PE 116 Movement Education Kevin Juon Date 4-21-99 The Balance Beam The word gymnastics came from the Greeks. The Greeks used this word to describe any type of physical activity. Exercise was an important part of their education process, sort of like what is in place today. They used exercise in order to beautify the body, promote health, comfort, strength, and vigor. The Romans took the Greeks beliefs on exercise, and used them in training their military forces. After the Romans, exercising virtually dropped off the face of the Earth until Johann Basedow (1723-1790) opened a school in 1774. Then once again, it became part of education. Today, hundreds of years after the Greeks, many people exercise for these same reasons they did. The Spartans also exercised, and one of the things they did were balancing activities. This was most likely important to the Spartans for different reasons, for example, it would help them during battle to be able to keep their balance. Schools today also use the balance beam even though it is not because they want the kids to be prepared for battle. The balance beam will help the kids acquire the balance needed in many activities they will perform as kids, teenagers, and adults. Many types of gymnastics help balance, but there is no single activity that requires balance like the balance beam. The balance beam is able to be used for all different skill levels because the height of the beam can be adjusted. The teacher of a class is able to have the kids first try the exercise trying to stay on a piece of tape that was put on the floor. Then they could have the kids try it on a bleacher, it is a higher up, but is also wider than a regulation balance beam. Finally, once the kids get the hang of it, they can have them try the exercises on the balance beam. A direct result of the balance beam use, is the development and good use of the muscle…
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