AskDefine | Define gymnastics

Dictionary Definition

gymnastics n : a sport that involves exercises intended to display strength and balance and agility [syn: gymanstic exercise]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

Greek γυμνάσια (gumnasia), athletic training or exercise, from γυμνός (gumnos), naked.

Noun

  1. A sport involving the performance of sequences of movements requiring physical strength, flexibility, and kinesthetic awareness.
    Gymnastics was a significant part of the physical education curriculum.
  2. Complex intellectual or artistic exercises or feats of physical agility.
    His mental gymnastics are legendary.

Translations

a sport
  • German: Turnen
  • Hungarian: gimnasztika, torna
complex intellectual or artistic exercise
  • German: Gymnastik

Extensive Definition

This article is about the general sport. For the Olympic event, see Artistic gymnastics.
Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, agility and coordination. The modern form of gymnastics typically involves exercises on uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and vault (for women), and high bar and parallel bars, still rings, floor exercise, vault, and pommel horse (for men). It evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks, including skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and circus performance skills.

History

To the Ancient Greeks, physical fitness was paramount, and all Greek cities had a gymnasia, a courtyard for jumping, running, and wrestling. As the Roman Empire ascended, Greek gymnastics gave way to military training. The Romans, for example, introduced the wooden horse. In 393 AD the Emperor Theodosius abolished the Olympic Games, which by then had become corrupt, and gymnastics, along with other sports declined. Later, Christianity, with its medieval belief in the base nature of the human body, had a deleterious effect on gymnastics. For centuries, gymnastics was all but forgotten.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, however, two pioneer physical educators – Johann Friedrich GutsMuth (1759 – 1839) and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778 – 1852) - created exercises for boys and young men on apparatus they designed that ultimately led to what is considered modern gymnastics. In particular, Jahn crafted early models of the horizontal bar, the parallel bars (from a horizontal ladder with the rungs removed), and the vaulting horse. Unfortunately, even with Nadia's perfect scores, the Romanians lost the gold medal to the Soviets. Nadia will always be remembered as "a fourteen year old, ponytailed little girl" who showed the world that perfection could be achieved.
In 2006, a new points system was put into play. Instead of being marked 1 to 10, the gymnast's start value depends on the difficulty rating of the exercise routine. Also, the deductions became higher: before the new point system developed, the deduction for a fall was 0.5, and now it is 0.8. The motivation for a new point system was to decrease the chance of gymnasts getting a perfect score. The sport can include children as young as three years old and sometimes younger doing kindergym and children's gymnastics, recreational gymnasts of all ages, competitive gymnasts at varying levels of skill, as well as world class athletes.

Forms

Artistic gymnastics

Artistic Gymnastics is usually divided into Men's and Women's Gymnastics. Each group does different events; Men compete on Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and High Bar, while women compete on Vault, Uneven Bars, Beam, and Floor Exercise. In some countries, women at one time competed on the rings, high bar, and parallel bars (for example, in the 1950s in the USSR). Though routines performed on each event may be short, they are physically exhausting and push the gymnast's strength, flexibility, endurance and awareness to the limit.
Traditionally, at the international level, competitions on the various apparatus consisted of two different performance categories: compulsory and optional. For the compulsory event, each gymnast performing on a specific apparatus executed the same required routine. At the optional level, the gymnast performed routines that he or she choreographed. Nowadays, each country may use compulsory and optional routines at their discretion in the training of young gymnasts.

Women's events

As with the women, male gymnasts are also judged on all of their events, for their execution, degree of difficulty, and overall presentation skills.

Rhythmic gymnastics

The discipline of rhythmic gymnastics is competed only by women (although there is a new version of this discipline for men being pioneered in Japan, see Men's rhythmic gymnastics), and involves the performance of five separate routines with the use of five apparatus — ball, ribbon, hoop, clubs, rope — on a floor area, with a much greater emphasis on the aesthetic rather than the acrobatic. Rhythmic routines are scored out of a possible 20 points, and the music used by the gymnast can contain vocals, but may not contain words.

Trampolining and Tumbling

Trampolining and Tumbling consists of four events, individual, synchronized, double mini and power tumbling. Only individual trampoline is included in the Olympics. Individual routines in trampolining involve a build-up phase during which the gymnast jumps repeatedly to achieve height, followed by a sequence of ten leaps without pauses during which the gymnast performs a sequence of aerial skills. Routines are marked out of a maximum score of 10 points. Additional points (with no maximum at the highest levels of competition) can be earned depending on the difficulty of the moves. Synchronized trampoline is similar except that both competitors must perform the routine together and marks are awarded for synchronicity as well as the form of the moves. Double mini trampoline involves a smaller trampoline with a run-up, two moves are performed and the scores marked in a similar manner to individual trampoline. In power tumbling, athletes perform an explosive series of flips and twists down a sprung tumbling track. Scoring is similar to trampolining.

Display gymnastics

General gymnastics enables people of all ages and abilities to participate in performance groups of 6 to more than 150 athletes. They perform synchronized, choreographed routines. Troupes may be all one gender or mixed. There are no age divisions in general gymnastics. The largest general gymnastics exhibition is the quadrennial World Gymnaestrada which was first held in 1939.

Aerobic gymnastics

Aerobic gymnastics (formally Sport Aerobics) involves the performance of routines by individuals, pairs, trios or groups up to 6 people, emphasizing strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness rather than acrobatic or balance skills. Routines are performed on a small floor area and generally last 60-90 seconds.

Acrobatic Gymnastics

Acrobatic Gymnastics (formerly Sports Acrobatics), often referred to as acrobatics, "acro" sports or simply sports acro, is a group gymnastic discipline for both men and women. Acrobats in groups of two, three and four perform routines with the heads, hands and feet of their partners. They may pick their own music, but lyrics or Disney music are not allowed.
Performers must compete in preparatory grades A and B, then move on to grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; by 3, 4 and 5 two routines are required, one for balances and another for tempos.

TeamGym

TeamGym originates from Scandinavia and this particular type of Gymnastics has been a major event for over 20 years. A team in this sport can have from 6 to 12 members, either all male, all female or a mixed squad. The team shows three disciplines, Trampette, Tumbling and Floor.
In every run of Tumbling and Trampette only six gymnasts compete. They stream their abilities (meaning that one gymnast goes after one another very quickly) The best move is the one performed last. Both are performed to music.

Former apparatus & events

Rope Climb

see Rope climbing Generally, competitors climbed either a 6m (6.1m = 20 ft in USA) or an 8m (7.6m = 25 ft in USA), 38mm (1.5") diameter natural fiber rope for speed, starting from a seated position on the floor and using only the hands and arms. Kicking the legs in a kind of "stride" was normally permitted.

Flying Rings

see Flying Rings Flying Rings was an event similar to Still Rings, but with the performer swinging back and forth while executing a series of stunts. It was a gymnastic event sanctioned by both the NCAA and the AAU until the early 1960s.

Cautions

Gymnastics is considered to be a dangerous sport, due in part to the height of the apparatus, the speed of the exercises and the impact on competitors' joints, bones and muscles. In several cases, competitors have suffered serious, lasting injuries and paralysis after severe gymnastics-related accidents. For instance, in 1998, at the Goodwill Games, world-class Chinese artistic gymnast Sang Lan was paralyzed after falling on vault.
Artistic gymnastics injuries have been the subject of several international medical studies, and results have indicated that more than half of all elite-level participants may eventually develop chronic injuries. In the United States, injury rates range from a high 56% for high school gymnasts to 23% for club gymnasts. However, the rates for participants in recreational or lower-level gymnastics are lower than that of high-level competitors. Conditioning, secure training environments with appropriate mats, and knowledgeable coaching can also lessen the frequency or occurrence of injuries.

References

External links

  • FM Gymnastics- a list of Techniques and free animated comic tutorials for Floor Gymnastics.
gymnastics in Afrikaans: Gimnastiek
gymnastics in Arabic: جمباز
gymnastics in Bulgarian: Гимнастика
gymnastics in Bosnian: Gimnastika
gymnastics in Catalan: Gimnàstica
gymnastics in Czech: Gymnastika
gymnastics in Danish: Gymnastik
gymnastics in German: Gymnastik
gymnastics in Spanish: Gimnasia
gymnastics in Esperanto: Gimnastiko
gymnastics in French: Gymnastique
gymnastics in Icelandic: Fimleikar
gymnastics in Italian: Ginnastica
gymnastics in Georgian: ტანვარჯიში
gymnastics in Haitian: Jimnastik
gymnastics in Malay (macrolanguage): Gimnastik
gymnastics in Dutch: Gymnastiek (sport)
gymnastics in Japanese: 体操
gymnastics in Norwegian: Gymnastikk
gymnastics in Polish: Gimnastyka
gymnastics in Portuguese: Ginástica
gymnastics in Romanian: Gimnastică
gymnastics in Sanskrit: दाक्षम्
gymnastics in Simple English: Gymnastics
gymnastics in Slovak: Gymnastika
gymnastics in Serbian: Гимнастика
gymnastics in Serbo-Croatian: Gimnastika
gymnastics in Swedish: Gymnastik
gymnastics in Turkish: Jimnastik
gymnastics in Ukrainian: Гімнастика
gymnastics in Chinese: 体操

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Rugby, acrobatics, agonistics, association football, athletics, bathing, breather, calisthenics, constitutional, daily dozen, drill, eurythmics, exercise, exercising, gymnastic exercises, isometrics, natation, palaestra, physical culture, physical education, physical jerks, practice, rugger, setting-up exercises, soccer, sports, stretch, swimming, track, track and field, tumbling, workout, yoga
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