Best Answer

The word gymnastics is derived from the Greek word, gymnos, meaning nude, because gymnasts used to perform in the nude. Gymnastics was done by Ancient Greeks and Romans, but the first Olympics were not held until the late nineteenth century.

User Avatar

Wiki User

16y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar

Wiki User

14y ago

The origin of gymnastics dates centuries before the ancient Olympic game. Acrobats have entertained the Egyptian royalties about 7000 years ago. This can be deduced from the drawings on the ancient frescoes which depict that acrobats have jumped over the backs of bulls on the island of Crete during the Minoan Civilization during 2700 B.C. In China, ritual mass gymnastics were practiced as part of the art of 'Wushu'.

The word 'gymnastics' is derived from the Greek word 'gymon' which means naked. The reason behind this is that in ancient Greece, the male athletes trained and competed completely nude. The activities included under gymnastics at that point of time included running, jumping, Weightlifting, wrestling, throwing and swimming. The athletes trained and practiced in the 'palestra' which was a square open area that was completely walled and equipped with changing rooms and baths.

The Romans were not far behind and followed the Greeks to a point. The concept of gymnasium came into place where the Roman legions trained themselves. As a matter of fact, the wooden horse was a Roman innovation used to train the soldiers to mount and dismount horses quickly. However, the Romans never looked at gymnastics as a form of sports and also viewed the Greek practice of nudity and gymnastics with great distaste and as leading to the vice of homosexuality.

Then came the fall of the Roman Empire. Fortunately though, acrobatics survived and during the medieval times, the traveling minstrel shows included songs, stories and a lot of tumbling. Modern gymnastics was brought into picture by Johann GutsMuths from Germany who developed a complete program consisting of exercises that were designed to improve balance and suppleness and also the muscular strength of the body. Johann's follower, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn who was a gymnast teacher by profession developed three apparatus which are used till date. The apparatuses developed by Jahn were the high bar, the parallel bar and the rings.

Gymnastics became popular in Europe primarily as physical training for the military. Over the years gymnastics was limited to the military federations. But in the late 1800s civil federations were formed across Europe. In 1860 the first gymnastics club, the German Gymnasts club was formed which was the first of its kind. The European Gymnastics Federation was founded on July 23, 1881 and included representatives from Belgium, France and Netherlands. About 40 years later, this federation became the International Gymnastics Federation and had sixteen members.

Gymnastic Events

Gymnastics have evolved a long way since its origin in Greece. Here is the list of some events that have become very popular over the years and are part of some of the major competitions today:

  • Floor Exercise: Here an entire floor area is used for the event. Multiple saltos, still rings, twists and clear landings are very important in this event. In case of women performing this event, it usually includes a blend of choreographed exercises and music. The personality of the gymnast is exhibited in this event as it calls for total body control with a lot of flair and poise.
  • Parallel Bar: The underlying features of this event are the swing and flight. This is one of the most difficult apparatus.
  • Balancing Beam: Graceful routines have to be executed on a beam that is just four inches wide.
  • Uneven Bars: This event allows a gymnast to display upper body strength, split second timing and an aggressive approach. The basis of judgment is continuous fluid movement without any pauses and breaks.
Gymnastics and Olympics

Gymnastics is one of the oldest sports that have been part of the Olympics. The competitors performed a variety of events like wrestling and vaulting over the bulls that were classified under the gymnastics. It was only in the 1896 Olympic Games when events like rope climbing and club swinging were included. Women began competing in gymnastics competitions of the Olympic Games since 1928. They took part in team events. The individual apparatus events were included in the 1952 Olympic Games.

The rhythmic gymnastics were introduces in the Olympic Games in 1984 and at the Sydney Games in 2000, Trampolining was added with one event for the men and one for women.

This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What is the origin of the word gymnastics?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

What is the origin of the word gymnasts?

gymnasts come from gymnastics which comes from the greek word "Gymnos" meaning naked

Were did the word gymnastics come from?

Gymnastics came from the greek word "Gymnos" which means naked

What is a sentence using the word gymnastics?

Gymnastics are included in the Olympics. Sally excelled in gymnastics. Both males and females enjoy gymnastics.

How would you say 'gymnastics' in spanish?

In Spanish, the word for gymnastics is gimnasia

Can you use the word gymnastics in a sentence?

I like to watch the gymnastics team's performances.

What is suffix in gymnastics how does the suffix change the meaning of the base word?

The suffix in the word gymnastics is the ICS. The ICS changes the meaning of the base word by making it a study or system instead of a person.

How many syllables in gymnastics?

There are only three syllables in the word gymnastics. Gym-nas-tics.

Is gymnastics a noun?

Yes, the word 'gymnastics' is a noun, a common, abstract, uncountable noun; a word for exercises developing or displaying physical agility and coordination. The word gymnastics is an uncountable noun for an aggregate, a word representing an indefinite number of parts; aggregate nouns have no singular form.

Who inventioned gymnastic?

The Ancient Greeks invented gymnastics. :)

Is a gymnastics 'meet' a competition?

Yes, A gymnastics meet is a competition. It is just another word for a competition.

What is the origin of the word ballot?

the origin is where the word came from but the specific origin of the word ballot is latin root word.

What is he word for someone who is skilled in gymnastics?

A Gymnast