Real Gymnasts Do Gymnastics Strength Training
Gymnastics skills at every level require a certain minimum amount of strength and flexibility. If you don’t have the strength, you will never learn a kip, no matter how many times you are spotted or attempt it. A gymnastics strength training program can greatly accelerate a gymnasts mastery of many skills.
Heredity and Hard Work
While heredity (some gymnasts are born stronger) is a distinct factor in the strength potential of athletes and gymnasts, strength can be developed with the correct strength training program. If you are naturally strong, work hard to increase your advantage. If you are not naturally strong, follow a carefully planned system of strength training to overcome your weakness.
Need A Separate Strength Training Program
Practicing gymnastics is not in itself enough strength training. You need to engage in a systematic program of strength and flexibility training throughout your entire gymnastics career. In particular, you will benefit most if you develop sufficient strength first or early in your gymnastics career, which will allow you to learn skills more quickly and easily.
Build Gymnastics “Strength”
Strength training is specific to each sport. Gymnasts need to develop strength, explosive power and quickness. For example, marathon training would be of little use to a gymnast.
e-Book Strength Topics
There is already quite a bit of information our Level e-Books on strength and flexibility. There are chapters that focus on the following topics:
- The Importance of Strength
- The Importance of Flexibility
- Strength Training
- Conditioning and Physical Fitness
- TOPS Program/STEP Program
- Plyometric Training Program
- Partner Stretching
- Gymnastics Strength Workout Charts
- Flexibility Testing
- Personal Strength Records
Parents and Gymnasts Can Understand Strength Training
Strength and flexibility are areas (about the only areas) that parents can be knowledgeable enough to help their gymnast themselves. Extra strength and flexibility work can be done at home with the help and supervision of parents, when appropriate. Especially at the lower compulsory levels, gymnasts don’t work out every day and often have limited time for strength and flexibility training time at the gym.
The Keys to the Gymnastics Kingdom (Queendom?)
Strength and flexibility are keys to success in gymnastics and you want to make sure gymnasts are getting enough training in those areas.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that additional strength and flexibility training is necessary. If your gymnast is already involved in daily 30 – 45 minute intense strength training, you neither need nor want to do more. More than that much intense strength training can result in injury, burn-out and won’t be productive in building additional strength. If your gymnast is not getting this much training, they could potentially benefit from more training.
Progressive Strength Training
The major qualities a gymnastics strength training program should have are regular (daily) training, progressive training (regular increase in reps, sets, weight involved and intensity) and a rest period where the muscles have an opportunity to grow. Many gymnastics programs do not or are not able to provide such a program or the training time to do such a program.
Special Gymnastics Strength Testing Programs
It is important to emphasize that many of the successful gymnasts in our country trained in special gymnastics training programs that emphasized strength and flexibility training and testing and then high level gymnastics skills. There are two programs currently operational in the country like that.
STEP and TOP Strength Testing Programs
You might like to monitor their web presence for any new items and program changes. We highly recommend that serious gymnasts participate in one of these programs or a strength program like them.
Use a Comprehensive Strength Program
It is important to understand that these testing programs are not complete strength training programs in themselves and must be supplemented with other strength training activities and exercises.
Good luck and feel free to contact us if you have any other questions and keep an eye out for our upcoming strength training program for gymnasts.