Explainer: How Gymnastics Evolved From “Exercise Naked” | World


Tokyo (AP) —The word gymnastics comes from the ancient Greek word “gymnazein” which means “exercise naked”.

One of the most beloved events of the Olympic Games today, the sport was born thousands of years ago when a young man was trained in war at the buff.

Throughout the history of the human body, in every corner of the globe, people have turned, rotated, and twisted to explore the limits of the human body. According to Britannica, Egyptian hieroglyphs represent backbends, and ancient Chinese stone carvings represent acrobats.

In today’s arenas, gymnasts compete in a series of so-called devices. Both men and women perform a tumbling routine called floor exercise to jump out of the vault. But other events are different. Men compete on the floor, vault, pommel horse, still ring, parallel bars, and horizontal bar for a total of six. Only four women compete with the balance beam and uneven bars added to the floor and vault.

That wasn’t always the case. Early gymnastics included activities such as rope climbing.

So how did gymnastics move from a young Greek training naked to a particular highly tuned event with a complex scoring system?

At the tournament, men swing around a leather-covered block with a handle called a pommel horse. This roughly mimicked the size and shape of a real animal in early iterations. According to the European Gymnastics Service, Alexander the Great, the King of Macedonia from 336 to 323 BC, trained Macedonian soldiers with similar equipment and practiced riding horses for battle.

Explainer: How Gymnastics Evolved From “Exercise Naked” | World

Source link Explainer: How Gymnastics Evolved From “Exercise Naked” | World

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