Simone Biles makes stunning withdrawal; U.S. women’s gymnastics takes silver

By Emily GiambalvoJuly 27, 2021 at 1:39 p.m. EDT

TOKYO — When Simone Biles soars through the air, her skills flow in an effortless rhythm that makes the extraordinary seem simple. She has been superhumanly dominant for nearly a decade, with a load of pressure and expectations always resting on her shoulders. But as Biles pushed off the vaulting table Tuesday night, her first flight of the evening, a peculiar sight emerged: She looked lost and shaken as she flipped and twisted, unable to perform the skill she intended.

So Biles did the unthinkable: She stepped away from the meet and her role in her country’s quest for another Olympic gold medal in the women’s gymnastics team competition.

After her unusual vault, Biles scurried out of the arena with a medical staffer by her side. She said she realized she wasn’t in “the right head space.” When Biles returned to the competition floor, she pulled her sweatsuit over her leotard and hugged her three teammates, who suddenly became aware they would have to compete without her.

At first, they were stressed and in tears. Ultimately, they earned a silver medal, placing second to the Russian Olympic Committee team.

Simone Biles and the price of being a GOAT

At 24, Biles is the veteran on the team. But she says she doesn’t trust herself as she used to. The sport doesn’t feel as much fun, she says. Nerves bubble to the surface, especially in the high-stakes environment of an Olympic gymnastics team final. And Tuesday, it all became too much for the world’s best gymnast.

“I know that this Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself,” Biles said afterward, tearing up. “I came here, and I felt like I was still doing it for other people. So that just hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people.”

Biles stands among the world’s most popular athletes. She holds power to spark change with her words. She has been an outspoken critic of USA Gymnastics, the national governing body she represents, and how it failed to protect gymnasts from sexual abuse. Biles is the only self-identified survivor of former national team doctor Larry Nassar’s crimes still competing at the elite level.

After the United States qualified for the team final in second place Sunday, Biles wrote on social media, “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times.”

When asked about those comments following her decision to withdraw from the team final, Biles said, “Yeah, that s— [is] heavy.”

Five years ago, when Biles led the United States to a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she probably wouldn’t have made the choice to withdraw, she told reporters. Biles said she might have pushed through, attempting dangerous skills while second-guessing herself and “fighting all those demons” that occupied her mind. In 2021, she said, withdrawing was the right option — for her safety and even for the team’s medal chances.

“We want to walk out of here,” Biles said. “Not be dragged out of here on a stretcher or anything. So it’s like, got to do what’s best for me, and that was what was best for the team.”

Biles arrived in Tokyo with the expectation that she could earn up to five gold medals. Now she has a silver and a spot in five individual finals — the all-around competition, as well as the final for each apparatus. But she doesn’t know what lies ahead for her at these Games.

Here’s what is left on Simone BIles’s Olympic schedule

“We’re going to take it a day at a time, and we’ll see what happens,” Biles said. She confirmed that she had no injury — “Just my pride is hurt a little bit.”

With the all-around final Thursday, Biles acknowledges that there will be a quick turnaround. Annie Heffernon, the vice president of the U.S. women’s gymnastics program, said USA Gymnastics has a plan to help get Biles the professional support she needs. Biles said therapy has helped her in the past with mental health challenges. But this high-stress atmosphere of the Olympics made the struggle on the competition floor too much to overcome.

“Going into the next couple days, it’s like …” Biles said, pausing to collect her emotions as her teammates wrapped their arms around her. “Sorry,” she said. “It is what it is. Whatever happens, happens.”

Biles could return to herself — a dominant gymnast who understands that her performance here is secondary. Or she might not feel comfortable enough to compete again. Biles said her goal for the rest of the Olympics is to “focus on my well-being and [that] there’s more to life than just gymnastics.”

As Biles trained for her second Olympics, she said she wanted the Games to be about herself — not about what others thought and not all those otherworldly expectations that she can somehow usually meet anyway. As these Games approached, Biles said, she felt that mind-set drifting. The struggles seeped into her training, prompting mental errors. The vault in the team final was the first public sign that something was not right, but her teammates had witnessed similar episodes in practices.

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“She was giving us a little heart attack,” teammate Jordan Chiles said.

“It just sucks that it happens here at the Olympic Games, because it can happen any other time,” Biles said. “But with the year that it’s been, I’m really not surprised how it played out.”

As Biles stood on the sideline Tuesday night wearing a white sweatsuit and cheering for her teammates, she processed the decision she had made on the sport’s biggest stage.

“At the end of the day, we’re human, too,” Biles said, “We have to protect our mind and our body rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”

Read highlights from the competition below

How the ‘Today Show’ covered Simone Biles while the competition aired on Peacock

By Ben Strauss11:16 a.m.Link copied

On Tuesday morning’s edition of NBC’s “Today Show” there was breaking Olympics news to discuss. Simone Biles, perhaps the biggest star in the Tokyo Olympics, which are airing on NBC, had stunningly withdrawn from the team competition.

It was arguably one of the biggest stories of the Games so far and the “Today Show” went live to Hota Kotb at the gymnastics venue to discuss it. Kotb mentioned how Biles winced after a vault and how she believed there was probably a medical issue with Biles. She described Biles taking off her grips, putting on her sweatpants and explaining to her teammates that she is out.

“You guys this is a really, really big deal,” Kotb said. “It has sent like this ripple, this wave, through this arena.”

Kotb then conducted an interview with Biles’s teammate, Mykayla Skinner, who did not offer any more insight into Biles’s condition though the two women discussed the pressures of the athletes competing away from their families because of coronavirus protocols. Biles later said the issue was not physical.

What the “Today Show” did not air, though, was any video of Biles from Tuesday, including the vault in question. Nor did it show any of the action that Kotb described — Biles taking off her grips or talking to her teammates. The gymnastics competition was airing live on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, but was not slated to air on NBC until prime time Tuesday night.

NBC is putting some live content exclusively on Peacock in the hopes that it can drive subscribers to the service, which is competing and chasing the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus. It is also managing the time zone difference between Tokyo and the United States, saving some of the most popular content to air in prime time. Kotb was sure to remind of viewers that the gymnastics coverage would air in its entirety in prime time during her segment.

But the Biles withdrawal created an awkward moment. It was a news story beyond the winners and losers of the event, something that the “Today Show” had to cover. And even as NBC viewers were left in the dark about what events looked like, clips began to circulate on social media. The “Today Show” also wasn’t the only NBC station to avoid the video. MSNBC covered the Biles news Tuesday morning, but only showed still photographs of the action.AdvertisementKey update

What’s next for Simone Biles?

By Matt Bonesteel10:16 a.m.Link copied

U.S. gymnastics star Simone Biles departed the Olympic women’s team competition Tuesday because of what USA Gymnastics described as a “medical issue.” Her condition “will be addressed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” USA Gymnastics said in a brief statement.

While her status for the rest of the Olympics is up in the air, Biles has qualified for all of the remaining women’s gymnastics events. Here’s the schedule. Each of these events will be aired live on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service.

Women’s individual all-around: Thursday, 6:50 a.m. Eastern.

Biles is one of 24 gymnasts who qualified for the individual all-around event. In the individual all-around, each athlete does one routine on each apparatus: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Their scores are added together and whoever has the highest cumulative score is the winner.

Sunisa Lee of the United States also qualified for the individual all-around (each country is limited to two gymnasts in both the individual all-around and the apparatus finals).

Women’s apparatus finals

Biles has qualified for all four apparatus finals by virtue of finishing in the top eight on each in qualifying. Each gymnast will get one exercise on each apparatus with the exception of vault, where the gymnasts will make two attempts and the scores of the two are averaged to determine the winner.

(All times Eastern)

Vault: Sunday, 4:45 a.m. Jade Carey also has qualified from the United States.

Uneven bars: Sunday, 6:27 a.m. Lee also has qualified from the United States.

Floor exercise: Monday, 4:45 a.m. Carey also has qualified from the United States.

Balance beam: Tuesday, 4:48 a.m. Lee also has qualified from the United States.Advertisement

Simone Biles congratulates Russian gymnasts

By Cindy Boren9:42 a.m.Link copied

Her participation in the Olympics relegated to a day-to-day status because of what USA Gymnastics said was “a medical issue,” Simone Biles remained a formidable presence with her teammates, encouraging them in the gold medal team competition.

When it was over, she was among the first to walk over and congratulate the Russian Olympic Committee on winning gold and sending the U.S. gymnasts to a silver medal.

“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” USA Gymnastics announced. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”AdvertisementKey update

U.S. women take silver; Russian Olympic Committee wins gold

By Emily Giambalvo9:02 a.m.Link copied

Tokyo — When Simone Biles exited the arena, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team’s gold medal chances plummeted. The world’s best gymnast later returned to the sideline, but she withdrew from the competition for what USA Gymnastics cited as a “medical issue.”

Without Biles, the team scrambled to fill those holes in the lineup, and even though the United States had an opportunity to catch the Russian Olympic Committee heading into the final rotation, the Americans could not close the deal. The U.S. team earned the silver medal behind the ROC. A gap of more than three points separated the two nations after Jordan Chiles fell on a tumbling pass, crushing any hope the team had left. On the final routine from the ROC, Angelina Melnikova only needed to avoid disaster, and she hit her routine, bringing the team’s total to a 169.528, well ahead of Team USA’s 166.096.

Biles only performed on vault, and she didn’t execute the skill she intended. Her low score there pushed the Americans behind the ROC from the start, and navigating the next three rotations without Biles was too much to manage. The Russians had two falls on beam, which opened the door for Team USA, but the United States still would have needed an excellent rotation. Small mistakes from Grace McCallum and the fall from Chiles were detrimental. But the largest blow throughout was the absence of Biles, who usually earns the team’s best score on vault, beam and floor.Advertisement

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/2021/07/27/olympic-gymnastics-live-updates-womens-final/

Simone Biles makes stunning withdrawal; U.S. women’s gymnastics takes silver Read More »

11 Health Benefits of Gymnastics, According to Science (+10 Tips for Beginners)

Metro Blind Sport

Gymnastics is one of the best exercises for training for overall health and wellness. Multiple studies on this subject prove the importance of gymnastics for bone, muscle, and cognitive health. It’s not only about building muscle and improving flexibility, gymnasts make healthy lifestyle choices, are confident, and are able to make smart decisions to become successful adults.

Training your mind to feel happy and stress-free involves regular physical exercise. But boosting one’s cognitive and emotional state of mind requires a more intense and consistent training program. And that’s why gymnastics is so good for you! It helps build self-morale, determination, and better communication skills. It also improves quality of sleep, fights depression, and aids weight loss in the most effective way.

Participating in gymnastics from a younger age is important. It targets all muscle groups for total-body strength and flexibility. Plus, it fights a bunch of metabolic and immune disorders by lowering blood pressure and releasing antioxidant enzymes within the body.

With that out of the way, I found 11 science-backed health benefits of gymnastics for all of you! So it’s never too late to begin, right?

1. Learning Gymnastics Enhances The Body’s Complex Motor Skill

A recent study on the positive effects of gymnastics proved that doing complex gymnastics training on a daily basis can improve knowledge in performance and movement. This means it accelerates the body’s general motor skill for better mobility and posture.

Learning a motor skill as complex and elaborate as gymnastics has a profound effect on the body’s muscles and bones. It also enhances motor learning and effects other factors such as physical response and learning skills. So if you participate in gymnastics on a regular basis, it means you can learn better than those who don’t.

Such positive effects can also impact attention and communication. The study showed that gymnasts performing more complex training and trampoline exercises showed a higher percentage of motor learning skill than those who performed basic moves.

Hence, this study clearly indicated why learning progressing at complex sports such as gymnastics has a positive effect on your learning abilities and motor skills. It makes you more quick to respond physical and elevates your cognitive function to learn and understand faster.

Key Takeaway: Latest research suggests that learning complex gymnastic exercises can help you improve your performance motor skills. It also trains the mind to learn and communicate faster and better in challenging situations.

2. Doing Gymnastics Regularly Can Dramatically Increase Flexibility

You will come across a gymnast who’s not flexible. Because gymnastics consists of performing specific types of stunts and turns, improving flexibility is very important. That said, the bends and twists involved in gymnastics alleviates all types of muscle and joint stiffness.

So gymnasts can practice a wide range of movements without injuring their joints and muscles. Young gymnasts are more flexible with stronger ligaments, tendons, and joints. This means early participation in gymnastics can improve flexibility and prevent growth defects and fatigue.

This review also shed light on how gymnastics improves gravity hold and posture, making it easier for gymnasts to practice balancing on beams and narrow bases.

Other stunts including forward kicks, leaps, splits, and side-kicks all depend on a gymnast’s flexibility. So practicing expert gymnastic training exercises consistently can dramatically improve your flexibility and relax your muscles to prevent any sort of serious injury during performance.

Key Takeaway: Flexibility is the ability to bend and stretch joints and muscles while performing supervised stunts. People with a higher range of flexibility are at a lower risk of getting injured during gymnastics practice than those with stiff muscles and joints. Hence, doing more gymnastics training helps improve flexibility and target all muscle groups in the body.

3. Participation In Gymnastics Can Build Proper Coordination And Balance

Increasing coordination and balance can help enhance body awareness and movement. If you practice gymnastics for long, you will be able to use different parts of your body in versatile ways. Not to mention, it improves overall body control and stability.

A recent review about the positive effects of gymnastics on children showed how increasing coordination can directly impact motor skills and body alertness. Training from a younger age can alleviate muscle tension and make your body feel more conscious and alive, a study suggests.

Any sort of organised sport, like gymnastics, can improve both speed and balance in children. Plus, it helps build the foundation of total-body strength and agility. More research has linked coordination with gymnastics to improve performance while carrying out somersaults, backflips, and beam balancing.

To improve coordination and balance, gymnasts perform sprints or side jumping jacks. This helps increase agility during tests and alleviate muscle sprains and other injuries.

Key Takeaway: Maximum coordination and balance are key to performing complex gymnastic training exercises. Gymnasts are consistently tested and trained to improve agility to perform better on the balance beam or for somersaults. This elevates the ability to control and balance the body against gravity.

4. Gymnasts Have A Better Sense Of Personal Control And Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is very important for gymnasts and athletes during performance. Believe it or not, gaining personal control and self-esteem is a common trait among gymnasts. They feel more self-aware and confident about their performance. So participating in gymnastics can improve your sense of self by training your mind to not be critical and over-perform during training.

Another impressive benefit of gymnastics is improved confidence and judgement. Being a good judge to your own performance skills is a good way to train harder and build muscle. This trait also makes you less nervous around other people’s criticism and judgement.

Another study by the University of Toronto showed how personal control and physical exercise go hand-in-hand for stellar performance. Young adults can gain internal focus and personal control by practising highly-complex and challenging sports, including gymnastics.

This study included 30 female gymnasts between 11 and 17 years. The results showed that the girls with practising higher performance sports reported a significantly high self-esteem and personal control.

Key Takeaway: A challenging exercise routine can apply to your innate personal traits such as personal control and self-confidence. Multiple reports have suggested that gymnasts who perform complex routines are less self-conscious and self-critical during performance.

5. Gymnastics Promote Healthy Cognitive Functioning

There’s a direct link between physical fitness and cognitive function. A latest study proved that agility training, circuit training, coordination, and other intense physical skills can dramatically impact cognitive markers.

These include reasoning skills, verbal communication, spatial ability, and inductive reasoning. All these are specific cerebral activities that determine a person’s overall cognitive health. These mechanisms also impact a person’s attention, learning, and memory skills.

The study focused on the cognitive differences between an elite sportsperson and amateur sportsperson. The results concluded that those who perform more challenging and complex exercise routines reported higher cognitive abilities than amateurs.

The last review on this subject explored the dynamics of cognitive health and physical performance for overall academic achievement. The result was that different parts of the brain such as the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are greatly influenced by physical performance. These are the parts responsible for better physical movement.

The cerebellum, one the other hand, coordinates proper physical movement. While the prefrontal cortex helps navigate and initiate better physical action to avoid injuries and errors.

Key Takeaway: Learning new and improved gymnastic moves can make your brain smarter according to multiple studies. It improves cognitive health by broadening memory, attention, reasoning, and learning skills. It also impacts certain areas of the brain responsible for physical movement and coordination.

6. Enhanced Gymnastic Training Can Improve Bone Health

Increasing bone mineral density without the need of any medication is one of the most effective treatments. Participating in gymnastics, on the other hand, also helps improves bone health and wellness.

Due to a number of factors, including age, bones tend to get thinner and lose most of their nutrients. This causes severe health problems such as osteoporosis, bone less, and bone fractures.

To strengthen bones and accelerate bone mineral density, regular participation in gymnastics is essential. A study showed that gymnastics training has a positive effect on bone health in girls. It improves bone geometry and resistance in girls. This study analyzed the bone health of 49 girls between 9 to 13 years of age.

According to the results, the group who performed intensive gymnastic training exercises had increased bone thickness and volumetric bone density. It also evaluated long-term bone mineral density thickness in female gymnasts during old age.

Another study on the same health effects of gymnastics proved that it accelerates lumbar bone mineral density after 27 weeks of intense training.

Key Takeaway: You can maximize bone health and strength by practicing more intense gymnastic exercises. Elite gymnasts showed increased lumbar support, bone mineral density, and tissue mass due to increased physical training.

7. Participation In Gymnastics Might Help You Lose Weight

Gymnasts who compete in tournaments have increased muscular strength with minimum body fat. Hence participating in gymnastics can dramatically burn calories and make the body’s muscles more toned and strong.

Because gymnasts follow a strict diet plan and train for hours in a day, the number of calories burned is higher. According to a recent review, gymnastics is considered a moderate fat-burning exercise routine. But it does promote steady weight loss if practiced consistently.

Throw in a healthy diet and persistent training, learning different gymnastics moves for weight loss is possible. Another important health benefit is that gymnastics promotes better body conditioning and toning. So when you increase your body’s flexibility, balance, and coordination, it automatically leads to faster weight loss.

Also, practicing gymnastics regularly can also curb unhealthy appetites and cravings. So you eat healthy and provide your body with nutrients that aid fat burning and muscle toning.

Key Takeaway: You can lose weight and become fit by focusing on practicing gymnastics on a day-to-day basis. It even encourages healthy eating habits to burn fat and increase muscular endurance.

8. Gymnastic Strength Training Can Positively Impact Muscle Health

A study on the effects of gymnastics on muscle health showed that long-term gymnastics training can improve muscle reflexes and muscle extension. If you’ve heard of hip extensions, you know what muscle extension is and how important it is for most adults.

But to sum it up, muscle extension is the movement that increases the angle between joints and bones. The opposite of this movement is known as muscle flexion.

The study evaluated 20 gymnasts and 20 non-athletes. The results showed that gymnasts had 30% higher muscle extension than non-athletes. It also concluded that better physical training programs for gymnasts can improve muscle reflexes and extensor muscle health for better performance.

The kind of muscle resistance you develop increases core strength and balance. And due to consistent practice involving stretches, the muscles are less likely to injure or sprain after a fall. This increases muscle endurance with long-term health benefits as you get older.

Key Takeaway: Gymnastics enhances the proper development and maintenance of the muscles in young gymnasts and adults. If you participate in gymnastics regularly, it will help tone all muscle groups and alleviate muscle soreness, stiffness, and pain.

9. Gymnastics Can Also Prevent And Treat Incorrect Body Posture

Gymnastics instills correct and healthy postural control. This is when you maintain an upright posture either while sitting or standing. Incorrect body posture seated or otherwise can often lead to fatigue and leg and back pain.

Certain activities including stretching, walking, and high-knees can promote proper posture control. With that in mind, a recent study proved how expertise in gymnastics is good for maintaining a healthy posture for most people.

The study involved 6 gymnasts and 6 athletes in non-gymnastics sports. Based on certain markers such as center of pressure and postural sway it was determined that gymnasts have better posture control than others.

Hence precision in sitting and standing in an upright posture may be corrected by participating in gymnastics. Anybody with an incorrect body posture can struggle to move around. Plus, it also impacts motor skills, increasing your chances of a fall without proper support. (16)

Since gymnastics create better coordination and balance, posture control comes without doubt. It helps you walk better and sit for longer hours without experiencing any back or neck pain.

Key Takeaway: There is a definite link between gymnastics and posture control according to a recent study. The study concluded that gymnasts had a better sense of posture control than non-gymnastic athletes.

10. There Is A Clear Link Between Gymnastics And Depression

Modern science has always placed emphasis on reducing depression, anxiety, and stress with regular physical exercise. This time, based on multiple studies, participation in gymnastics can help combat depressive symptoms.

According to this study, long-term depression leads to neuro-endocrine secretion which impacts both mood, sleep, fitness, and overall health. A study on 156 depressed patients was carried out in three different groups. The first group focused on drug treatment and the second on sports-related exercise program. The last group focused on both drug treatment and exercise.

Based on the results, long-term continuation of physical exercise in depressed patients showed a significant improvement in psychological health. Since the body was stimulated by only physical factors, it caused a more natural psychological response and brain chemistry.

Another study focused on reducing depressive symptoms in elderly patients. According to the research conducted, participation in gymnastics can improve heart condition and autonomic system. This also impacts mood swings, stress, and a variety of psychiatric symptoms in elders.

In addition, the effects of regular gymnastics activity against the proliferation of depression came out positive in a similar study. This study focused on how physical exercise impacts the brain. It reduces endorphin abstinence which is a major contributor to restlessness, fatigue, irritability, etc.

Lack of regular exercise can cause endorphin abstinence in both youngsters and adults.

Key Takeaway: These studies prove that gymnastics has a well-defined effect on mental health. It reduces signs of depression, promotes endorphin release, and is a safer alternative to drug treatment for long-term use.

11. Gymnastics Training For Pregnant Women Can Improve Sleep Quality

Pregnancy comes with a whole slew of problems including fatigue, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Based on recent studies, participating in gymnastics for healthy pregnant women can positively impact sleep disturbances.

A group of 132 pregnant women were divided into two groups. The first group participated in a moderate-level gymnastics training program while the second group had none. After a 10-week period, the participant’s pyscho-emotional status and sleeping patterns were taken into account.

The results showed there was a significant decrease in anxiety and stress status that is the psycho-emotional status of the first group. Also it reduced restless sleep, chronic tiredness, daytime sleepiness. While the second group with no participation in gymnastics showed no positive result at all.

This study also claims that healthy pregnant women can improve, if not prevent their psycho-emotional status by performing more training exercises similar to or gymnastics. This can directly affect sleep quality in most humans.

Pregnant women are increasingly falling victim to sleeplessness and daytime sleepiness. Participating in gymnastics is a clever way to incorporate a healthy lifestyle and prevent emotional disturbances that might lead to insomnia.

Key Takeaway: Gymnastics help induce a healthier sleeping pattern in pregnant women. It also promotes better psycho-emotional responses to fight off depression, mood swings, and anxiety levels.

Doing Them The Right Way – 10 Healthy Tips for Beginners

It’s no surprise that gymnastics is both a mentally and physically challenging sport. It focuses on body awareness, coordination, balance, and flexibility. So gymnasts train hard to build muscular strength and endurance without minimizing serious injuries.

You now know why gymnastics is so important for most people. It fights depression, increases bone mineral density, and promotes better mental and cognitive function.

So how to get started in gymnastics to reap all its health benefits?

Getting started with gymnastic routines:

Before I list all the important gymnastic skills to look forward to, it’s important to pick a gymnastics class that fits your age group. If you’re starting off late, it’s better to first attend a few gymnastics training programs. This will help you determine your physical abilities, strength, and flexibility. And it also helps you decide what you need to work on the most.

Floor

The floor is where it all starts. It involves basic gymnastic skills including balance and body strength. If you hold your ground, you then progress to more complex floor movements. Elite gymnasts master the basic floor moves like handstands, rolls, cartwheels, and somersaults. These are trained and performed on a standard mat or spring floor to avoid injuries or sprains.

Beam

Practicing on the beam involves better body movement and coordination. A beam is a made up of leather material, usually 4 inches wide. Female gymnasts often develop different gymnastic skills including tap swing and stride circle. The more complicated gymnastic movements on the beam are handstand, piked Jager, straddle back, and many more.

Vault

The vaulting table is where are complex skills are practiced. But for beginners, it involves more basic skills like handstands and straddles. Working your way towards complex vault movements requires muscular strength, flexibility, and better balance. It also means to “stick the landing” in a professional and precise manner.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at a few important fitness tips for beginners. This will help you get started with gymnastics in a healthy and injury-free manner.

1. Stick To A Schedule

Any gymnast would tell you how important it is to stick to a proper gymnastic training framework. As per expert recommendation, training 3 times a week is ideal for beginners to target all muscle groups. Each day focuses on a different training program starting from low-intensity, medium-weight intensity, to high intensity sessions.

Such versatile training programs can build up better physical endurance and flexibility for beginners. Also it offers you a day’s rest after every session for faster recovery.

2. Get The Basics Right

As with any other sport, learning the basic moves is critical for training. Since gymnastics is a sport of flexibility, strength, and agility, it’s important to master the basics before moving forward to more complex moves.

Based on a scientific review, building upper-body strength is necessary. Beginners can work on that with basic push-ups. There are different variations of doing a basic push-up. So you can increase the number of reps each week as you get stronger.

Doing a frog-stand to develop balancing skills and target core muscles is next. To master this basic, you need to squat with your hands on the floor. It’s important to lead forward while lifting your legs and touching the knees to the elbows. Hold this position for about 30 seconds to master a frog-stand.

Other basic moves include a handstand and somersault.

3. It’s Important To Learn The Rules

Gymnasts don’t take rules lightly. For accurate performance, especially on a competitive level, following the rules is critical. That’s why beginners are first taught the important rules of gymnastics before training begins. Following these general rules help gymnasts hit higher scores and follow the routine effectively.

For example, at the time of competition, skills such as balance beam and floor come with strict time limits. If a gymnast exceeds the prescribed time limit, it leads to a score deduction. Other additional rules are proper conduct, body position, etc.

4. Stretch Before And After Your Training

Stretching for flexibility and stretching for injury prevention are two different things. Most people give least importance to stretching for injury prevention.

According to a recent study, stretching before and after gymnastics training has positive neural and performance benefits. It helps in relaxing all muscle groups to reduce muscle stiffness and cramps. Also, an increase in stretching leads to a significant increase in range of motion and balance.

Stretching is important to boost strength and prevent fatigue caused by high-intensity workouts. Gymnasts who stretch for injury prevention also reported better muscle strength and reduced muscle stiffness after training. This can also prevent frequent muscle tears and knee problems.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep and exercise go hand-in-hand for athletes and gymnasts. It’s important to get enough sleep for proper training, especially when you want to make progress. For gymnastics training, beginners need extra sleep to reduce stress on the muscles and bones. It also helps in recovery for muscle soreness, especially after the first few sessions.

That said, beginners should train during evenings that is neither too early in the morning nor too late. If you train during your early waking hours, it can cause tiredness throughout the day. While training too late can leave you with very little body strength to train with.

So as beginners, giving your body complete rest and recovery by training in the evenings is easier to recover from.

6. Don’t Forget To Wear Protective Gear

There are many ways to injure when practicing gymnastics. Floor exercises causes the most injuries, according to a recent study. But amateurs can hurt themselves by falling off the beam or other sports equipment too.

The most common injuries are ligament tears, bone fracture, muscle sprain, and back problems. So in order to stay protected, wearing wrist straps, grips, spotting belts, and guards are essential. Proper footwear is also critical to prevent ankle injuries.

Wearing wrist guards and grips prevent blisters and skin tears, especially during amateur training. Since the outer layer of the skin is not used to such challenging movements, it can cause serious injections if you act irresponsibly.

7. Practice Gymnastics After Eating

It’s important you eat a proper meal before training. It meets the body’s demand for a healthy, filling, and immune-boosting meal. That said, gymnasts incorporate smaller meals that are high in energy to control their weight and increase muscular strength. So during heavy training, fatigue and dizziness is out of the question.

Eating energy bars, cereal, toast, or dried fruits before training is also healthy. And during training, drinking carbohydrate-rich fluids can prevent weakness and build stamina. (28)

8. Make Sure To Stay Hydrated

Dehydration, according to a recent report, can cause many health concerns on sports performance. It leads to decreased blood flow, heat dissipation, and sweat rate during exercise. These factors contribute to many illnesses including immune-related diseases.

So for maximum physical performance, drinking sufficient amounts of water during the day is important. It also affects your mood and concentration during gymnastics training. With dehydrated muscles, your blood pressure drops, heart rate increases, and there’s not enough fuel to power your body. This leads to more fluid loss and fatigue.

Preparing for a gymnastics meet includes drinking small amounts of water every 15-30 minutes or so before, during, and after training.

9. Eat A Healthy Diet

Your body requires proper nutrients for energy production and boosting stamina. Gymnasts, on the one hand, require high calorie intake to avoid tiredness, fatigue, and sluggishness. Other important nutrients include macronutrients such as carbs, protein, and fats.

Foods such as oatmeal, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and vegetables are considered high-energy foods for a gymnast. It helps in proper fiber and protein absorption. While lean protein meals consisting of eggs, chicken, and lean beef also boost energy during training.

Lack of proper nutrition can cause immune suppression which is characterized by an increase in stress hormones in the body. Longer recovery is also a partly responsible for lack of nutrition in the body.

10. Don’t Stress Yourself Out

Did you know stress can affect sports performance causing high blood pressure, fear, and shortness of breath? Increased anxiety during physical performance can even cause serious muscle spasms and soreness.

A recent report on anxiety and sports performance determined that high stress levels disrupt concentration for more advanced skills in gymnastics. It can seriously impact a wide range of gymnastic skills such as handstands, somersaults, and other basic moves.

Beginners often fall and release lots of perspiration due to high stress levels during performance. So staying calm is critical to stellar gymnastics performance.

Wrapping It Up

Knowing how well gymnastics can affect the human body is critical to sports performance. Many youngsters and elders are participating in this sport to build muscular strength and flexibility. An important aspect of gymnastics is a healthy sleeping and eating habit. If you do this, you feed your body enough nutrients to stay energetic.

Since gymnastics is a challenging sport, treating the mind and body is critical for good performance. That being said, if you have the time to practice gymnastics at least 3 times a week, it’s something to look forward to. Learning all the different gymnastic skills and routines requires flexibility and body coordination. And you can definitely achieve all this with consistent athletic and gymnastic training.

So are you ready to work on your body by participating in gymnastics?

11 Health Benefits of Gymnastics, According to Science (+10 Tips for Beginners) Read More »

Artistic Gymnastics Equipment & History

Olympic.Org

HISTORY

The ancient Greeks believed gymnastics to be the perfect symmetry between mind and body. Modern gymnastics evolved at the end of the 19th century.

Philosophical beginnings

Plato, Aristotle and Homer heartily advocated the strengthening qualities of gymnastic activity. The Greeks believed symmetry between the mind and body was possible only when physical exercise was coupled with intellectual activity.

REBIRTH

The term “artistic gymnastics” emerged in the early 1800s to distinguish free-flowing styles from techniques used in military training. Gymnastic competitions began to flourish in schools and athletic clubs across Europe and made a fitting return when the Olympic Games were revived in Athens in 1896.

ROCKS AND CLUBS

Between 1896 and 1924 the sport evolved into what we recognise as modern gymnastics. Among those disciplines discarded were club swinging, rock lifting and even swimming, which appeared in 1922.

CHANGING TIMES

In the early days of artistic gymnastics at the Games, participants often had a background in ballet, and would reach their peak in their 20s. Nadia Comaneci’s and Nellie Kim’s perfect scores of 10 at the 1976 Montreal Games, at the age of 14, heralded an era of younger champions, trained specifically in gymnastics from childhood, although gymnasts must now be 16 to compete in the Olympic Games.

OLYMPIC HISTORY

Artistic gymnastics was introduced at the very first Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens, and has been present at every edition of the Games since then. At the beginning, it comprised disciplines that are difficult to qualify as “artistic”, such as climbing and acrobatics.

The foundations of the Olympic gymnastics programme were laid at the 1924 Games in Paris, when the men’s apparatus individual and team competitions appeared. In 1928, women were included in the Amsterdam Games. It was not until 1952 that the women’s programme was developed, with seven events, and then stabilised at six events as from the 1960 Games in Rome.

This discipline was mainly dominated by the Soviet Union from 1952 onwards, following the creation of the Russian Gymnastics Federation in 1883. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, it was the Republic of China’s turn to win the most gold medals.

Discover the reference document for Artistic Gymnastics.

Artistic Gymnastics Equipment & History Read More »

HOW TO KEEP UP WITH YOUR GYMNASTICS WHEN YOU CAN’T GET TO THE GYM

GYMNASTICS HQ

This is generic information and not to be confused with advice. Speak to a professional for all your health needs and seek their counsel. Children need to be under adult supervision at all times. We disclaim all liability for any physical harm resulting from the information on this website. For more info see our disclaimer and privacy policy

GYM CLOSED!

If you’re like thousands of other gymnasts around the world right now, you’re probably faced with a unique challenge these days – you’re not allowed to go to your gym. On top of that, meets have been canceled and no one is sure when gyms will reopen or if and when meets will resume this season. 

While not being able to get to the gym for practice or meets is certainly not an ideal situation for anyone, it’s something we can choose to make the best of while we have no other choice but to keep our social distance. And despite these crazy conditions, this doesn’t mean our gymnastics has to suffer. There are many things you can do at home to keep up your strength, endurance, and skills while you are away from the gym. 

First, definitely consult with your gym to see if they have any workout plans for you to do. During the past week we’ve seen many gyms going on social media and having their coaches share conditioning workouts for their gymnasts. 

Second, remember to always do things that are within your current limits as a gymnast. You should never try new gymnastics skills or do skills that require a spot at home. Safety first. Remember that just because you might not be able to train a skill doesn’t mean you can’t do the smaller things that will help you learn that skill faster when you eventually return to the gym like work on your strength and conditioning drills.

Finally, remember that while you might not be able to get to the gym, you can still maintain your skills and even make progress if you commit to training at home daily. You can make them part of your home school routine and they might even fulfill your PE requirements in the process. 

We’ve compiled a list of things you can do at home when you can’t get to your gymnastics center. See which of these you can incorporate into your daily routine.

NUMBER 1: STRETCHING

We all know keeping up with your flexibility for gymnastics is super important. Yet it’s so easy to forget about maintaining your flexibility and to skip out on stretching. During this time at home, remember to include daily stretching as part of your every day routine. You can do the static stretches that you do in the gym which might be things like sitting in your splits or doing pike sits for a certain amount of time. Another thing you can do is active stretching. Research has shown the effectiveness of active stretching versus static stretching in terms of gaining flexibility for things like your split leaps and kicks.  

NUMBER 2: CONDITIONING

Conditioning is also important while you’re away from the gym. You might decide to avoid this one since it’s not as fun as everything else you might do at home, but if you want to keep up with your stamina and strength during your time off from gymnastics then this one is a must. A fun activity to do is the Baby Shark conditioning workout for gymnasts. You can do this every day as a great way to warm up and condition your abs. 

Here are some ideas for conditioning exercises you can do at home:

Mountain Climbers

Burpees

Frog Jumps

Jumping Jacks

Glute Bridges

Front Lunges

Side Lunges

Back Lunges

Again, check with your gyms to see if they have a specific conditioning workout for you to do.   

NUMBER 3: PRACTICE YOUR JUMPS AND LEAPS

Your jumps and leaps are dance elements that you probably don’t have too much time to perfect during the season because you’re busy doing some of the bigger skills. If you focus your time on these smaller elements, you’ll help to improve your score when you eventually compete again. A great way to do this is to videotape yourself doing your jumps and leaps and then take a look at your video. Do your jumps/leaps need more height, more extension, better form? If so, try to correct those things and videotape yourself again to see if you’ve improved. Also check out our article on how to improve your jumps for more exercises you can do at home to improve your jumps.

NUMBER 4: PRACTICE YOUR HANDSTANDS

Handstands are the most fundamental gymnastics skill that you can master since they are the foundation for harder skills. This month we’re running a Handstand Hold and Walk Challenge in our online SkillTrakker community to help gymnasts improve on their form at home (You can still join and catch up on all the exercises you missed). One great drill that we love from our SkillTrakker challenge is Spiderman Against the Wall. This drill teaches good form and builds arm strength. This is something you can do for a few minutes every day to maintain your strength and practice good form in your handstands.

NUMBER 5: PRACTICE YOUR DANCE ROUTINES

Now is the chance to focus on the smaller details of your routines. Do your routines over and over (minus the tumbling skills) and practice your expression, artistry, and dynamics. Practice lifting your chest and chin and exuding confidence. Work on the littlest of details such as making sure your feet are pointed and in correct alignment during your turns and that you are working on high releve. 

NUMBER 6: PRACTICE YOUR MENTAL ROUTINES

With the extra time away from the gym, you can start to get more serious about your mental training. Every day, either before you go to sleep at night or right before you do your conditioning and flexibility workouts, go through every one of your routines in your mind. See yourself doing your routine perfectly with good form. Feel yourself going through the routine with ease and enjoying doing them. Imagine yourself finishing your routine and feeling the satisfaction of having done a great routine.

In addition to these ways to keep up your gymnastics, here are some other articles that will help you while you’re stuck without a gym to go to:

Start Improving Your Gymnastics With 4 Easy Steps

10 Exercises You Can Do At Home to Improve Your Gymnastics

Remember, at the end of the day this will all pass. Your gym will open up again soon and you’ll be back to your regular gym workouts in no time.

HOW TO KEEP UP WITH YOUR GYMNASTICS WHEN YOU CAN’T GET TO THE GYM Read More »

Fountain-Fort Carson athlete nominated for McDonald’s 2021 All American Games

El Paso County Advisor and Fountain Valley News

Torie Bass, a basketball player at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, has been nominated for McDonald’s 2021 All American Games. Bass was one of seven Colorado athletes who made the nominated players list released on Feb. 18. McDonald’s will announce its final roster of 48 players by the end of this month. McDonald’s has held All-State Games for 44 years, and while this year’s game has been canceled due to COVID-19, the company will still hold a virtual celebration to honor the players.

“Being named a McDonald’s All American is about so much more than the game,” McDonald’s said in its nomination announcement. “It is a once in a lifetime achievement for high school seniors. McDonald’s is committed to giving the incredible student-athletes who are named to the final team the recognition they deserve for their accomplishments and dedication to the game of basketball. Despite the state of the 2021 Games, they are legends and will be All Americans for life.”

Fountain-Fort Carson athlete nominated for McDonald’s 2021 All American Games Read More »

Competitive or Recreational? Choosing which gymnastics path suits your child

Gym With Me

So, your child has been doing gymnastics for some time – maybe once or twice a week recreationally – and has also taken part in some of our holiday camp programmes. Now, he or she (or you) is thinking they’d like to see if they could take the next step towards competitive gymnastics.

Some of the questions you might be asking yourself as a parent could include: Where do I begin? How experienced does my child need to be? How many hours are involved in competitive training? Does he or she even have the capability to compete?

At Gym With Me, we have a robust process to establish the capability of children who express an interest in taking up gymnastics competitively, before deciding whether they can join our Pre-Competitive, Junior Competitive, Senior Competitive or High Performance programmes.

On the whole, gymnastics promotes numerous fitness and health benefits, but deciding what’s best for your children isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly.

Competitive gymnastics differs drastically to simply doing gymnastics ‘for fun’. We’ve outlined a few considerations to help give you a better idea of what could work for your budding gymnast.

What’s the difference?

Recreational gymnastics, as its name suggests, caters to anyone from your little or big ones who are just starting out in the sport, to seasoned gymnasts who’d like to train without the pressure of competitions. After all, it’s never too late to start, and this sport caters to anyone looking to enjoy its benefits!

In short, recreational gymnasts get to cement the fundamentals of the sport through classes, and can transfer the techniques and skills they’ve picked up to plenty of other sports later in life.

Competitive gymnastics requires a much higher level of commitment – in terms of time, money and pressure and expectation. Places on a competitive squad are limited and are made by selection, so as much as you might have expectations as a parent or gymnast, there is also a level of expectation from your coaches and team members. Some competitive gymnasts start training at a young age, but we also see numerous children come into the sport later on and progressing well, because they are naturally athletic – and because they work very hard. There is a dedicated training programme they must adhere to, working closely with their coaches to hit certain milestones.

Training hours

Recreational classes might take place once or twice a week at most, for an hour to two hours at a time. The programmes are focused on fun and the overall experience. They are typically less intensive, but all programmes are still based around technical skill progression. We always ensure children are constantly learning new things and reaching their own goals at their own pace.

Gymnasts training competitively have a stricter schedule – anywhere from eight hours to 20 hours a week (or more), depending on their level. This might pick up even more in the lead-up to big competitions. Skipping trainings usually isn’t an option unless there is a very valid reason, and coaches will be expecting intense dedication and progression to take place during training.

It can be gruelling – albeit fun, of course – and it’s not suited to everyone, no matter what sport you’re in!

Commitment level

I’m not going to lie, being in the competitive squad will mean spending a lot more time in the gym – in between school and during term breaks. Being able to juggle training sessions and activities outside of the gym (not to mention homework and studying for exams) becomes crucial. Sacrifices often have to be made, and depending on their competitive level, things like social lives can take a bit of a beating!

On the other hand, recreational trainings have less of a commitment expectation. We want to see children staying active and keeping fit, and despite the smaller commitment your children will still reap all the physical, mental and emotional benefit the sport has to offer.

Health and fitness

Recreational gymnastics is an excellent addition to any child’s healthy lifestyle. It’s a high intensity sport, burning calories and helping to gain muscle tone, flexibility and balance. Health wise, there is almost no better sport for a developing child to take part in. The skills and developmental advances gained from doing gymnastics – even recreationally – will benefit them in any other sports they take part in, as well as in social situations and with discipline around schoolwork, etc.

This is simply ramped up a notch for competitive gymnasts. A healthy and robust diet is needed to help keep their energy up for longer training sessions, and we advise plenty of rest in between to give their bodies time to relax. Keeping their young bodies in top form is important, and we promote and all-around healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Support

As much as 80% of what your child will achieve is based on their hard work and dedication in the gym with their coaches. The other very important 20% is the support they have to help them achieve their goals, and this primarily come from their parents (although as they progress, this will also come from teachers, friends, etc.)

As a parent, are you able to commit to the training schedules of competitive gymnastics, the financial commitment of increased hours and give up your own time on the weekends to support your kids at competitions? Are you able to help your child make the hard choices when the time comes?

The support structure for a gymnast is so important and is something coaches consider when offering a child a place on a team.

So, which programme is most suitable for my child?

At Gym With Me, we offer both recreational and competitive gymnastic programmes at various levels. If you’re considering enrolling your child into the sport, you might want to assess their interest first putting them in the recreational class or our seasonal gym camps, before diving into the commitment that comes with joining the team.

It is also not uncommon for children to move from recreational to competitive gymnastics over the course of their training when their coaches feel they’re ready for a greater level of commitment.

However, it is still essential to know that the decision ultimately falls on the shoulders of the child, and we as parents should never rush into placing them into more intense programmes.

Coaches are constantly looking at the progression of their gymnast. If they feel a child is excelling and ready for the next step, they will be the first to let you know. They are always working in the best interest of each individual and will recommend competitive programmes if they feel a child is 100% ready for the demands in conjunction with all the above. In short, listen to your coaches recommendations!

At the end of the day, no matter which programe your child takes part in, it is important that they enjoy it.

Competitive or Recreational? Choosing which gymnastics path suits your child Read More »

There’s a huge misconception about how Olympic gymnasts like Simone Biles get their bodies

Business Insider

If you caught any of the insanely impressive moves at the women’s gymnastics round during last night’s Olympics, you probably wondered to yourself at least once: How did they get those tiny, sculpted bodies?

There’s a pretty big misconception about how gymnasts do it. It’s not simply a matter of shorter women gravitating towards the sport, but it’s also not exclusively about the rigorous training of gymnastics “stunting your growth.” Instead, it’s a delicate balance of both.

‘If only I’d been shorter’

I’ll admit it: Last night’s gymnastics round wasn’t the first Olympic Games during which I’ve tried to convince myself: Oh sure, I could have done what these women are doing, if only I’d just been shorter. And yes, at my 5’6″ height, I’d tower over every single one of the current members of the USA team. Simone Biles, our star athlete, is just 4’8″.

Lucky for me, there’s no research that directly challenges my prideful excuse. It could be that small people do tend to seek out careers in gymnastics. From a physics standpoint, people with shorter arms and legs are better suited for the tricky rotations (like Biles’ now-infamous “helicopter legs,” which involves balancing on one foot, knee bent, with her other leg fully extended, and spinning around it) that gymnasts often use to wow the judges. A small study published in the journal Sports Biomechanics suggested that smaller gymnasts were better equipped for moves involving forward and backward whole-body rotations and twisting.

simone biles

But self-selection isn’t entirely to blame for the gymnasts’ short stature. Research suggests gymnasts’ intense training plays a role, too.

Does gymnastics ‘stunt your growth’?

If you’ve ever played a competitive sport, you’re probably familiar with the impact that daily, intense training can have on your body. All those hours at the gym (or around the track, or in the pool) add up. The muscles in your arms and legs start to pop; you have an easier time with stairs; your reflexes seem quicker. So it’s not crazy to assume that the rigorous training regimens that gymnasts undergo have some dramatic effects on their bodies — especially since they’re so young.

us womens gymnastics

But fortunately for the Final Five and the rest of the athletes competing in Rio, there’s little evidence to suggest that any of the changes this training may cause are permanent.

A 2013 study from kinesiologists at the University of Texas at Austin, for example, concluded that gymnastics training, however intensive, did not appear to have any effect on gymnasts’ heights as adults or on the growth spurts that accompany puberty. Other studies suggest that while gymnasts’ growth might be affected by training during their active years, they seem to “make it up” by the time they reach adulthood. A 2000 study in the Journal of Pediatrics found that while active gymnasts did tend to have shorter legs and sitting heights, they made up for these deficits once they retired from the sport.

So next time you stare, mouth-agape, as Simone Biles performs a classic helicopter, know this: Her amazing talent can’t simply be chalked up to either natural ability or intense hard work. Instead, it’s a delicate mix of both.

There’s a huge misconception about how Olympic gymnasts like Simone Biles get their bodies Read More »

THE BENEFITS OF CHEERLEADING

CheerTD

CHEERLEADING BENEFITS FOR PARTICIPANTS

Cheerleading is an incredible sport in-and-of itself. Cheer is full of self-discovery,  excitement and passion, it offers numerous benefits to American cheerleaders of all ages. Athletes from youth cheerleading to high school cheerleaders and beyond as they train over the years. Is it wise wait until your child is all grown up in order for them to begin experiencing the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of cheerleading? Youth who get involved in cheerleading are poised to grow up with many advantages, including:

  • Community Building. 

Through our youth cheerleading and cheer camps, even the youngest participants can begin to understand the importance of being connected to a larger community. Not only is there the cheer team component (collaboration), but they also discover how being a cheerleader can make them representatives of the school, other sports teams, and the whole surrounding community of students, parents, and faculty. Not to mention giving back by volunteering and teaching kiddie camps. Teaching them to pay it forward. Being in the workplace I can tell you with certainty, that’s the most sought-after qualities in Corporate America, for building effective and quality teams!

  • Energy Levels.

We believe that young children should have high levels of energy. Fortunately, youth cheerleading is one of the highest energy sport there is. It offers a marvelous way for children to exercise in a fun manner, get and stay in shape, and improve their overall health. All this happens in some of their most physically formative years too and can include summer programs for kids too! Classes start for ages as early as 2 years old (mommy and me classes).

  • Emotional Resiliency.

Young kids are often developing their emotional foundations that will guide them through the rest of their lives. When young athletes form strong relationships with their cheer teams and cheer coaches, it can give them an emotional base they can rely on for years. As well as, imbue them with a confidence that can come to strengthen their overall personality.

  • Interpersonal Communication Skills.

In cheerleading, learning to communicate is critical. As young kids are developing their speaking skills and ability to interpret body language and other signals from those around them, cheerleading encourages this through the art of performance. The better the child learns to communicate, the more they’re able to achieve peak performance alongside their cheer team peers.

Have you seen how youth participants benefit from cheerleading activities on multiple levels? Since your child has begun participating in cheerleading, have you noticed an increase not only in their physical capability but also their mental and emotional development? As a CheerTD staff member, I have personally seen the positive impact that cheer has left in the staff and me from my adolescent years of cheering and competing in the sport.

THE BENEFITS OF CHEERLEADING Read More »

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A GYMNASTICS GYM

Gymnastics HQ

This is generic information and not to be confused with advice. Speak to a professional for all your health needs and seek their counsel. Children need to be under adult supervision at all times. We disclaim all liability for any physical harm resulting from the information on this website. For more info see our disclaimer and privacy policy

tips for choosing gymnastics gym

There are some things you should consider when choosing a gymnastics gym near you for gymnastics classes or a gymnastics team program. Your needs might vary depending on if your gymnast is just starting out, or is already very serious. For example, a small gym without advanced training tools but with loving, sweet teachers might be perfect for a beginner preschool gymnast, whereas a level 8 will need the proper, advanced equipment and a more experienced coaching staff.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A GYMNASTICS GYM:

  • Distance from Home/School: Obviously, the distance from your home and your gymnast’s school is important at any stage of their gymnastic career. But, it becomes more important as your gymnast becomes more serious and increases her hours in the gym. You will have to weigh the advantages of the gyms farther away from you with the amount of time you will spend commuting.  Also the friends she will make at the gym will likely live close to the gym and you may end up making the trip even when she doesn’t have practice in order for her to participate in birthday parties and other activities.
  • The Coaches & Teaching Staff: Go to the gym and watch the instructors and coaches teaching. Are they hands on and attentive? Are they enthusiastic? Does it appear like they are stressing safety? A great coach or teacher will make all the difference for your child’s gymnastics experience.
  • Age Makeup of Class or Team: Investigate whether the class your gymnast will be taking or the team she will be on has kids the same age as your child. Bigger gyms might have more kids of different ages at every level while smaller gyms might not.
  • The Equipment: Go to the gym and take a look around. Make sure the gym is clean and that the equipment looks like it’s in good shape. You don’t want to spend your money on gymnastics classes only to have your child practicing on old, unsafe equipment. Also make sure there are plenty of mats under the equipment.  Mats are anThe gym I trained & coached at – Gymcarolina in Raleigh, NCimportant part of gym safety.
  • Gymnastics Training Tools: Does the gym have a pit? A trampoline? A tumble-trak? If your child is a high-level gymnast, a pit is essential for learning high level skills safely. Trampolines and tumble traks are also great learning tools and can be lots of fun!
  • The Cost: Of course you also need to consider the cost. What are you paying per hour of gym time? A gymnastics class will probably be more straight forward than competitive team. If this is a competitive team, are there any extras that come along with it? What are other costs you will incur throughout the year (competitive gear costs: warm-ups, leotards, etc)? Are meet fees included or will you need to pay those when meet season comes around? Is there a mandatory competitive team camp during the summer and is it included?
  • Where do the parents sit when the gymnasts are working out? You will probably feel more comfortable if you can see and watch your child’s class or workout. Knowing that the parents are watching will also keep the coaches on their toes.
  • Class/Team Training Times: Do they fit into your schedule? Most gyms have Saturday and after school classes and practice.
  • Meet Schedule for Team Gymnasts– If your child is going to be on the gymnastics team, check out the meet schedule from last year. Are the meets local or do they have you traveling to meets? There are pros and cons to consider here. Traveling to meets costs more and takes more time but can expose your gymnast to bigger meets and better competition.  This becomes more important for the higher level gymnasts. If you have a beginner gymnast, it’s probably most important that the  meet schedule doesn’t require you to exceed your budget and time commitments.
  • Extra Programs: Does the gym you are looking at have the programs you want? Are you interested in AAU gymnastics, Cheerleading, Rhythmic gymnastics, Acro gymnastics, Trampoline & Tumbling, Boy’s Competitive gymnastics, Track Out camp, Crossfit or Birthday parties?

I hope these tips help you choose a gymnastics gym. You might choose one that will allow your gymnast to grow with it, or you might choose a gym that will require you to re-evaluate in a couple years. Either way, as long as your gymnast is having a positive experience–that’s what matters!

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A GYMNASTICS GYM Read More »