What is Gymnastics

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Gymnastics is a sport that requires the execution of exercises to demonstrate strength, flexibility and balance. It is a derivation from the exercises taught to ancient Greek soldiers to develop their strength such as the mounting and dismounting of a horse and skills in circus acts. Gymnastics, in the past, took place in a gymnasium where men were molded intellectually and physically.

There are six disciplines in Gymnastics approved and regulated by its controlling organization Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique. These are:

* Artistic gymnastics
* Rhythmic gymnastics
* Sports aerobics
* Sports acrobatics
* Trampolining
* General gymnastics
* Power Tumbling

Artistic Gymnastics

This is one of the most popular disciplines. It is divided into Men’s and Women’s gymnastics. It showcases various sequences of movements that exhibit strength, grace and agility.
General Gymnastics

This is also called group gymnastics because it is comprised of at least 6 to over 150 gymnasts which could be all men or all women or a mix of both. They are required to execute coordinated routines. There are no prohibitions when it comes to the age of the athletes in this sport.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

This is performed by women only. The athletes are made to execute their gymnastic routines using these five tools: ball ribbon, clubs, rope and hoop.

Sports aerobics require exercises that demands strength, agility and fitness instead of balance skills which often last 60-90 seconds.

Trampolining is comprised of four routines: individual, synchronized, double mini trampoline and power tumbling. The Olympics only accept the individual trampoline. This is done by doing consecutive ten leaps followed by a series of tumbling on air.

Training for gymnasts is rigid. Gymnasts often start training young. That is why, the parents’ assistance and support throughout the training years are essential. Parents must see to it that children undergoing gymnastics training are psychologically and physically fit to perform such difficult tasks. Medical doctor should assess beforehand the child’s fitness for such sports. Also, proper food nutrition should be of paramount concern for parents of gymnasts. Having all the energy foods and calcium for strong bones would be important for the gymnasts to stay physically fit. Having a trainer at home to provide extra home training would also be a good idea to prepare the child for the formal training better. Parents are also invaluable when it comes to inculcating the values of self-discipline, love of sport and to build the self-confidence of the child.

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