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How gymnastics has evolved

Author:Admin │ Publication Date:2021-06-21 

Gymnastics is a sport with a long history and is one of the more popular sports in modern times. It started out as a training and fitness aid, in preparation for future military service, and only later developed into a sporting activity.

     Early Gymnastics

    The word gymnastics comes from the Greek word gymnos, meaning naked, and the combination of acrobatics and tumbling that we now call gymnastics was devised by the Greeks primarily as a method of balancing mind and body exercises to improve skills in combat. Because military training was necessary for the production of Greek citizens, and because the Greeks believed that training of body and mind were inseparable, gymnastics became a central part of ancient education, and it also provided a form of training for sports festivals throughout Greece, where it became an Olympic sport as early as 776 B.C. to 393 A.D.

      With the Fourth Macedonian War in 150 B.C., Rome not only took control of the entire Greek state, but also brought much of Greek civilization into Roman society, including gymnastics. The Roman Empire kept its armies in top fighting shape through gymnastics, and as the Roman Empire continued to expand, the seeds of gymnastics spread throughout the ancient world, all the way from Africa to Britain.

      Eventually, in 393 AD, with the Emperor Theodosius declaring the Greek Olympics illegal, gymnastics began to decline and was almost forgotten by the average Roman citizen.

      Like many classical Greco-Roman sports, it was during the Renaissance in the 16th century that gymnastics saw a revival. It wasn't until the early 19th century, when German physician Friedrich Ludwig Jahn developed a series of exercises for young people, that gymnastics began to make significant leaps forward. After the introduction of the pommel horse, bars, bars, balance beam, ladders and vault, gymnastics became so popular that Jahn is generally considered the father of modern gymnastics. Jahn's techniques became so popular that his gymnastic skills were adopted by the U.S. military in the late 19th century to improve physical combat skills. Gymnastics gained a place at the first Summer Olympics in 1896 and has been an Olympic sport ever since.

Modern Gymnastics

      In 1811, Jahn opened a school in Berlin to promote his version of the sport, followed by numerous clubs in Europe and later England. The sport was introduced to the United States by Dr. Dudley Allen Sargent, who taught Civil War gymnastics at several American universities and was credited with inventing more than 30 pieces of apparatus. Much of the growth of American gymnastics was centered on the activities of European immigrants who introduced the sport to their new cities in the 1880s. Clubs were formed in the form of Turnverein and Sokol groups, and gymnasts were often referred to as "agents. Modern gymnastics excludes some traditional events such as weightlifting and wrestling, and emphasizes form rather than individual confrontation.

Modern Competition

      Men's gymnastics was added to the schedule of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and has been on the Olympic agenda since 1924. Women's gymnastics began with the all-around competition in 1936 and was joined by the individual competitions beginning in 1952. The dominant men's gymnasts in the early Olympic competitions came from Germany, Sweden, Italy and Switzerland, the countries where the sport first developed. By the 1950s, however, Japan, the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries began to produce leading male and female gymnasts.

      Modern gymnastics gained considerable popularity with the performances of Olga Kolbout of the Soviet Union in 1972 and Nadia Comaneci of Romania in 1976. As these spectacular performances were widely covered on television, gymnastics as a sport gained unprecedented publicity, and the Soviet Union, Japan, East and West Germany, and other Eastern European countries began to promote gymnastics, especially women's gymnastics; this also included China and the United States.

      There are six men's and four women's events in modern international competition. Men's events include rings, double bars, bars, side or pommel horse, long horse or vault, and floor (or free) sports. These events emphasize upper body strength and flexibility as well as acrobatics. The women's events are vault, balance beam, uneven bars and free gymnastics, performed to musical accompaniment. These activities combine graceful dance movements with strength and acrobatic skills. In the United States, tumbling and trampoline exercises are also included in many competition events.

      The international competition team consisted of six gymnasts. In the team competition, each gymnast performs on each piece of equipment and the team with the highest score wins. The all-around champion also has a separate competition that requires a separate performance on each piece of equipment, with the highest total score, winning.

      Another type of women's competitive gymnastics is called artistic gymnastics, which has been an Olympic sport since 1984. No acrobatic tricks are used. Artistic gymnasts perform graceful, dance-like movements while holding objects such as moving balls, hoops, ropes, ribbons or Indian sticks to musical accompaniment. Routines for six gymnasts are performed individually or as a group.
Scoring Rules.

      Gymnastics competitions are judged and scored on an individual and team basis. Each participant must perform the required number of specific types of movements on each piece of equipment. Judges rate each participant on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest score. Gymnasts seek to perform the most difficult moves with the most grace to achieve better scores.


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