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 abdominalmuscle 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) floor, vault, beam, and uneven bars and for men 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 and 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.