Why Learn Gymnastics?
At Trybe, we talk a lot about gymnastic training.
Well, what exactly is gymnastics? What are its specific benefits? If we are going to train that hard to achieve xyz in this sport, then what is in it for us?
Let’s start from the beginning. Gymnastics was a system of physical activity that evolved from the exercises used by the Ancient Greeks for military training. The word gymnastics actually derives from the common Greek adjective “gymnos” which essentially to “train naked”, to train, to exercise”. The word only had this meaning because athletes back then exercised and competed without clothing -- it was a practical way for educators to observe the human body and see how to push their students.
The Ancient Greeks always considered physical education a tenet of human development and gradually built a system to develop both mental and physical skills. The exercises in gymnastics generally require one to learn balance, strength, flexibility, agility, endurance and control. Take for example: this exercise:
Balance, strength, flexibility, agility, endurance and control.
These were values that the Ancient Greeks believed in. These are also values that Trybe believes in. Hence, why we call ourselves an evolving, value driven movement community.
Another classic trait of gymnastic training: many gymnastics exercises you see today have minimal to no equipment. Take a look at stick gymnastics from Japan, hoop training, trampolining, or even rhythmic gymnastics. From just a set of rings to back flips, you get to learn so much about your own body and physical capabilities.
Naturally, these full body exercises take time to develop but they do contribute to strong arms, legs, shoulders, chest, core, and back muscles. Why? Because you need those muscles in order to perform those skills. You also need to build precision, agility, mental toughness, daring, discipline, and self confidence in order to keep advancing through those skills.
Today, movement training has evolved so much that gymnastic training is taught in a variety of environments (from parkour to dance, from Crossfit to circus!). And that is really exciting!
The thing you have to remember: gymnastic skills were taught early to help build a foundation of movement, not to compete in the Olympics in 4 years. Coming into gymnastics as an adult, one has to be extremely careful to avoid repetitive injuries and practice good biomechanics.
Without a good trainer, consistency, and an individual, creative approach to movement, you risk dealing with a ton of setbacks.
We are speaking from experience and as teachers, we want the best for our students. Look carefully at your physical training and what is it giving you. Are you learning useful skills and training with people who motivate you? Are you getting stronger, moving faster, becoming more mobile, and progressing towards your goals? Knowing what is important to you and why you train can become an extremely powerful force in your life. The Ancient Greeks would definitely agree with the #Trybe mentality :)