Gymnastics are as old as ancient Greece where exercise helped men stay fit and battle ready. In modern times, National Gymnastics Day is held annually on the third Saturday of September. Mirroring ancient Greece, the first National Gymnastics Day was held in the late 1990s as a way of getting young people more involved in the importance of exercise. This year, on September 21, gyms will turn into beehives of activity with displays and exhibitions highlighting the benefits of a healthy body for kids and adults alike.
National Gymnastics Day timeline
The Federation of International Gymnastics was created in Belgium.
A group of female athletes was allowed to compete in the Olympics for the very first time.
A group of Olympic champions and other athletes criss-crossed the United States performing exhibitions promoting National Gymnastics Day.
Almost 44,000 participants turned upside down simultaneously.
The winners of the Chobani Creative Cup Award walked away with 400 cups of Chobani Yogurt for their gym.
National Gymnastics Day Activities
Stage a fundraiser for a worthy cause
Gather a group of kids for a cartwheel-a-thon with ticket proceeds going to help children in hospitals who can't exercise. Kids love to help other kids.
Challenge a world record
How many handstands can you do? How long can you stay atop a bike in a spin class? Bring out the press and see if you can entice someone to break a world record.
Attend an event
How many times have children competed in events but no one cheered them on? Don't be that guy. Sometimes the most important thing we can contribute is ourselves. If you see kids competing on National Gymnastics Day, come out and lend support.
5 Facts About Gymnastics To Keep You On Your Toes.
The father of modern gymnastics is Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, a German teacher who touted the benefits of gymnastic routines like the parallel bar and the ring.
It's for ladies only
Although women weren't admitted into the Olympics until the late 1920s, today only women can compete in the balance beam and the uneven bars.
You're never too young
Even two-year-olds can prepare for major gymnastic competition at most gyms.
It's got bounce
Trampolines aren't just for backyards anymore since trampolining became a competitive Olympic sport in 2000.
It turns children into champions
Gabby Douglas made a hit as the first African-American to win the individual, all-around event in 2012. She was 16.
Why We Love National Gymnastics Day
It's dedicated to fun and fitness
Exercise doesn't have to be a chore. It's so good for the body that we have to remember why we're sweating during spin class in the first place. We want to look and feel great. National Gymnastics Day is a fun reminder of different ways to integrate movement into our lives. Plus, you get the fellowship of working out at a gym. National Gymnastics Day also encourages children to develop a love of the sport that could last a lifetime.
You can strut your stuff
National Gymnastics Day gives us a chance to show off what we've learned in those early morning fitness classes. Gyms all over the country will host special competitions and exhibitions so that everyone can either participate in or watch a special gymnastics event. This is your time to try out for that one sport that you have been trying to master. National Gymnastics Day gives you a safe space for your efforts.
Make new friends
Even if you don't join a gym, you might meet new people sitting on the bleachers at a competitive event. Or, get an autograph from your favorite sports personality at a festival. Sometimes, the most supportive thing you can do is cheer on a team or a friends as they compete. National Gymnastics Day is all about health and camaraderie.
National Gymnastics Day dates