Gymnastics is a sport that includes exercises requiring balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and endurance. The movements involved in gymnastics contribute to the development of the arms, legs, shoulders, back, chest, and abdominal muscle groups. Alertness, precision, daring, self-confidence, and self-discipline are mental traits that can also be developed through gymnastics. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse and from circus performance skills.
The most common form of competitive gymnastics is artistic gymnastics which consists of (for women) the events floor, vault, uneven bars and beam. For men, it consists of the events floor, vault, rings, pommel, parallel bars, and horizontal bar. Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) is the governing body for gymnastics worldwide. FIG governs eight sports that include: “Gymnastics for All, Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Trampoline – including Double Mini-trampoline, Tumbling, Aerobics, Acrobatics, and Parkour.” Disciplines not currently recognized by FIG include wheel gymnastics, aesthetic group gymnastics, men’s rhythmic gymnastics, TeamGym and mallakhamba.
Participants in gymnastics-related sports can include young children, recreational level athletes, and competitive athletes at varying levels of skill, including world-class athletes.
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