Gymnastics has always been a crowd favourite at sporting events like the Olympics and it’s not hard to imagine why. As a real artistic sport, it requires a unique combination of strength, agility and balance – even just watching lithe gymnasts execute technically difficult moves with grace and poise is indeed a pleasure.
Origins of gymnastics
Gymnastics traces its roots to ancient Greece, when warriors, in preparation for war, started training in physical fitness. Various activities ranging from running to discus throwing to boxing were planned to help these soldiers develop strength and skill needed for hand-to-hand combat. The Greeks though, were not the only ones using gymnastics to train their warriors. Soldiers in China, India and the Middle East were also taught similar drills, in a bid to improve the fitness and fight skills of the troops.
Gymnastics debuted at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens back in 1896. Since then, the sport has been consistently included in the Olympic programme, and grew to include women in 1928. Gymnastics had a big boost in popularity when Russian gymnast Nadia Comaneci made Olympic history by becoming the first person ever to achieve a perfect 10 score at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal at the tender age of 14.
I want to be a gymnast
Gymnastics is a fun way of keeping fit and staying flexible, especially for children and teenagers. This does not mean however, that adults are excluded from the sport.
“We have classes here for both children and adults,” says Jon Gutierrez, director of gymnastics at Sporty Joe’s.
“Some have prior experience and want to get back in touch with the sport, while others prefer to just learn the basics,” he added.
The basics, in this case, refer to simple forward rolls, cartwheels and floor routines that beginners will learn in their first few classes.
What skills do I need?
How much you learn and what you achieve out of gymnastics class ultimately depends on what your goals are. Setting goals is important, explains Jon, as some students might find normal exercises too routine and unchallenging.
While the enrollment for gymnastics class typically sees higher numbers from children, there are adults too who sign up to learn more about the sport.
“Kids usually take up gymnastics to have fun,” says Jon. “For adults, how far you go depends on your age and level of skill as the older you are, the less flexible you become.”
Where do I sign up?
If you feel inspired by rhythmic gymnastics or just want to learn how to do a forward roll and be a little more flexible, head down to Sporty Joe’s at the Turf Club to find out more about classes.
For more gymnasiums in Singapore, clickhere.