The Future of Gymnastics
It might not yet have the glamour and global reach that some of the worlds biggest sports do, however the world of gymnastics is rapidly increasing in popularity. It is a diverse sport that consists of performances that demonstrate a variety of skill sets and in order to make it in the world of gymnastics you need to be able to effectively display strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, balance, power, control and grace. In fact gymnasts are considered to be amongst the fittest athletes in the world!
Practising gymnastics will tone, strengthen and enhance your entire body’s overall fitness. After all it was originally developed by the Roman’s to prepare their legions, both physically and mentally, for warfare. There is a reason why this sport has lasted through the ages and continued to grow in popularity, it requires determination and perseverance and keeps the human body working at its optimal level by developing and strengthening both physical and mental capacities. In fact the level of fitness obtained by gymnastic athletes is second to none in relation to physical strength vs weight.
It is not by accident that gymnastics is so effective, it has a long and interesting history. The modernisation of gymnastics came about in the late 1700’s, which makes gymnastics one of the greats in sport histories. It was in this time that the introduction of the parallel bars, horizontal bars, side bars, balancing beams and jumping events were introduced by a German man named Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. Gymnastic was first introduced to the modern Olympics in 1896 (for men) and has been a regular event since 1924, and in 1936 the all-around events for females was introduced, with the introduction of separate events added in 1952.
To this day gymnastics is still evolving and there is always room to learn and improve. Many famous celebrities have started off their careers in the gymnastics industry. With names such as Salma Hayek, Pink, Beyoncé, Anna Paquin and Miranda Kerr all having a passion for the sport at some time in their lives. And it’s not just the female celebrities that have been applying themselves, Richard Gere was awarded a scholarship for men’s gymnastics when he attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Even the bodybuilding and fitness legend Arnold Schwarzenegger himself promotes gymnastics and all its health benefits.
The specific conditioning required to prepare the body to advance through the world of gymnastics works on strength, flexibility, agility, control, and power. The benefits of working on these skills include improved cardiovascular performance, improved muscle development and improved joint health. Flexibility is an integral part of gymnastics, and a skill that is often overlooked in most other sports. Working on increasing and maintaining flexibility promotes good circulation, improves joint mobility and also helps to prevent injury, not only when practising sport, but also in everyday life! The more flexible your body is, the better equipped it is to deal with accidents where the body is subjected to rough movement.
And It’s not just the physical body that benefits from regular practice of gymnastics, the sport also requires control, coordination and grace and has you utilising both the left and right hemispheres of your brain. Gymnasts display a level of determination and discipline that is to be commended and the results are easily recognised in their ability to perform exercises and routines that would leave most people amazed.
Gymnastics is a sport for both children and adults alike. In children it helps create the foundation for good health, both mentally and physically, as well as potentially providing them with a future career as an athlete. It it never too late to start though, the physical (and mental) benefits to be gained from practising gymnastics are significant no matter what age you are.
With new practices being added and new athletes applying themselves and achieving amazing results, the future of gymnastics looks dynamic and exciting to say the least!