floor exercise is one of the most important events in gymnastics, and music plays a critical role in this event. The music sets the tone for the athlete’s routine and helps to guide their movements. The right music can also help to enhance the emotional impact of the routine and create a memorable performance for the audience.

a gymnast practicing to floor music

Famous Gymnastics Songs

Here are ten iconic floor routines along with the songs that made them so memorable!

  1. Simone Biles, 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, “Medley: My All / The Voice Within” by Whitney Houston / Christina Aguilera
  2. Nadia Comăneci, 1976 Montreal Olympics, “The Swan” by Camille Saint-Saëns
  3. Aly Raisman, 2012 London Olympics, “Hava Nagila” by various artists
  4. Shawn Johnson, 2008 Beijing Olympics, “August’s Rhapsody” by Mark Mancina
  5. Nastia Liukin, 2008 Beijing Olympics, “Dark Eyes” by traditional Russian folk music
  6. Laurie Hernandez, 2016 Rio Olympics, “The Crazy Ones” by Paloma Faith
  7. Mary Lou Retton, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, “The Theme from The West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein
  8. Gabby Douglas, 2012 London Olympics, “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin
  9. Jordyn Wieber, 2011 World Championships, “African Drums” by various artists
  10. Katelyn Ohashi, 2019 Collegiate Challenge, “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner

Gymnastics Music with Lyrics

Gymnastics floor routines can have lyrics in their music. The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) rules allow gymnasts to perform routines to music that includes both instrumental and vocal parts. In fact, many gymnasts have chosen to perform to music with lyrics in recent years.

Some famous examples include Simone Biles’ routine set to “Medley: My All / The Voice Within” by Whitney Houston / Christina Aguilera and Laurie Hernandez’s routine set to “The Crazy Ones” by Paloma Faith.

However, it’s worth noting that the lyrics cannot contain offensive language or messages that go against the spirit of the sport. It’s also worth checking the rules for specific competitions to see if there are regulations regarding music selection.

The rules regarding music for gymnastics floor routines have evolved. In the past, there were restrictions on the use of music with lyrics. For example, during the 1980s and early 1990s, the FIG required that all music used in gymnastics competitions be instrumental.

However, this rule was changed in the mid-1990s, and since then, gymnasts have been allowed to use music with lyrics in their floor routines, as long as the lyrics do not contain any inappropriate or offensive content.

Today, music with lyrics is quite common in gymnastics floor routines, and many gymnasts choose to perform to songs that have meaningful lyrics or that help them connect with the audience.

Disney Music

Disney does allow its music to be used in gymnastics routines, but permission must be obtained from the company in advance. This is because Disney owns the rights to a large catalog of music from its movies, TV shows, and theme parks, and it’s important to obtain permission and pay any necessary fees to use this music in public performances.

Gymnasts or their coaches should contact Disney’s licensing department to request permission to use specific Disney songs in their routines. It’s worth noting that Disney may not grant permission for certain songs or may require certain conditions or fees to use their music, so it’s important to plan and communicate with Disney’s licensing department in advance.

Prohibited Music

Yes, there have been examples of music not being granted use in gymnastics routines or other public performances. Cirque du Soleil, for example, is known for its elaborate acrobatic performances set to music. However, the company is very protective of its music and other intellectual property and has taken legal action against individuals and organizations who have used their music without permission.

cirque floor music

Plenty of musicians and record labels have been known to sue individuals or organizations for unauthorized use of their music, so it’s important to obtain permission and pay any necessary fees before using copyrighted music in public performances.

Music and Judging

In gymnastics competitions, judges evaluate the athlete’s performance based on many factors, including technique, difficulty, and artistry. Music can play a role in the artistry score, as it is used to enhance the athlete’s performance and create a sense of emotion and drama.

In my experience as a judge at competitions, good use of music can influence the judge’s perception of the whole routine. Whilst technically it shouldn’t have a positive or negative effect on execution scores, the reality is that it can influence the judges’ subconscious. This is especially evident when there is a vocal audience that really gets behind the gymnast and becomes part of the routine.

Music can invoke a lot of emotion!

Music as a Training Tool

Music can also be used as a tool to aid in training. Gymnasts can use music to help them develop their rhythm, timing, and coordination. They can also use music to help them visualize their routines and practice their movements to the beat of the music. This can help them to develop muscle memory and improve their overall performance.

The Future of Music in Gymnastics

As gymnastics continues to evolve as a sport, the role of music is likely to become even more important. With advances in technology and new music styles emerging, gymnasts will have more options than ever before for selecting music that enhances their performance and artistic expression.

There’s an in-depth article on future gymnastics trends that I’ve written here.


In conclusion, the role of music in gymnastics is significant and cannot be ignored. Music has the power to enhance performance, aid in training, and create an emotional impact on the audience. Gymnasts should carefully select music that matches their style and personality, and that enhances the artistic quality of their routines. With the right music, gymnasts can achieve their full potential and create memorable performances that leave a lasting impression on the audience.


How long can Xcel Gold floor music be?

The floor routine for Xcel Gold is a maximum of 1 minute.

What is a floor routine in gymnastics?

In artistic gymnastics, a floor routine is a sequence of tumbling passes, flexibility and acrobatic skills. Women choreograph routines to music and include dance and artistry to enhance the performance.

Why do women’s floor routines have music?

Traditionally women have been expected to include dance and elegant movements as part of their routines. The inclusion of music helps enhance the rhythm and beauty of their routines.

Can you make your own floor music?

Yes, gymnasts can use their own music which would ensure a truly original routine. Alternatively, they can cut pieces of other tracks together to create something new. Always check the rules of a competition for exact requirements.

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