Published on November 12th, 2014 | by Fishing News0
A Short History of Gymnastics, from Ancient Greece to Modern Day
Today gymnastics is a popular sport practiced at various levels. It focuses on strength, coordination, graceful movement, and tumbling skills. In light of its widespread popularity today, it is interesting to take a look back at the history of this sport.
Beginnings in Ancient Greece
Gymnastics began in Ancient Greece as a way to attain a beautiful sculpted body. The first gymnastic classes for adults likely practiced activities such as wrestling, tumbling, and throwing, and coupled these exercises with cardio to provide a whole body workout. In Greek civilization, physical fitness and overall appearance was a priority, and becoming a skilled gymnast was a way to publicly display one’s attainment of this goal. The earliest form of gymnastics saw equal participation of men and women. Gymnastics for boys and girls was popular, as it promoted physical fitness at a young age. Unfortunately, with the fall of the Roman Empire, the practice of gymnastics fizzled and was not revived again until hundreds of years later.
Gymnastics in the Late Modern Era
Gymnastics was developed again in the late 1700s and was almost solely a sport for boys and men. This period in history is when gymnastics began to look like the modern day version, and included rings, a high bar, and parallel bars. Men’s gymnastics was first practiced at the Olympic level in 1896. Although there are many similarities with the sport today, there were strange exercises that are no longer associated with a gymnastics academy. These include rope climbing, high jumping, and short distance running, all of which are still practiced but have divided into their own sports.
Modern Day Gymnastics
In 1954, the first gymnastics competition was held that fully resembled what we now know as gymnastics. Adult gymnastic classes continued to gain popularity and women participated in greater numbers as the sport developed. Marcia Frederick became the first woman to win the World Gymnastics Championship in 1978. Today, gymnastics is one of the top 10 most widely watched sports in the world. Both as a spectator sport and one in which people actively participate, gymnastics is known and loved by people worldwide.
Local Gymnastics Classes
If you’re interested in joining a gymnastics academy, there is likely one in your neighborhood. Similar to its role in Ancient Greece, gymnastics is a way for children to develop social skills and to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. If you are a member of a gymnastics academy or you have any thoughts on the history of gymnastics, leave your comments below! Read more articles like this.