Gymnastics: history and development in Russia

The history of gymnastics in Russia originates several centuries ago. During this time, the methods of training, the system of this sport, its popularity with the population changed.

Perhaps only one thing remains unchanged for many years - the undoubted leadership of Russian gymnasts on the world stage.

What is gymnastics?

There are two opinions about how this word is translated from Greek. In the first version it came from “gymnazo” - “I train,” “I exercise.” The second version claims that the name of today's popular sport gave the word "gumnos" - "naked." This is explained by the fact that in ancient Greece, from which the history of the emergence and development of gymnastics originates, it was customary to conduct physical exercises in the nude.

This type of physical culture includes classes to improve such human abilities as agility, endurance, plasticity.From the beginning of the history of occurrence, gymnastics is aimed at strengthening the body and keeping it in good shape.

history of gymnastics

It is customary to single out several areas of this sport:

1. Gymnastics. It includes acrobatics, athletics and weightlifting, rhythmic gymnastics.

2. Improving gymnastics. It is divided into general, developing motor activity; hygienic, aimed at strengthening the immune system and body tone; athletic, increasing endurance; rhythmic, containing choreographic elements.

3. Applied gymnastics also has 4 types. Curative - maintaining the health of the patient. A set of exercises is prescribed by the attending physician. Military applied - used in the armed forces. It helps soldiers to acquire and consolidate the skills used during hostilities. Sports and applied - used for training professional athletes. Professional and applied - includes a set of exercises that can improve the professional skills of employees.

Ancient Greece

It will not be possible to tell briefly about the history of the occurrence of gymnastics, as this history is long and saturated with various important events. And it began in ancient Greece.Already in the 8th century BC, several areas of this type of activity took shape.

The beginning of the history of the development and development of gymnastics can be considered the world's first Olympic Games. Ancient athletes competed in running, jumping, wrestling. By the way, the Olympic Games in ancient Greece were first held in 776 BC.

The second most important area of ​​gymnastics was the maintenance of the physical form of the soldiers, the acquisition of skills necessary for conducting military operations. The turning point in the history of the emergence and development of gymnastics came with the fall of the Roman Empire. It was the era of the formation of barbarian kingdoms, bloody wars, redistribution of territories. Therefore, issues of physical culture of the body have been shelved.

gymnastics history of occurrence and development

The revival of body culture in the Middle Ages

The second stage in the history of the emergence of gymnastics came in the Middle Ages with the development of such a social direction as humanism. His followers preached the value of the individual, the right of a person to independently form the meaning and arrangement of his life.

Against the background of humanism in the 18th century a new direction of pedagogy appeared - philanthropy.The adherents of this movement were engaged in all sorts of charity and care for their neighbors. They created schools - philanthropines, in which much attention was paid to physical education, that is, gymnastics.

Gymnastic systems

At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, 4 gymnastic systems were stably formed: German, French, Swedish and Sokol systems. The emergence of such movements was due not only to educational, but also government needs. Strengthening military formations in Europe demanded significant replenishment of the rank and file.

However, in order not to harm the economic development of states, the training of soldiers was not given enough time. Therefore, endurance training, hardening of the body, the acquisition of certain physical skills began in schools.

Philanthropist I.G. is considered the author of the first gymnastic system. Guts-Muts. It was developed in Germany, but successfully adapted for use in other states. The German method of physical education was supplemented by many other figures. The greatest contribution to it was made by I. G. Fichte, F. L. Yan, K. F.Friesen.

An officer of the Spanish army F. Amoros became the creator of French gymnastics. It is noteworthy that, according to his methodology, the teacher of physical education should have mastered such subjects as psychology, anatomy, and even music.

His book “Manual of physical, gymnastic and moral education” for a long time became the basis of physical education classes in many schools in France.

athletic gymnastics history

Swedish gymnastics, developed by P.Kh. Ling, based on repetition of optimally organized exercises. It is this, according to the author of the technique, contributed to the strengthening of the body. He also singled out pedagogical, military, medical, aesthetic gymnastics.

The development of Sokolsky gymnastics belongs to the Czech M. Tyrsha. His main goal was to replace the German gymnastics common in the Czech Republic, which, in his opinion, assimilated the Czechs.

Physical Culture in the Russian Empire

The history of gymnastics in Russia began in the era of Peter the Great. However, it should be noted that physical exercises were not alien to the inhabitants of Ancient Rus. Proof of this are the various competitions held during the national holidays. It was fist fights, climbing the pole, running and jumping.

As in many European countries, the history of gymnastics in our country originates in military structures. Peter the Great established for his amusing regiments to overcome the obstacle course. He also introduced physical training in other branches of the military.

The great commander Alexander Suvorov was developing a methodology for the physical training of soldiers. He became the author of the "Regimental Institution", where he described his developments. This technique was based on the conscious approach of each soldier to combat.

After in Russia, the German system began to be used, but this did not bring efficiency, so it was soon replaced by the French. But this technique did not find followers, and the exercise class was conducted in the Swedish manner. None of these systems took root in Russia, and gradually the gymnastics classes lost their intensity.

Rhythmic gymnastics history of occurrence and development

Peter Lesgaft

About physical education again remembered only in the middle of the 19th century. Then they decided to introduce certain rules for training gymnastics in the army. But due to the lack of qualified teachers in this matter, the desired effect in the training of the military was not followed.The history of gymnastics (athletic and sports) has undergone difficult times until the beginning of the 20th century.

The creator of the Russian system of physical education was Peter Lesgaft, who published the “Guide to the physical education of children of school age”. At the core of his methodology was the statement that physical exercise contributed to the intellectual development of a person by mastering his own body. In this, his system echoed the postulates laid down by Suvorov.

Creating gymnastic societies

The spread of sports organizations has played a significant role in the history of the emergence of gymnastics in Russia. They were formed throughout the country and covered all segments of the population. It should be noted that these societies used various gymnastic systems, but the Sokolsky technique was most prevalent.

The first societies appeared in the 70s of the 19th century. Their official approval did not happen immediately. The government feared that instead of a sports movement, the activities of these circles would be political in nature and sow discord among the population, as happened in many other states.

The first approved circle was the Russian Gymnastics Society, formed on the basis of the German club Palma. These organizations held competitions and trained the first professional athletes.

Gymnastics in the USSR

After the October Revolution, views on the education of young people radically changed. Began an active struggle with illiteracy. More attention has been paid to physical education. Also began training reserves of the Red Army, in which a significant place was allocated to gymnastics.

Gymnastics history of occurrence and development

Since 1926, a new subject has appeared in educational institutions - physical education. The basis of this discipline was gymnastics. Also began to form institutions of physical education, which were engaged in the development of new techniques and the training of qualified teachers in this field.

Another important event occurred in 1929. At the scientific and methodological conference this discipline was divided into separate areas. Appeared acrobatics, sports and rhythmic gymnastics.

The history of the TRP complex

In 1931 the All-Union Sports Complex "Ready for Labor and Defense of the USSR" was introduced.The TRP included a system of standards, the main discipline in it was gymnastics. It existed until 1991, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

The complex contained several stages depending on the age group of participants.

Successful citizens passed the standards were awarded breastplates. They were made of gold, silver and bronze. It was necessary to perform a number of exercises: running, jumping, swimming, pulling up, shooting. The prize-winners who completed a certain set of exercises were assigned the rank and title of the master of sports.

Mass sport

With the beginning of the introduction of the TRP gymnastics in the USSR becomes mass. Various gymnastic performances contributed to the popularization. They were held during the holidays and festivals, at the opening of the Games and the Goodwill Games.

In addition to the popularization of gymnastics, these performances pursued other goals. They showed the entire world community the sportiness of the nation, the patriotism and solidarity of the Soviet people.

At the same time, the history of the rise of rhythmic gymnastics in the USSR begins. In 1934, the Higher School of Artistic Movement was opened at the Leningrad State Institute of Physical Education named after PF LesgaftIt was there that rhythmic gymnastics first appeared isolated from other areas of the sport. Schooling was conducted by the best specialists of that time. They formed the basic rules and techniques of this exclusively female sport.

In 1937, in the history of the emergence of gymnastics in our country, another important event occurred. The athletes of the Soviet Union for the first time participated in international competitions. It happened in Antwerp at the third working Olympiad.

history of gymnastics briefly

Sport and the Great Patriotic War

Despite the difficult times for the country, the development of gymnastics continued. Competitions in this sport were organized in the USSR in 1943, 1944 and in 1945. In addition, the physical training of Soviet soldiers played an important role in the victory over the fascist invaders.

After the Great Victory, a parade of athletes was organized on Red Square. To prepare for it, colossal human resources were involved, which once again stimulated the popularization of gymnastics in the USSR.

In the postwar years began the restoration of sports facilities. Also resumed the competition.In 1948, the Central Committee issued a decree on the development of physical culture in the country. It was also aimed at improving the level of training of athletes.

It was a turning point for Soviet gymnastics. If before this sport was aimed at improving and maintaining the physical culture of the population, now it has become the privilege of professional athletes.

The main emphasis was placed precisely in the direction of advanced training of future champions. Thus, gymnastics ceased to be a sport accessible to the masses.


The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) was founded in 1881. Initially, it covered only the countries of Europe, but later other parts of the world joined this community.

The USSR entered the FIG in 1949 and from that moment on Soviet athletes began to officially take part in world championships. In 1952, they made their first appearance at the Olympics. Since that time, Soviet and then Russian gymnasts have firmly established themselves as leaders.

The USSR played a significant role in the development of rhythmic gymnastics. The history of this direction began in our country, and after the Olympic Games in Moscow, in 1980, a decisive turn took place for it.The International Olympic Committee has included rhythmic gymnastics in the Olympic Games.

history of gymnastics in our country

Gymnastics in Russia today

Currently, gymnastics is being revived in Russia as a mass sport. And Russian athletes continue to win pedestals at international competitions. Among them are the absolute champions of the Olympic Games, the absolute world champions and champions.

Also of note is the colossal research activity devoted to gymnastics. It plays a huge role in the training of athletes.

The Russian Federation of Artistic Gymnastics was formed in 1991. This organization is authorized to represent the interests of our athletes on the world stage. Also under the control of the Federation is the formation of regional gymnastic schools, junior competitions. So is the preparation of future athletes and winners.

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