The History of Obstacle Courses for Military Fitness, Sport, and All-Around Toughness | The Art of Manliness

The rise of set, intentionally-constructed obstacle courses would largely have to wait until the 19th century. In Europe, this period saw a significant upswing of interest in physical fitness, which rose in tandem with feelings of nationalism that were surging in the continent’s respective countries. Frequent wars had shown nations like France, Britain, and Germany the necessity of keeping their peoples in fighting shape. Various schools of thought developed as to how best to do that, but most focused on gymnastics and functional exercises: running, calisthenics, jumping, climbing ropes, and using equipment like rings, the pommel horse, and parallel bars.

via The History of Obstacle Courses for Military Fitness, Sport, and All-Around Toughness | The Art of Manliness.

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