Gym

Last updated
Inside a gymnasium in Amsterdam Amsterdam - Gymnasium - 0591.jpg
Inside a gymnasium in Amsterdam

A gymnasium, also known as a gym, is a covered location for athletics. The word is derived from the ancient Greek term "gymnasium". [1] They are commonly found in athletic and fitness centres, and as activity and learning spaces in educational institutions. "Gym" is also slang for "fitness centre", which is often an area for indoor recreation. A "gym" may include or describe adjacent open air areas as well. In Western countries, "gyms" (or pl: gymnasia") often describe places with indoor or outdoor courts for basketball, hockey, tennis, boxing or wrestling, and with equipment and machines used for physical development training, or to do exercises. In many European countries, Gymnasium (and variations of the word) also can describe a secondary school that prepares students for higher education at a university, with or without the presence of athletic courts, fields, or equipment.

Contents

Overview

The Florida Gymnasium at the University of Florida Gville UF Florida Gym01.jpg
The Florida Gymnasium at the University of Florida
Students of Texas Woman's University practicing in their university gymnasium, 2011 TWU Gymnastics (Floor) Floor Warm Up (5694074973).jpg
Students of Texas Woman's University practicing in their university gymnasium, 2011
The Varpaisjarvi Sports Hall in Lapinlahti, Finland Varpaisjarven liikuntahalli - Kirjastontie 4, Varpaisjarvi - Lapinlahti.jpg
The Varpaisjärvi Sports Hall in Lapinlahti, Finland

Gymnasia apparatus like barbells, jumping board, running path, tennis-balls, cricket field, and fencing area are used as exercises. In safe weather, outdoor locations are the most conducive to health. [2] Gyms were popular in ancient Greece. Their curricula included self-defense, gymnastica medica, or physical therapy to help the sick and injured, and for physical fitness and sports, from boxing to dancing to skipping rope. [3]

Gymnasia also had teachers of wisdom and philosophy. Community gymnastic events were done as part of the celebrations during various village festivals. In ancient Greece there was a phrase of contempt, "He can neither swim nor write." After a while, however, Olympic athletes began training in buildings specifically designed for them. [4] Community sports never became as popular among ancient Romans as it had among the ancient Greeks. Gyms were used more as a preparation for military service or spectator sports. During the Roman Empire, the gymnastic art was forgotten. In the Dark Ages there were sword fighting tournaments and of chivalry; and after gunpowder was invented sword fighting began to be replaced by the sport of fencing, as well as schools of dagger fighting and wrestling and boxing. [5]

In the 18th century, Salzmann, German clergyman, opened a gym in Thuringia teaching bodily exercises, including running and swimming. Clias and Volker established gyms in London, and in 1825, Doctor Charles Beck, a German immigrant, established the first gymnasium in the United States. It was found that gym pupils lose interest in doing the same exercises, partly because of age. Variety in exercises included skating, dancing, and swimming. Some gym activities can be done by 6 to 8-year-olds while age 16 has been considered mature enough for boxing and horseback riding. [6]

In Ancient Greece, the gymnasion (γυμνάσιον) was a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men. The latter meaning of intellectual education persisted in Greek, German and other languages to denote a certain type of school providing secondary education, the gymnasium, whereas in English the meaning of physical education pertained in the word 'gym'. [7] The Greek word gymnasium, which means "school for naked exercise," was used to designate a locality for the education of young men, including physical education ( gymnastics , for example, exercise) which was customarily performed naked, as well as bathing, and studies. For the Greeks, physical education was considered as important as cognitive learning. Most Greek gymnasia had libraries that for use after relaxing in the baths.[ citation needed ]

Nowadays, it represents a common area where people, from all ranges of experience, exercise and work out their muscles. You can also usually find people doing cardio exercises or pilates.

History

Children's outdoor gymnasium, circa 19th Century. The equipment, which was standard for the time, includes ladders, gymnastic horses, and parallel bars. Children's outdoor gymnasium circa 19th Century.jpg
Children's outdoor gymnasium, circa 19th Century. The equipment, which was standard for the time, includes ladders, gymnastic horses, and parallel bars.

The first recorded gymnasiums date back to over 3000 years ago in ancient Persia, where they were known as zurkhaneh , areas that encouraged physical fitness. The larger Roman Baths often had attached fitness facilities, the baths themselves sometimes being decorated with mosaics of local champions of sport. Gyms in Germany were an outgrowth of the Turnplatz, [8] an outdoor space for gymnastics founded by German educator Friedrich Jahn in 1811 [9] and later promoted by the Turners, a nineteenth-century political and gymnastic movement. The first American to open a public gym in the United States using Jahn's model was John Neal of Portland, Maine in 1827. [10] The first indoor gymnasium in Germany was probably the one built in Hesse in 1852 by Adolph Spiess. [11]

Through worldwide colonization, Great Britain expanded its national interest in sports and games to many countries. In the 1800s, programs were added to schools and college curricula that emphasized health, strength, and bodily measure. Sports drawn from European and British cultures thrived as college students and upper-class clubs financed competition. As a result, towns began building playgrounds that furthered interest in sports and physical activity. [12] Early efforts to establish gyms in the United States in the 1820s were documented and promoted by John Neal in the American Journal of Education [13] and The Yankee , helping to establish the American branch of the movement. [14] Later in the century, the Turner movement was founded and continued to thrive into the early twentieth century. The first Turners group was formed in London in 1848. The Turners built gymnasia in several cities like Cincinnati and St. Louis which had large German American populations. These gyms were utilized by adults and youth. For example, a young Lou Gehrig would frequent the Turner gym in New York City with his father. [15]

Interior of a gym in the Netherlands, around 1900 ErfgoedLeiden LEI001015553 Gymnastiekzaal van de Gymnastiekschool aan de Pieterskerkgracht in Leiden.jpeg
Interior of a gym in the Netherlands, around 1900

The Boston Young Men's Christian Union claims to be "America's First Gym". The YMCA first organized in Boston in 1851 and a smaller branch opened in Rangasville in 1852. [16] Ten years later there were some two hundred YMCAs across the country, most of which provided gymnasia for exercise, games, and social interaction.[ citation needed ]

The 1920s was a decade of prosperity that witnessed the building of large numbers of public high schools with a gymnasium, an idea founded by Nicolas Isaranga.[ citation needed ]

Today, gymnasia are commonplace in the United States. They are in virtually all U.S. colleges and high schools, as well as almost all middle schools and elementary schools. These facilities are used for physical education, intramural sports, and school gatherings. The number of gyms in the U.S. has more than doubled since the late 1980s. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

Gymnastics Type of sport that requires a wide variety of physical strength and flexibility

Gymnastics is a sport that includes physical exercises requiring balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, dedication and endurance. The movements involved in gymnastics contribute to the development of the arms, legs, shoulders, back, chest, and abdominal muscle groups. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and from circus performance skills.

Turners

Turners are members of German-American gymnastic clubs called Turnvereine. They promoted German culture, physical culture, liberal politics, and supported the Union war effort during the American Civil War. Turners, especially Francis Lieber, 1798–1872, were the leading sponsors of gymnastics as an American sport and the field of academic study.

Calisthenics Form of exercise consisting of a variety of exercises, often rhythmical

Calisthenics or callisthenics (/ˌkælɪsˈθɛnɪks/) is a form of strength training consisting of a variety of movements that exercise large muscle groups, such as standing, grasping, pushing, etc. These exercises are often performed rhythmically and with minimal equipment, as bodyweight exercises. They are intended to increase strength, fitness, and flexibility, through movements such as pulling, pushing, bending, jumping, or swinging, using one's body weight for resistance. Calisthenics can provide the benefits of muscular and aerobic conditioning, in addition to improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility, and coordination. A study done in 2017 titled "The effects of a calisthenics training intervention on posture, strength and body composition" found that calisthenics training is an "effective training solution to improve posture, strength and body composition without the use of any major training equipment".

Gymnasium (ancient Greece) Ancient Greek training facility

The gymnasium in Ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public game(s). It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Ancient Greek term gymnós meaning "naked" or "nude". Only adult male citizens were allowed to use the gymnasia.

Friedrich Ludwig Jahn German Prussian gymnastics educator and nationalist (1778-1852)

Johann Friedrich Ludwig Christoph Jahn was a German gymnastics educator and nationalist whose writing is credited with the founding of the German gymnastics (Turner) movement as well as influencing the German Campaign of 1813, during which a coalition of German states effectively ended the occupation of Napoleon's First French Empire. His admirers know him as Turnvater Jahn, roughly meaning "father of gymnastics" Jahn.

Physical culture, also known as Body culture, is a health and strength training movement that originated during the 19th century in Germany, the UK and the US.

Georges Hébert

Georges Hébert was a pioneering physical educator in the French military who developed a system of physical education and training known as "la méthode naturelle" and a more wide training program known as Hebertism. Hébert combined the training of a variety of physical capacities with the training of courage and ethics.

Royal Army Physical Training Corps Physical training arm of the British Army

The Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC) is the British Army corps responsible for physical fitness and physical education and has been headquartered in Aldershot since its foundation in 1860. Its members are all Royal Army Physical Training Corps Instructors (RAPTCIs).

Pehr Henrik Ling

Pehr Henrik Ling pioneered the teaching of physical education in Sweden. Ling is credited as the father of Swedish massage.

Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths German gymnast

Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths, also called Guts Muth or Gutsmuths, was a teacher and educator in Germany, and is especially known for his role in the development of physical education. He is thought of as the "grandfather of gymnastics" – the "father" being Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. GutsMuths introduced systematic physical exercise into the school curriculum, and he developed the basic principles of artistic gymnastics.

Hayes Gymnasium

Hayes Gymnasium, completed in 1910, is the oldest section of the current Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center at the United States Military Academy. Originally built as an independent structure to replace the Academy's previous Richard Morris Hunt-built gymnasium which had served between 1891 and 1910, it was part of a large contract bid awarded to the Boston architectural firm of Cram, Goodhue, & Ferguson in 1903.

Dudley Allen Sargent

Dudley Allen Sargent was a United States educator, lecturer and director of physical training.

Adolf Spiess

Karl Adolf Spieß was a German gymnast and educator who contributed to the development of school gymnastics for children of both sexes in Switzerland and Germany.

John Hulley was an English gymnastics and athletics entrepreneur who encouraged public participation in physical education to improve health and well-being, and was one of the instigators of the Olympic movement in Britain. At his Liverpool Gymnasium in 1865 he established the National Olympian Association, the forerunner of the British Olympic Association. With William Penny Brookes and Ernst Georg Ravenstein, he organised the first National Olympian Games in 1866. He organised a series of Assault-at-Arms gymnastic events in Liverpool and Manchester. He organised six Olympic Festivals between 1862 and 1867 in Liverpool and Llandudno. With Robert B. Cummins, he exposed American magicians the Davenport brothers. He introduced the velocipede into Liverpool.

New Orleans Athletic Club Athletic organisation in Louisiana

New Orleans Athletic Club (NOAC) is an American athletic organization founded in 1872, making it the second-oldest such institution in the United States. It is located at 222 North Rampart Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Fitness culture Sociocultural phenomenon surrounding exercise and physical fitness.

Fitness culture is a sociocultural phenomenon surrounding exercise and physical fitness. It is usually associated with gym culture, as doing physical exercises in locations such as gyms, wellness centres and health clubs is a popular activity. An international survey found that more than 27% of world total adult population attends fitness centres, and that 61% of regular exercisers are currently doing "gym-type" activities. Getting and maintaining physical fitness has been shown to benefit individuals' inner and outer health. Fitness culture has become highly promoted through modern technology and from the rising popularity of social media platforms.

Outdoor fitness

Outdoor fitness consists of exercise undertaken outside a building for the purpose of improving physical fitness. It contrasts with exercise undertaken inside a gym or health club for the same purpose. The activity may be undertaken in a park, in the wilderness, or other outdoor location. The popularity of outdoor fitness grew rapidly in the second-half of the twentieth century and grew as a commercial consumer market in the twenty-first century.

Physical training has been present in human societies throughout history. Usually, it was performed for the purposes of preparing for physical competition or display, improving physical, emotional and mental health, and looking attractive. It took a variety of different forms but quick dynamic exercises were favoured over slow or more static ones. For example, running, jumping, wrestling, gymnastics and throwing heavy stones are mentioned frequently in historical sources and emphasised as being highly effective training methods. Notably, they are also forms of exercise which are readily achievable for most people to some extent or another.

Frederick Hammersley (born 1824)

Major-General Frederick Hammersley was a British Army officer who after serving in the Crimean War was at the forefront in developing an exercise regime for the British Army leading to him becoming the first Inspector of Gymnasia and being known as ‘The Father of Army Gymnastics’.

Archibald MacLaren I am a Student

Archibald MacLaren or Maclaren was a Scottish fencing master, gymnast, educator and author who in 1858 opened a well-equipped gymnasium at the University of Oxford where from 1860 to 1861 he trained 12 sergeants and their officer who then disseminated his training regimen into the newly-formed Army Gymnastic Staff (AGS) for the British Army. The AGS was later to become the Royal Army Physical Training Corps. His training scheme was also later adopted by several British public schools including Rugby School in 1872 and universities. He wrote a number of books on physical training theory and practice.

References

  1. Partridge 1984 , p. 517
  2. Ravenstein & Hulley 1867
  3. Partington 1838 , p. 627
  4. "The Olympic Games". HISTORY. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  5. Partington 1838 , p. 628
  6. Partington 1838 , p. 629
  7. "Gymnasium (Greek)". Ancient Encyclopedia. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  8. Limited, Alamy. "Stock Photo – Turnplatz (open-air gymnasium) in the Hasenheide, 1811". Alamy. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  9. Goodbody, John (1982). The Illustrated History of Gymnastics . London: Stanley Paul & Co. ISBN   0-09-143350-9.
  10. Leonard, Fred Eugene (1923). A Guide to the History of Physical Education. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York, New York: Lea & Febiger. pp. 227–250.
  11. Dalvi, Rajani. INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL EDUCATION. ISBN   9781312161344 . Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  12. Lumpkin, Angela (January 29, 2013). Introduction to physical education, exercise science, and sport studies. McGraw-Hill Education; 9 edition. p. 226. ISBN   978-0-07-802266-1.
  13. Leonard, Fred Eugene (1923). A Guide to the History of Physical Education. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York, New York: Lea & Febiger. pp. 235–250. OCLC   561890463.
  14. Barry, William D. (May 20, 1979). "State's Father of Athletics a Multi-Faceted Figure". Maine Sunday Telegram. Portland, Maine. pp. 1D–2D.
  15. "The German Turnverein". www.ohio.edu. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  16. Mouheb, R.B. (2012). Yale Under God (in Italian). Xulon Press. p. 177. ISBN   978-1-61996-884-4 . Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  17. "The Scope of the U.S. Health Club Industry (industry estimates)". International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). 2003.
Bibliography