Too Old to Learn Gymnastics?

Subject: Too Old?

Dear Coach,

I have just turned 20 years old and have started gymnastics in the last few months. I practice stretches by walking backwards down walls and handstands, and stretch into the splits every morning. I was wondering if you have any advice to getting more used to back flexibility, and I was wondering if I am too old to begin gymnastics. I have been in dance and am in reasonably good physical shape- (I also roller-skate/dance frequently along with dance) but is it impossible to get good at floor gymnastics at the very least? I would like to get good at everything, but I am unsure how to be stretching and where to go from here.

Thanks!

This is a common question that we see often from gymnasts most often ranging in age from 12 and up. Can I still get good at such and such an age? We would never be the ones to ever say no to that question. We are firm believers in the ability of humans to do whatever they set their mind to. So yes, you can still get good at floor exercise, at the other gymnastics events and increase your flexibility at age 20. There are female gymnasts your age and older who have or are competing at the international level. There are collegiate gymnasts your age who are making some of the best gymnastics progress of their lives at your age.

This is not to say that it will not be difficult and more difficult than if you had started at a much younger age. There is scientific evidence that very difficult gymnastics skills are more easily learned and much better learned at a younger age, say 8 – 11 years of age. Younger gymnasts also do not usually have any fear of doing gymnastics skills and they adapt to hard training regimens more easily. This does not mean that you cannot learn gymnastics skills at your age.

To improve your back (and also your shoulder) flexibility, see our article about back walkovers and the use of partner stretching. You will most likely improve your flexibility quickest by getting a partner to help you. Shoulder flexibility is as important as (and maybe more important than) back flexibility. You don’t want your back to do all of the work.

Many older people who have not done gymnastics at a young age do not understand the amount of work and effort and the large amount of time that it takes to get good at gymnastics. Even a highly talented young athlete is going to take 3 – 5 years to get really great.

One of the biggest problems dancers have with switching over to gymnastics is that they lack the upper body strength to tumble, vault and do bars. A dancer’s leg strength may be sufficient, but they have not done the amount of upper body that is required to be a successful gymnast. At any age, strength and flexibility are the two most important prerequisites for gymnastics success.

Older gymnasts can take advantage and gain more benefit from weight training than younger gymnasts can. Weight training is a good all-around progressive method of increasing strength. Train all strength building activities to the point of momentary muscular failure to gain maximum strength most efficiently.

Gymnastics is not a sport that can really be learned without a coach. You can perhaps do some of the preliminary strength and flexibility training on your own, but when it comes to really learning gymnastics skills, you will (as all gymnasts do) require quality coaching.

The primary impediments to someone your age training successfully for gymnastics are likely to be time, money and commitment. To become really good in gymnastics, you need to train every day. When you are playing catch-up like you will be, this is even more true. Daily strength and flexibility training can take an hour or more. Daily gymnastic skills training will take from 45 minutes to 1&½ hours per day per event.

Gymnastics coaching is not inexpensive. Your initial training will likely be in an adult or teen plus gymnastics class and they do not usually meet daily. Team level training often costs hundreds of dollars per month.

If you are working, going to school or socializing a lot, you may find it difficult to find the time and energy to train.

None of what we are saying in any way means that we don’t think a 20-year-old could not get really good in gymnastics. We believe that they could. We do believe that, like a gymnast of any age, they will have to be willing to pay the price, physically, mentally and financially. That price, especially physically and mentally, goes up as you get older.

We really love this sport, and if you do also, then we believe that you could reach your gymnastics goals through hard work, regular practice and with good coaching. We wish you luck and if there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know.

I just had to add this video to this article. The video is a little long and in Japanese, but it should forever answer the question of “Am I Too Old To Do Gymnastics?” The subject in the video is 63 years old and I would bet that he was not a gymnast when he was younger or had not done any gymnastics in years, before deciding to come back. While his level of gymnastics is not particularly high, he is working all-around.

I am adding a link to a Gymnastike.com article about a 42 year old Level 9 gymnast, who is married and has two sons. Her career path has not been easy, by any means, and she has endured many injuries as well, but everyone who reads the article should be convinced that, if you really want to be a gymnast, you can be and that age may make it more difficult, but gymnastics is really for those who love it enough to do it.

For those of you who do not remember, George Nissen was the founder of the Nissen Gymnastics equipment company, developer and distributer of Universal weight machines and perhaps singlehandedly responsible for the spread of trampoline around the world. His gymnastics equipment was state of the art in both function and beauty. He,of course, was legendary in the gymnastics world and late into his 80s would still do handstands, press handstands and levers on the head table of gymnastics banquets around the country.

Here is another link about an 82-Year-Old Gymnast Ron Rodger says “You’re a Gymnast All Your Life”

The short answer is always – you are never too old to do gymnastics.

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46 Responses to “Too Old to Learn Gymnastics?”

  1. Louise March 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Hey, I’m nearly 17 and have recently been really interested in learning Gymnastics again, i used to take part regulary and was able to do some skills like walk overs and back flips but nothing major. I would consider myself to still be reasonably flexible in the idea that i can still perform all basic skills and can practically do splits but i am very interested in participating again, am i too old to learn to perform at a decent level? Also im struggling with planning some form of training plan to increase flexibilty mainly but also strength, i understand that a coach is needed to learn basic skills but if you could help me devise some form of plan or schedule that i can do do possibly once or twice a day to help me improve that would be extremely helpful, thank you :)

    Louise Allen
    Aged 17
    United Kingdom.

    • GymnasticsZone March 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

      First, make sure you have read our two other articles about this common question. They are at http://gymnasticszone.com/quitting-gymnastics and http://gymnasticszone.com/too-old-and-too-scared-for-gymnastics
      Second, one of my oldest friends in the sport is at 35 years old still competing in tumbling and still able to win nationally and internationally.
      Partner flexibility, in addition to active and passive flexibility, helps speed gaining the necessary flexibility you need for the sport, especially in the shoulders.
      Recent studies have shown that a program of weightlifting are necessary/useful to strengthen ligaments and tendons to make your subsequent gymnastics training as injury-free as possible. It is also an effective, efficient and measurable way to increase strength.
      Handstands of all types and body core work are another head start you can get for training in gymnastics, while you are doing the strength and flexibility preparation work.
      Once you are on your way to becoming strong and flexible, you will need to find a well-equipped gym with a program that will allow you to train seriously. While you are not going to be ready for the London Olympics in 2012, in a good gym, you can learn an awful lot of gymnastics in a 3 – 4 year period.
      Life is all about knowing exactly what you want your life to be like and what you want to do in life. Once you specifically and truly know that, you are already well on your way to achieving it.
      If this is something you really want, then, no you are not too old.
      Good luck.

  2. Karen March 26, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    My daughter will be turning 18 next month and has just finished her 4th yr on her
    High School team. She is still VERY interested in continuing at some level and my question is… Is there anywhere in CT that allows 18yrs to do this every gym seems to stop at the age of 18. I also had her at an outside gym at one point to improve her skills; which she did. But I found that they were expensive although I did have her going 8hrs per week which is why it was prb so expensive. As I am on a very tight budget would like to find somewhere where she could continue even if it is only for the LOVE she has for it.

    • GymnasticsZone March 27, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      USA Gymnastics used to have a very good tool to find out this very question and so we have never ventured into the area of providing something like this ourselves. But very recently, they changed formats and their Find a Gym service, inexplicably, no longer offers this information. What they offer now is just a generic listing of gyms. regardless, you can see the Connecticut page of it at: http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/pages/usagymclub/findagym.html You can use that page to find the gyms nearest to you and call them to see if they have a program that you would be interested or if they would make special accommodations. I would certainly make that your first step – to call the gyms closest to you and see what they have to offer or what they might do for you.

      My cursory survey of the Connecticut gym sites shows that Flip Flop Gymnastics has an Adult Fitnastics class:
      http://www.flipflopgym.com/schedule/index.html

      Connecticut Gym and cheer has an adult tumbling and tramp class:
      http://www.ctgymandcheer.com/

      Patti Dunne’s school of Gymnastics has a two hour workout for high school students with an open format:
      http://www.dunnesgymnastics.com/gym_recreational.shtml

      Kinectic Kids apparently has some connections with high school teams in the area and perhaps other suitable programs.
      http://www.kinetickids.net/

      American Gymnasts definitely has adult classes regularly.
      http://www.american-gymnastics.net/

      You did not really indicate exactly what type of program you may be interested in. Many older gymnasts switch to tumbling classes – fun and easier to focus on just one aspect of the sport in their limited time.

      There are USA Gymnastics Prep Optional gymnastics programs which have no upper age limits so any gym with one of those allows all-around training and competition opportunities.

      Of course, there are collegiate gymnastics programs with the ability to walk on depending on ability and experience levels.

      The adult market is certainly not a large market for gymnastics schools. Adults have so many conflicting interests that they don’t tend to attend regularly all year and tend to miss classes frequently. Classes can be full one month and empty the next, so it can be somewhat of a problematic program for gyms to manage.

      In light of an off-and-on trend for college age gymnasts to continue to compete internationally, you would think gyms would take more of an interest in older gymnasts, but this is not generally the trend.

      Anyway, hope that helps and good luck. If there is anything else we can do for you or you have further questions, just let us know.

  3. Vivien March 28, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Hi!
    I’m really, really interested in learning and to start training in gymnastics, but I think I’m getting off at quite a late start (I’m 13) and I’m having trouble actually FINDING a gym or a coach in that matter. I’m in Ontario, Canada, and it’s really difficult to find one. Any tips?

    • GymnasticsZone March 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

      Ontario is a huge province and without knowing where you actually live in the great province of Ontario, I can’t give you any specific suggestions. You did not give me any idea of exactly where you live so I can’t list the gyms closest to you like I normally might do. I seem to be answering a lot of questions lately where I start out by saying that people need to give specifics when they ask questions. If I only get very general questions, I can only give very general answers, which may or may not be of any real help. So everyone, whenever you ask a question to “Ask the Coach” please give as detailed a question as possible.

      To find a gym on your own, go to Google.com and type in “gymnastics in Ontario Canada” and you will see all of the gyms indicated on a Google Map. You could also type in gymnastics and the name of the town or city where you live to get a map of the gyms located nearest to where you live.

      Call and/or visit the gyms close to you, talk to the coaches and see what the have to say about how you would fit into their program, see what equipment, pits and trampolines they have and make your decision. Good luck!

  4. Crista March 29, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    I’m 13 yrs. i can’t do splits but i’m kinda ok with my back flexibility. i’ve never done gymnastics but i’m scared to join cause i don’t wanna be stuck in a room full of 5 yr olds that are better than me. when i was 11 i tried to train my self at home. i’m alright with flexibility but strength is another thing i have trouble. i have agility. but am i to old to do level 1??

    • GymnasticsZone March 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

      Again, may I remind everyone that I can give much better answers if I am given more information. Because I can do some computer research, I know this questions came from Australia, but without knowing that, the question is impossible to answer. Please give meas much information as possible about what country you are from, what level, what sex, etc. Then I can give you a much better answer. So on to try to answer your question.

      First of all, you need to get into a gym right away for the summer. When you start later, it is sometimes true that you have to work out with younger gymnasts. Training at home is not really an option for gymnastics. You can do some strength and flexibility work, but especially if you have never been in gymnastics before, you need to go to a gym and get professional instruction. I don’t know where you are located in Australia, so I cannot recommend any gyms for you, but it should not be hard to find out, either on the phone book or on the Internet, what gyms are closest to you. You need to go to your local gyms and talk to the coaches, tell them what you are interested in and listen to their advice. If you have more than one local gym, you can compare them and choose the one that is best for you.

      There are three streams in Australian Gymnastics. They are the international stream, the national stream and the state stream. The International stream is designed to prepare gymnasts for international level competition like the World Championships, Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games. Most gymnasts interested and talented enough to do the international stream start in the level 1-3A routines. This training is done at special gyms and usually requires more hours of training. To be considered for the Australian National team, you must be in this stream. Most gyms are going to consider you too old at 13 to start this one.

      The next stream is national stream, which is called this because you can go to Nationals starting with Level 7. Most of these kids enter the sport in levels 1-3B. Again, this stream trains a lot of hours, do harder routines and expect you to start younger.

      The state stream is not a part of Gymnastics Australia. It is a state association system and it is different in every state. Not all states have a state stream. The state associations make up their own routines creating versions of the national routines. These gymnasts train less than ten hours per week usually and can only compete to the state level in Levels 1 – 3C.

      A very few states may even have a fourth stream, called a club stream. These are even easier stream designed for minimal training of just one to two days a week.

      With all of the Level 1 possibilities, there should be a place for you. But you really need to go to talk to the coaches in your local area. It is true that the strength and flexibility requirements are high in Australian gymnastics, but trying to do it at home without any guidance would be tough for anyone. Most gyms are always looking for gymnasts of any age and level who are going to work hard, are committed and want to be gymnasts. And while it is true that some gyms will also be looking at ability level, skill level and body type, you should go see where you might fit in. Good luck.

  5. Brandy DuBois April 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Dear Coach,

    I am fifteen years old soon to turn sixteen and I’m quite a bit overweight is it to late for me to start gymnastics seeing as I’m not in the least bit flexible?

    • GymnasticsZone May 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

      This is an interesting time for you to ask me that question, because on of my former gymnasts and friend just won the Elite Challenge in tumbling this weekend at the age of 35. It is definitely not too late for you to do anything that you want to do in gymnastics or in the rest of your life. You might want to consider doing some aerobic exercise program before you actually start doing gymnastics. Gymnastics is many things and a great deal of fun and a great sport, but it is not really an aerobic sport and neither are its practices, particularly aerobic. The really best style of training for losing weight (also the hardest to do) and which takes the least amount of time is to warm-up with some walking or jogging for a few minutes and then do 6 – 9 sets of running as fast as you can for 60 – 90 seconds and then just rest or walk slowly for 3 -4 minutes before doing the next set. You can start at a much lower level than that if you need to, but that type of program will burn off weight as quickly as it can be done. Exercising and getting in shape, getting more flexible and stronger are all things that can be done with proper training program. It’s never too late and you certainly can get into great shape and do gymnastics or anything else you want in life. hope that helps. Enjoy working out and gymnastics.

  6. Elly April 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Hi, my name is Elly, i’m 18 in less than a month, I’m female and from sydney, australia. I did gym for 5 hours a week up until i was about 12, recently I’ve began to get really interested in starting gym again. But i don’t really know how to go about it, I’m having trouble finding a gym in my area (lower north shore) that does adult class’s or classes for teenagers. I want to start doing levels, but im nervous of being in a class with younger kids. Ive began doing simple things at home, ive been stretching and practing my handstands, cartwheels and things like that so when i start i can still do basic skills. I just really miss doing gym. it used to make me so happy.

    • GymnasticsZone May 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

      Thanks for your comment and questions. I know exactly what you mean about gymnastics making you happy. I feel the same way. I am not exactly certain of where you live in Sydney, so I cannot be positive this is right, but Northern Beaches Gymnastics at the Pittwater Sports Center, 1525 Pittwater Road, Narrabeen NSW – Phone (02) 9913 7421 has an adult program. If that is not close to you, you can do what I do, which is to type in gymnastics and your city and neighborhood into Google and it will give you a list and a map of all the gymnastics programs in your areas and their web sites and contact information. Either their web site can tell you if they have an adult program or you can call and find out. I wouldn’t worry about being in a class with younger gymnasts if you join the Australian levels program. Just concentrate on why you are there and what you want to do and you will fit right in. I hope that helps and good luck, have fun and let gymnastics make you happy again.

  7. Alice Jordan May 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Hi I’m 13 and have been doing gymnastics since I was 10 I absolutely love it and want my career to be all about gymnastics, I have good flexiblility, great balance and my strength is ok (not great on upper body strength though)
    I know I can do a lot more stuff then I’m doing but anytime I try I get scared especially on bars do you have any tips to help me overcome my fears?

    Thanks,
    Alice

    • GymnasticsZone June 8, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      Dear Alice, There is an article at: http://gymnasticszone.com/gymnastics-fear-scared-on-bars and it is about some slightly different fears, but all of the principles apply. This should really give you a lot of new tools you can use to help yourself control from being scared on bars and the other events. Good luck and keep watching our web site for more.

  8. MAKALA DURYEA May 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    ok well im 12 years old (will be 13 on october 19th) and i have always had a passion for gymnastics and i do have a close gymnastics place close by but i think i’m too late to start and i dont want to feel left out because i would be starting late. i can do round offs, handstands and cartwheels (i’m practicing my splits). and i think it will be to late to sign up now so if i did do gymnastics i would probably be starting when i’m 13. i live in washington and the place that is close is in cheaials. i would like to know if it is to late for me to start gymnastics?

    • GymnasticsZone June 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

      I wrote a story about a girl who started gymnastics at about your age, actually even a year later and was incredibly successful in competition in a rather short period of time. You can read about her at:
      http://gymnasticszone.com/gymnastic-heroics

      One of the most important lessons in life is to live your life to the fullest and to do those things that you really want to do. You say you have always had a passion for gymnastics. Well, then don’t let your age stop you from living your passion. There is nothing worse in life than to look back on your life and wish you had done something that you wanted to do. Especially, if you somehow talked yourself out of it for no really good reason. So read the story and then go star in your own story.

  9. lucinda May 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Hi,
    I just turned 12 and I live in Miami, Florida and i recently got interested in gymnastics. I have had sport experience. I started taekwondo when I was 4 and stopped when I was about 10 maybe 11. I weigh around 110 lbs. I really want to do gymnastics and maybe compete seriously. I was wondering if it’s to late to start doing gymnastics and go to major competitions. I’m afraid that I will get stuck with little kids who can do much more than me. Any advice? Answers? I’m a girl by the way sorry!

    • GymnasticsZone June 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

      There a is a great similarity between some martial arts training and gymnastics training. You have at least six years that you could be training in a private club program before you might go away to college. Depending on what you mean by major competitions, that should be enough time to be able to make serious progress in the sport. It is possible that you will get put in a group with younger gymnasts or the opposite problem which is to be put in with a group of girls you own age, but who do not have dreams of competing. If you are in a class with younger gymnasts, use your age and wisdom to help them and you both will feel that you fit in better. If you are in a class of gymnasts your own age, always try to be the hardest worker in the group and hang with others in the class who are serious about the sport like you are. I don’t know where you are in Miami, but if you are north, there are quite a few good gyms – TAG has been around forever and produced some good gymnasts. Jana Bieger’s mom’s gym is up in Pompano and Tim Rand’s old gym in Boca – Twisters – have all produced some good gymnasts. Lots of choices in the Miami area. Good luck and let me know how you do or write if you have more questions.

  10. Leah May 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi, I’m 14 years old and I really want to start getting into gymnastics. I’m very athletic and all my coaches tell me I’m a natural athlete. I’m a bit flexible and I also am a girl if that makes a difference. Im not sure if it’s too late to be an Olympian which I would also like to know. I live in Yorktown Virginia and just wanna know any tips for getting in more shape to do this sport. Also flexibility tips too. Thanks :)

    • GymnasticsZone June 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      You have either five or nine years of very hard training ahead of you if you want to be a gymnastics Olympian. Natural athletes do have an advantage as they often learn physical and gymnastics skills more quickly than many others. If you have high level gymnastics aspirations, you need to find a gym capable of getting you to that level. The two best gyms in your area are unfortunately over on the other side of the bridge tunnel. The closest gym that I know of that has produced high level gymnasts in your area is Excalibur in Norfolk. Ocean Tumblers has also produced high level gymnasts but is even a little farther away from you. I recommend you lift weights to get your strength program started and you will want to do partner stretching to work on your flexibility. You are starting late but 5 – 9 years is a lot of training time in which how you do is up to you. Good Luck!

  11. lucinda June 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    hello,
    its me again :) what i meant by major competitions is like the Olympics. I was wondering is there such a thing as being too old for the Olympics? And are there any good gyms by kendall?

  12. asma June 8, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    I have a question …

    I’m 15 years old .. I want to start learning Gymnastics ..
    and I have a sport body ..

    can I take gymnastics lessons in this age .. ??? ??

    • GymnasticsZone June 8, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      You absolutely can start learning gymnastics at your age. In fact, at your age, you are hitting during the peak time for you to be able to develop the kind of strength you need for gymnastics which you might start developing by lifting weights. You will want to do partner flex stretching, unless you already have all your splits down and preferably oversplit and you will want to make sure you have good shoulder flexibility. Those are two of the basic necessities for gymnastics – strength and flexibility. Handstands are another basic which you will want to master and if you are not already able to do one well, you may want to set a goal to do a hundred of them a day, anytime, anywhere, any way at all will help you master them. You need to find a good gym with good coaches and all of the right equipment, like pits and tramps. And then you have probably three years, before college, to develop your gymnastics and get ready for that period of training time, which can extend your gymnastics career into your early 20’s giving you even more years to train and enjoy the sport.

      • asma June 10, 2011 at 12:43 am #

        thank you sir .. :)

        that was very helpful

  13. Kayla July 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    I twelve years old, almost 13 but I was wondering if gymnastics would be good for me. I have been doing tumbling for quite a few years. About 5 years of tumbling. I have be wanting to join gymnastics because I think it’d be better for me so I’m more flexible. So I was wondering if gymnastics would be better for me. But I do have a problem. Right now in tumbling I have a “mental block”. I’m having problems with connecting my tricks. For example, two standing backhand springs. I can do one standing backhand spring but when I’m about to do the next one I get scared. And roundoff backhand spring I have to do a roundoff, STOP, backhand spring because I can not connect them anymore. I used to have roundoff two but I lost it and I’m stuck with stopping. Is there anyway I can fix this too?

  14. david August 6, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    this my not full story for u, but i started tumbling at age 18. i walked into a cheerleading gym 2 months before my 19 bday, not even knowing the dif between a cartwheel and a round off. a year later i’m throwing double fulls. i’m working standing double full and crazy combo passes. it’s never too old to pick up any sport. trust me, it will be hard and it will take alot of time and work and pain, but if u really want to do it you can.

  15. Iman Yassin August 8, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    Hey Im 18 , just finished highschool and I was wondering if I could still do Gymnastics , Im from Worcester, MA and I have fit body and flexible . Can you give me any advise on where I should start . I have not so much experiance.

    • GymnasticsZone August 10, 2011 at 7:31 am #

      You need to find an adult gymnastics program in your area. There are many gyms that offer this. Find one close to you. You really might want to start a weightlifting program to strenthen your ligamentsand tendons before you start and to maximize your strength.

  16. Angie August 11, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    Hi John,
    I’m 34, live in Northampton Ma, and just started private lessons at Hampshire Gymnastics in Amherst about 4 months ago. As I’m totally blind, they deemed the adult class not a good idea due to the sporadic and varying attendance of the other members so there’s no telling how much individual attention I’d receive from week to week. Consequently, I take a weekly private lesson with one of the team coaches. I have a lot of trouble doing basic handstands, cartwheels and just walking across the beam, but I am getting there. I am very lucky to have a great coach and an excellent facility with all the standard gymnastics equipment, although it’s admittedly very lonely for me, with no team or class around, especially when I know that even the Optionals and Elites train with other people. Private lessons are an occasional tool gymnasts use in addition to team practice, but are not the sole means of their workout format. I do conditioning stuff at home, but it’s difficult motivationally, as nobody’s around. Nobody at the Y in Northampton, where I also take spin classes 4 times a week, asks me how I’m doing or even shows an interest. It’s almost as if I’m a strange breed and they’re thinking, “well, you do that.” Some even said they could or would never do that, even if they also say they want to.

    I do not think the medal podium will be in my future anytime soon, as I’m not a big fan of events for disabled athletes, and would far prefer to do regular competitions for regular people. If you look at the words “Olympics” and “paralympics” you will see that they are separate categories, putting able-bodied and disabled people in separate boxes. But gymnastics was something I have always wanted to do, so I decided to do it when the opportunity came along, if just for fun. So that’s my story.

  17. john mcclinton January 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Hi i’m a 16 yr old boy wanting to learn gymnastics. a couple years ago i went to a gym to enquire about learning gymnastics. i was put into an adult tumbling class where i wasn’t taught any flexibility or much of anything. due to financial problems i had to quit after a couple months. I am still kind of flexible, and can do some tumbling. i live in everett washington and still feel a pasion for gymnastics. due to family problems i no longer live with my family, i live with friends i don’t feel like they would support my wanting to learn gymnastics. what should i do? and where should i go for training?

    • Gymnastics Zone January 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      The closest gym with a regional and national reputation is Leading Edge. Many gyms have more work to be done than they have employees to do it. Find out if a gym is willing to trade your doing work for them for classes. You may have to call and talk to a number of gyms, to find one that is willing to do that, but it could be a win-win situation.

  18. regina January 14, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Hi, I’m a 14 year old freshman in high school and I would really like to start gymnastics. I did gymnastics when I was little, but then I stopped. Right now, I’m doing varsity swimming and select soccer, so I’m pretty athletic. I can’t do the splits all the way any more, but I do have a little flexibility in my back. I’m from the Bay Area in California, and I would really like to start gymnastics, but there aren’t any classes for people my age near me. Can you help me?

    • Gymnastics Zone January 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      Let me know where you are in the Bay Area (that is still a huge area) and I can give you a little more help. It is sometimes hard to find gyms with classes for your age, but there are enough gyms near you that I suspect that you will be able to find a program you like.

  19. Abby February 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    Hi. Im 13 years old and want to get into trampoline and tumbling. I have been wanting to do it for a while. I am wondering if it’s too late and if I will be stuck with little kids?

  20. Johany February 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Hey, i’m 14 turning 15 in a few months and i am really interested in doing gymnastics. i have done dancing for a while and cheering also. i used to do my splits all the way, but now i can’t. is it to late for me to start? I don’t want to be in a little children’s class, while im embarrasing myself because i am a beginner – hah.

    • Gymnastics Zone March 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      Never too late to start. It is certainly possible that a gymnastics gym may not have enough students for a class of beginning gymnasts who are your age and you may be in an adult class or a class with younger gymnasts to start. Quit worrying about being embarrassed and focus on what your goals in gymnastics and life are. Going through life worrying about something that may or may not even happen, like being embarrassed, is no way to have the life you want and dream about.

  21. A Child Within February 10, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    I really enjoyed your website, thank you for your service!

    I’m a 30 year old woman living in Boston with no gymnastics experience. Growing up I always wanted to be a gymnast: I’d tape the Olympics and watch them over and over, and I practiced cartwheels and handstands in the schoolyard until my teachers demanded that I stop. My parents couldn’t afford to send me to any classes, so I never learned any skills.

    I’d love to learn some simple skills, like a proper back walkover or handspring. I still can’t really afford a regular coach, so I’m hoping you can tell me what exercises I can do to gain flexibility and strength in order to try things on my own? I’m 5’7 and 120lbs, so I’m not sure if I’m too tall or heavy to try anything safely on my own… What advice would you give me?

    Thanks very much for your website!

    • Gymnastics Zone March 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      Lift weights for efficient strength gains and ligament and tendon strengthening before doing any gymnastics. Do some high intensity aerobics work. Do partner shoulder stretching and splits, so you will be able to do walkovers and other skills that require flexibility. There are taller gymnasts than you and if you work out hard and do high intensity aerobic training, you will be fit enough.

  22. lucia March 2, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Hi, i am 13 years old i have been thinking about and wanting to start gymnastics. i have never done gymnastics in my life before, although we have done it in school. i can do a few tricks. is it to late for me to start?

    • Gymnastics Zone March 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      At age 13, it is not too late to start anything in life. Go for it!

    • MintCoCoFrog November 5, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      I started at 14!! And went to college with gymnastics!!

  23. Elisa June 10, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    Dear Coach,
    I am 18 years old. When I was younger I took acrobats, and I really enjoyed it until I thought I was too fat to do it so I quit. As a child I had very low confidence. Even now I feel that I quit almost everything because I am not too confident and I cannot stand when people stare at me. I feel way out of my comfort zone so I quit dance as a child as well. Just a year ago I went into tumbling, I passed the novice level but after that I never went back. I also took gymnastics class as well but I felt out of my comfort zone because I was training with little kids and I hated the parents staring at me. I guess you can say I worry what people think of me. But ever since I have always stretched, I do my handstands, back bends, kartwheels, round offs and such. I want to get better, but I think im a little too old although I do have some skills. I’m 4’11 and dont really look my age but Do you think theres any way I can go back without worrying what parents think or other people think of me? Can you give me advice?

    • MintCoCoFrog November 5, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      I started gymanstics when I was 14 years old. I am grateful to gymnastics for, really, saving my life (rough upbringing). This sport teaches balance in life and on the beam, It teaches you that if you cheat, you cheat yourself. I learned that if I want something, I have to work my every muscle to achieve it. The sport even taught me my multiplication tables at 15. It gave me a drive I continue to have to overcome obstacles. Gymnastics is for anyone who desires to learn and grow.
      Because I was “older” I wasn’t taken seriously, I had to fight for my “spot” on team at age 15. I had to teach myself skills during open gyms and any place that I could so that one day, someone would see my perseverance and take me in.
      I am grateful to have been eager as I went to college and was able to achieve my dream of going to college, albeit, I was in D3 because once I was able, educationally-wise (never went to school as a youngster) I was “too old” (21) for D1 even though my skill level was recognized as D1 material. I am still very grateful for my experience as I student-gymnast and experiencing what it was like to rely on each other in competition and classes. A profound experience of which I am humbled to have been a part.
      I, even a 27, love gymnastics and still love to go into the gym where I coach and teach myself new stuff. My bodt aches, but the gymnastics is my meditation and focus. You are never too old. Keep going. I’ll cheer you on

  24. NeedHelp August 11, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    please reply, i really want to join T-T

  25. GymnasticsZone August 18, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Many people do not realize that we are not an ordinary gymnastics center. In fact, we are a gymnastics information business that exclusively works to train coaches, gymnasts, parents and gym owners in the very best and very latest methods available in the gymnastics industry. If you let me know where you live, I can help you find a gym in your area where you can take T&T.

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