The origins of gymnastics are remote in the history of humanity. The ancient Greeks already practised it as part of the military preparation of the soldiers and in times of peace for Olympic purposes.
However, the origin of artistic gymnastics itself dates back to the 19th century, specifically to 1811, and is due to Professor Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778-1852) from the German Institute in Berlin. Jahn created the first open-air space for the practice of this discipline and designed the first gymnastic apparatus, on which the current ones are inspired.
The success of this new gymnastics spread throughout Germany and led to the founding of various gymnastics clubs, earning Jahn the title of “modern father of gymnastics.”
The consolidation of this sports practice took place in 1881, with the foundation of the European Gymnastics Federation, an organization later called the International Gymnastics Federation. This was a preliminary step for the acceptance of this sport in the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896. At that time, artistic gymnastics and athletic competitions formed an everyday ensemble.
Starting with the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928, women joined the gymnastics competition. In 1952 artistic gymnastics was formalized as a strictly sporting discipline, independent in all aspects. So much so that in 1975 the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup was held for the first time.
Current gymnastic apparatus is inspired by the designs created by Jahn in the 19th century and varies in the female and male categories, as follows:
Apparatus of the men’s category:
The rings. These are two hoops with an internal diameter of 18 cm, which hang 2.75 meters from the ground, separated by a distance of 50 cm. Gymnasts must climb the apparatus and demonstrate their balance, strength and balance, doing different pirouettes. The less the strings of the rings tremble, the better the score obtained.
The fixed bar is a 2.40 meter-long bar placed 2.80 meters from the ground on top of a metallic structure, on which the gymnast must perform a series of acrobatics, demonstrating balance and strength. The score will be higher if the movements are organic and not improvised.
The pommel horse. It is a device 1.15 meters high, 1.60 meters long and 35 cm wide, whose shape resembles that of a horse, on whose back there are two transverse rings. Holding on to the rings, the gymnast must perform circular and pendulum pirouettes with the legs, without interruptions and touching the apparatus with the legs.
The parallel bars. These are two parallel bars 3.5 meters long, suspended at 1.75 meters and separated by 42 centimetres. The gymnast must perform different strength exercises, such as handstands and full-body turns, holding only with hands.
The pony jump. It is a device 1.35 meters high, arranged at the end of a track 25 meters long and next to a trampoline. The gymnast must take off and jump off the vault with the help of the springboard, keeping both feet together and resting both hands on the vault to land two meters or more from the apparatus. You have two opportunities for this.
Soil. It is the floor of the competition arena, covered with an elastic material forming a surface of 12 square meters. The gymnast has between 50 and 70 seconds to perform a series of gymnastic and acrobatic movements without interruption.