History of sports medicine - 1811-1820


German Friedrich Jahn (1778-1852) became known as 'The father of gymnastics'. In 1810 he appeared on the physical culture scene and his ideas spread quickly over Europe and America. In 1811 he opened his 'Turnplatz' in Berlin, the first open-air gymnasium. In 1816 he published 'Die Deutsche Turnkunst', a book dedicated to his gymnastics system. In addition to his contributions to physical culture, Jahn invented the vaulting and the horizontal and parallel bars and he promoted the use of gymnastic rings. The physical culture festivals he sponsored attracted no less than thirty thousand enthusiasts, but the essence and the end goal of his gymnastics methods were above all practical and functional, not artistic. He advocated the practice of traditional natural movements such as running, balancing, jumping and climbing.


Swedish gymnastics teacher Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839) designed a comprehensive system that, besides pedagogical, military and aesthetic, also consisted of medical gymnastics. At the Central Gymnastics Institute in Stockholm, which he founded, many patients were treated with medical gymnastics for various disorders. Deviations from the postural and musculoskeletal system, such as spine curvatures and muscle contractures, but also various 'chronic diseases' such as scrofulosis, gastritis, emphysema or stool problems. Lings system was widely distributed and he founded 'The Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics for massage, manipulation and excercise'.


In 1913, English physician William Prout (1785-1850) investigated the gas exchange during military marches, but he did not achieve convincing results.


German physician Johann Georg Heine (1771-1838) is considered the 'father of orthopedics' in his country. In 1816 he opened the first orthopedic institute on German soil in the former Stephanskloster of Würzburg, which was later known throughout Europe as the Karolinen-Institut, named after Queen Caroline Augusta of Bavaria (1792-1873).


In the Victorian era, British engineer Sir William Cubitt (1785-1861) developed the prison treadmill.

The treadmill was specially designed for prisoners, who had to turn a wheel to grind corn or to pump water.


American physician Cornelius E. De Puy (1791-1822) published the first journal on therapeutic massage in 1817.


French physician François Humbert (1776-1850) opened in 1817 the first French orthopedic institution in Morley, Meuse. Passionate about anatomy and mechanics, he proposed new treatments for scoliosis and congenital hip dislocation.


Spaniard Francisco Amoros (1770-1840) founded a military gymnastics school in Madrid, but moved to Paris where he founded the civil and military gymnastic school in 1819.

In 1830 he published 'Education Physique, Gymnastique et Morale'. After he had to resign his army function due to malpractice, he opened a popular gymnastics hall in Paris and became the initiator of physical education in France and Spain.


French physician Rapou Toussaint (1777-1857), head surgeon of the National Guard of Lyon, opened a steam bath in 1819 and simultaneously he published the book 'Traite de la method fumigatoire ou, De l'emploi medical des bains et douches de vapeurs', in which he treated the medical use of steam baths and showers.


A large Regnier Isometric Dynamometer comes with accessories that not only measure the strength of the hands, but also the power of the lower back.