Gymnastics is a sports discipline known throughout the world that, to achieve its execution, requires the movement of all parts of the body, helping to strengthen the muscular system and the acquisition of a higher level of flexibility, after each practice.
Today’s popular gymnastics has its origins in the Egyptian civilization, where it was represented through circus acrobatics and human pyramids. Likewise, there are historical records that show the presence of “trampolines” in ancient Greece, used to do somersaults, while the Romans adopted the “wooden horse” as a means of training for warriors.
All these practices that took place more than 4500 years BC, were oriented under a popular line of thought, which was combined with the religious and the military. Thus, this series of exercises, which were not yet called gymnastics, continued to evolve.
Centuries later the term gymnastics arises in Central Europe. His practice consisted of acrobatic movements, but they added races to gain more momentum in each execution. At that time, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn created the gymnastics parallel bars and, due to a series of political activities, the practices were limited to closed spaces. In this way, the use of apparatus was emphasized, which required a greater physical demand on the part of the athletes.
The evolution of this activity continued at the hands of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, who founded the first gymnastics club, which was the starting point for the emergence of societies of this type in much of Europe. Thus, in 1881, the “European Gymnastics Federation” was formed, which 40 years later, already in 1921, changed its name to “International Gymnastics Federation”, whose internal codes did not allow the practice of sport for a religious or political purpose.. In addition, they created a series of rules for the celebration of friendly matches between athletes from different organizations.
Time continued to pass and, with it, the discipline of gymnastics grew until it was integrated into the sports of the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens. As expected, the sport fascinated people, so, from then on, new techniques and more adept at the practice emerged.
Modern gymnastics: Competition and apparatus used
To speak of modern gymnastics is to refer to what could be the oldest sports practice in the world, which managed to evolve and remain current over the years. Said Olympic sport, obtained such growth with respect to the variety of its techniques, that it was necessarily divided into subcategories. Hence, some people comment on the types of gymnastics.
In this sense, we can say that Olympic gymnastics is made up of five modalities: trampoline, acrobatic, rhythmic, aerobic and artistic gymnastics. Each of them is characterized by the use of different elements.
For example, on the trampoline athletes do somersaults to which they add turns, tempos and flic-flac. For its part, the acrobatic modality includes the floor, the pommel horse, the bars, the jump, the rings and the parallel bars; while, in rhythmic gymnastics, the athlete is accompanied by elements such as the ball, the ribbon, the hoop and the clubs. There is also aerobic gymnastics, performed on the ground and in which knee elevations, lunges, marching, high kicks, jogging and jumping jack stand out.
Regarding the artistic gymnastics apparatus, we have a small similarity with the acrobatic modality. For example, the artistic gymnastics vault, the vaulting horse, the rings and the well-known artistic gymnastics floor. Additionally, there is the pommel, the bridge, the artistic gymnastics bar and the balance beams.
All these objects are accompanied by a series of acrobatic movements with speed variation, whose purpose is to create a choreographic composition of great visual appeal. In fact, the competition can be for teams or individually. Of course, maintaining the gender distinction, because men’s artistic gymnastics is separated from women’s artistic gymnastics.
It is important to comment in a general way, that the judges usually evaluate aspects such as agility and precision in the movements, control of the apparatus, originality in the execution, among other aspects, in each executed routine.
About artistic gymnastics
Artistic gymnastics is one of the modalities of modern gymnastics, which usually captures the attention of those attending competitions, since it is a discipline in which you can enjoy a series of elegant movements by the athlete. Next, we mention some curiosities of interest about this sport.
Benefits for the practitioner
Artistic gymnastics not only offers an attractive visual spectacle, it is also a sport with great benefits for the practitioner. Among them, we can mention that, thanks to artistic gymnastics, it is possible to encourage the sense of rhythm, it allows to acquire a correct body posture from an early age and creates habits of discipline in the person.
In addition, it promotes emotional stability, because in each performance the athlete will have to appear in front of a specific audience, appearing confident, focused and uninhibited.
Artistic gymnastics and body growth
For years, it has been said that the practice of gymnastics pauses the growth of girls, which is completely false, since the height of the human being is determined by genetics and diet.
Of course, the majority of gymnasts who stand out in this discipline tend to be thin and short, since these conditions allow them to have greater agility and grace when moving.
Artistic gymnastics has been practiced since childhood
It is a fact that, between the ages of four and five, the body has greater flexibility and motor capacity to begin the practice of rhythmic gymnastics. However, age is not a limitation to start in this sport. There are many athletes who have started their practices in the stage of adolescence or adulthood, achieving good results in their performance.
Gymnastics, in any of its modalities, is a practice that requires physical effort. The workouts are usually intense, but with a good diet, staying hydrated and monitoring performance through a smart bracelet in each practice, you will be able to strengthen your body without deteriorating your health and, in turn, you will acquire the necessary techniques.