Gymnastics – Concept, classification and benefits

We explain what gymnastics is and what types of gymnastics exist. In addition, the origin of this discipline and its health benefits.

Artistic gymnastics is an Olympic sport.

What is gymnastics?

Gymnastics is a sports discipline in which systematic sequences of physical exercises are performed where different bodily abilities are developed, such as strength or elasticity. Etymologically the word gymnastics comes from the Greek word γυμναστική and it has its translation into Spanish as “Athletic sports fan”.

Gymnastics is a practice whose origin dates back to thousands of years before Christ, with the Romans. At first the Romans then practiced gymnastics practices, such as horseback riding or walking; having as a reference and influence the exercises that the Greeks performed in circuses.

Of these Greek exercises they took the most violent aspects to consequently recreate the combats between gladiators. Subsequently, in the Middle Ages, it was only practiced by jesters, until it was claimed by characters like Luther.

Today gymnastics has several modalities, and can be practiced both for pleasure as well as for competitive purposes, educational and even therapeutic (the latter specially designed for health treatments).

Types of gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics incorporates elements of dance and ballet.

Today, gymnastics is professionally governed and organized by the International Gymnastics Federation. In this way, Gymnastics is made up of different disciplines:

  • Rhythmic. It stands out from the others, because it incorporates elements of dance and ballet. It has consistent background music and accessories such as ball, ribbon, rope, hoop, among others, can be used. In a competition they are evaluated in two types of categories, individually or together.
  • Acrobatic. It is practiced in a group and in addition to artistic or gymnastic movements, it includes acrobatics in which they are propelled as a group. Therefore it requires strength, coordination, precision and a lot of confidence.
  • Aerobics. Their movements come from aerobics, so the execution of the movement pattern includes variations in intensity. It is more intense.
  • On trampoline. This is executed on trampolines or the like.
  • Artistic. It resembles some of the previous ones, as it has choreography and movements that are performed at high speed. It is an Olympic sport.

Benefits of gymnastics

Like all sports, it is highly beneficial for health, but also due to the type of discipline, other skills are developed such as elasticity, speed, improves reaction capacity, improves reflexes, allows more coordination, there is greater body control than in other sports, helps to strengthen bodybuilding and articulation, among many other advantages.

Psychologically it also has certain benefits, allows to build self-confidence; and if it is in a group, it improves the ability to work in a team or in pairs, it allows to have more and better concentration and attention. Also, in competitive areas, it encourages self-improvement, tolerance for frustration, perseverance and a fighting spirit.