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What Is Gymnastics?


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Progressive Gymnastics – New Hyde Park, Long Island

The word gymnastics is derived from the Greek word gymnazein, which means exercising without clothes. Gymnastics is an activity involving performance of exercise which required physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, concentration, balance and grace. It is a derivation from the exercises taught to the ancient soldiers to develop their strength such as mounting and dismounting of a horse and skills like circus acts.


Gymnastics was one of the sports in first the Olympic game held in Athens, 1896. In the eighteenth century two physical educators Johann Friedrich Gutsmuths and Friedrich Ludwig Jhan created exercise for young men on apparatus they had designed. The early models of the horizontal bar, the parallel bar, the vaulting horse ultimately led to what is modern gymnastics. In 1896 the gymnastics was added to the modern Olympics. There are six disciplines in gymnastics approved and regulated by its controlling organization named the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique. These are artistic gymnastic, rhythmic gymnastics, trampolining and power tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics, aerobics gymnastics, general gymnastics.


To know more about gymnastics we should look into the above mentioned six disciplines.


Artistic gymnastic is one of the most popular disciplines. Artistic gymnastics is usually divided into men’s and women’s gymnastics. It showcases various sequences of movement that exhibits strength, grace and agility. In artistic gymnastics, men compete in six events such as the floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bar and high bar while women compete in four events such as vault, uneven bars, balance beam and the floor exercise. Male gymnasts need to be strong to do well in their events while women gymnasts need to be able to stretch their bodies well and have good balance. Rhythmic gymnastics has five separate routines. Each uses different equipment such as ball, ribbon, hoops, ropes and clubs. Aerobic gymnastics combines gymnastic skill with dance rhythm. In this event the gymnasts have to perform their routine non-stop with excellent timing. Acrobatic gymnastics is a lot like aerobic gymnastics, but the gymnast has to balance more and do harder movements. The gymnast should not stop jumping when they are on the trampoline. They make all harder moves in mid air.


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