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Gymnastics Training: Gymnastics Advice Column (2009-2011)

By Karen Goeller

 

We will post a new question and answer periodically in an effort to help gymnastics parents, gymnasts, and coaches better understand skills or issues that arise while training in gymnastics. If you would like to send Karen a question you can do so by using the email address at the top of this page. All names, gym names, towns, and identifying information is removed from the question before it is posted. We will not answer any questions from those under 18 years of age. Athletes under 18 must have their parent send the question. We sincerely thank you for your interest in our gymnastic products and services.
 

Read more gymnastics questions

You may also enjoy Karen Goeller's gymnastics articles, training programs,  and books.


Fourteen

Question

Our daughter is 7 and has taken gymnastics for 2 years. My husband put up a metal bar onto our swing set in the back, for her to practice. Is this bad? Should it be the same width of a bar as the one at the gym? Should she use grips? Is there such a thing as a mat we could pull outside to put under her when she practices? Many thanks.

 

Answer

It is EXTREMELY UNSAFE for a little girl to be training (practicing) on her own. She is not aware that her life is LITERALLY in her hands. The truth is that she could fall on her head, break a bone, break her neck, or even cause fatal injury among other injuries that are possible when falling. Kids that age are not aware that holding onto the bar is imperative, their grip is very important. Besides that, they often do not have enough grip strength to hold onto the bar for an extended period of time. This is NOT a SAFE situation. I would not recommend your daughter do gymnastics anywhere except in a gymnastics club with a gymnastics coach.


Fifteen

Question

I am a gymnast who has just been diagnosed with shin splints. My doctor said I can continue workouts as long as it doesn't hurt to bad or I stretch after. The pain is getting worse but I don't want to let my team down. Do you have any taping advice or maybe some supports?

 

Answer

The best treatment for shin splints is rest. Do not do ANY running/jumping/tumbling/vaulting for SEVERAL weeks. Return to the full workouts gradually, not all at once. When you are pain free, perform skills on tumble track or softer surfaces whenever possible. Only land on soft surfaces, use extra mats whenever possible. Wear proper footwear with an arch and heel cushioning when not in the gym. Ice your shins when they start to hurt. You can wear heel cushions inside gymnastics shoes, or even sneakers, for some of your tumbling passes and vaulting. Hang from bars to perform dance and running drills so that you are still training the muscles without the pounding.

 

Here is an article that discusses foot/leg health. It may help you... http://www.gymnasticsstuff.com/article-pronation.htm

 


Sixteen

Question

Our daughter won all around at Level 4 novice states this year, while training for Level 5 too. Knowing a couple other local teams, it is clear that coaching and ability are big factors in results, but so is practice time. In reviewing some local gym websites from around the country and reading Q&A on sites like this, there is a wide dispersion exists in practice hours per week. Our daughter went 11 to 12 hours per week on average this past season. I'm sure she would not have won with just 6 to 8 hours/week that some gyms use for Level 4. But I noticed some gyms as high as Level 5/6 at 16 hours per week and Level 7 at 20+ per week. Our team somewhat competes for hours, because some is team time (multiple levels) and some is private to semi-private (same coaching). To be competitive at a state level (place high) at each level for USAG, what are recommended hours per week training in practice, and does it matter if it is spread out evenly over 5 - 6 days versus concentrated time (say 4 hours/day) on fewer days?

 

Answer

The number of hours is not as important as what is done during that time. A good program will offer injury prevention exercises, sport specific conditioning, body position drills, flexibility, and general strength exercises as well as the skills, combinations, and routines. There are so many aspects to a good gymnastics program. There are no rules to or guidelines, other than what successful coaches have done in the past, regarding training schedules for gymnasts. In my opinion... A level 5 a gymnast should be training 12 hours each week, level 6-7 they should be tanning at least 16 hours each week, levels 7-9 they should be training at least 20 hours each week. Level 10 through elite gymnasts should train 24 or more hours each week. Much of that time is dedicated to conditioning. You may enjoy some of my gymnastics articles... http://www.GymnasticsStuff.com/GymnasticsArticles.htm


Seventeen

Question

Hi, my daughter is a level 8 gymnast. Beginning this season, she started becoming extremely swollen and bruised near her pubic bone from doing bars and casting to handstand. We have tried many different ways of attempting to heal and avoid repeating this injury but so far nothing has worked. We have tried using sponges and other padding (knee pads, etc) which she sticks into her leotard to help cushion the blow but this only helps slightly. We have also tried using Arnika gel which is supposed to help bruises heal faster and stopped doing bars for several days so she can heal...but as soon as she gets back on the bruising comes back. We recently attended a meet and someone suggested using sanitary napkins to stick to her body over the bruising, which we are going to try, but I was wondering if you have any suggestions as to how to avoid this and if you know of any kind of padding that can be used to help prevent this. Thank you.

 

Answer

Great question! Many girls do place foam inside their leotard, but some foams are more resilient than others. Some coaches place thick pipe insulation on the bar to prevent the bruising. It can be wrapped on the bar and it slides back and forth easily. If the coach is unwilling to do that see if you can buy a thick piece of pipe insulation, cut it to your daughter's width and allow her to bring it with her to the gym and place on the bar when it is her turn. She will be able to put it on the bar and remove it easily as long as she does not peel the plastic strip off the glue.

 

You may enjoy these gymnastics articles, especially the cast handstand article...

http://www.gymnasticsstuff.com/GymnasticsArticles.htm


Eighteen

Question

My daughter is a level 5 gymnast, she also works out with level 6's. The girls do not stretch before practice. They do jumping jacks and then have a list of conditioning to complete. The conditioning includes v-ups, push ups, leg lifts, pull ups and handstand pushups. My daughter has been having allot of trouble with tight/painful hip flexors, and shin splints. I have also noticed other girls complaining of calf pain, ankle pain and even neck pain. I feel as though proper stretching is an important part of gymnastics and injury prevention. What is your opinion on the matter.

 

Answer

Yes, stretching is extremely important before doing gymnastics. Some gymnastics coaches read information in recent years that static stretching is not helpful before sports, but that was geared towards team sports such a soccer where flexibility is not really necessary. It was not geared for gymnasts. Gymnasts absolutely MUST stretch (dynamic and static) before and after the workout. The sports science world is teaching that both forms of stretching are necessary for athletes of sports where flexibility is an issue.

   

I would recommend you discuss this with the coach and take your daughter to a doctor for any pain that she feels. Ask the coach if your daughter can go into the gym a little earlier so that she can stretch before practice. If the coach refuses to allow your daughter to stretch before workout, either supervise or on her own, you may want to start shopping for a different coach. Your daughter's health and happiness should come first.

 

There is a great stretch for the hip flexors posted on my website. It will help with any skill that requires a split of the legs as well as with her posture. That quad/psoas stretch is on the advice column page. It is the May 08 question.

 

One great stretch for your daughter's upper body/shoulders is a bridge with her feet elevated 24-36 inches. Once in the bridge with her feet on a stack of mats she can press her arm pits towards the wall that she can see. If it is possible she should look for the ceiling as she presses her armpits towards the wall.

 

You may find my gymnastics drills and conditioning book to be extremely useful because there are stretching exercises in the dance section. There are also stretches in my Walkover / Back Handspring Drills Book. The stretches in the walkover section are used by gymnasts of all levels for flexibility. Here is the link with the information on the gymnastics drills books.

 

The Low Body Stretching Workout will help your daughter too. Here is the link to the page with the Low Body Stretching workout... www.LegsPlusWorkouts.com.


Nineteen

Question

My daughter is having problems with her cartwheel on balance beam. She went to camp for three days and was able to do it there, but now she can't do it. Is there any advice you can give us?

 

Answer

Here are some cartwheel tips from my cartwheel article...

First the gymnast must reach far, towards the end of the beam. The first part of the cartwheel (reach forward and kick up) should be long and the last part of the cartwheel (step down and reach up) should be short. The further the gymnast reaches for the cartwheel, the easier it is to remain straight. This far reach helps the gymnast kick her back leg over her head rather than kicking it around the side.

As the gymnast reaches she must pull in her belly in order to avoid arching her back. An arch in the back sometimes makes it difficult to place the foot properly on the beam.

As the gymnast steps down she must lift one hand up faster, the one that is on the same side as the first foot that lands the beam. (If the right foot lands first the right hand comes up first.) The gymnast must pull back the shoulder on the same side. The early hand lift and the pressing back of that shoulder help to square off the gymnast quickly. As the gymnast is lifting her arms she must keep them narrow, her arms must literally touch her ears.

As the gymnast steps down she should think of squeezing the very top of her inner thighs together, the area a pair of shorts would cover. And finally, the gymnast must look for the end of the beam once the first hand is lifted.

 

You may enjoy the cartwheel article... http://www.gymnasticsstuff.com/GymnasticsArticles.htm

More gymnastics articles... http://www.gymnasticsstuff.com/GymnasticsArticles.htm


Twenty

Question

I was curious to know your thoughts on the safety of using ankle weights (1 lb) for conditioning (involving jumping over mats, jogging, and leg lifts) for a 10 year old level 8 gymnast (63 lbs). Are using weights beneficial and necessary for this age/level?

 

Answer

Great question! Yes and no, depending upon the level of the gymnast and the exercise or drill being performed. Ankle weights are ONLY safe when the gymnast can already perform the exercise efficiently and she needs more resistance than her own body weight to progress. They are ONLY safe for certain exercises too. If the gymnast feels any pain, other than muscle fatigue, she should stop the exercise immediately. I personally would not allow a gymnast to run or jump with ankle weights because I have heard that running with them on can cause damage to the back. I would also be very careful with hanging straight leg lifts and ankle weights because the straight leg lifts can put stress on the low back, especially when the gymnast reaches horizontal with her legs. On the other hand, I have assigned sitting leg lifts with ankle weights in the past. When the gymnast can EASILY perform straight leg lifts and she has a small amount of weight on her ankles, maybe 1 pound, then it should be fine. Ultimately, the best rule to follow would be to stop doing anything that causes pain.

Another thought... Some coaches mean well, but they do not realize that although using the weights is great for increasing strength, they can actually slow the speed of certain movements and therefore be counter productive. As long as there is a good balance of strength, speed, flexibility, and skills, the gymnast should progress well and be safe. AND as long as the coach is knowledgeable and allows their gymnasts to stop anything that causes pain, the gymnast should be OK. I know this is not a definite yes or no, but every gymnast is different, every training program is different, and every coach has a different amount of knowledge when it comes to conditioning. I hope this helps.

Let me know how I can help your daughter... http://www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com

 


Twenty One

Question

My 7 yr old daughter has been in gymnastics for 4 years now. She is on the pre-team at a near by competitive gym. My daughter is extremely tall. She is already 4 ft 5 inches and is expected to be over 5'8" per our pediatrician. She practices 2x a week and the next step is team- level 4-5. Are we wasting our time and money by advancing to the next step of team. As you know, being on a team takes a lot of time and money. Will she ever have an opportunity to go onto the college level? Will she be too tall to ever be considered? Thanks

 

Answer

Great question! Please do not get wrapped up in your daughter's height. College gymnasts are full grown women and they are spectacular gymnasts. Training in a sport is NEVER a waste of time as long as your daughter is having fun, she is in a safe environment, and she is learning. It is time well spent if the coaches are knowledgeable and respectful. The lessons learned go far beyond the gym and her childhood years so please allow her to continue in this amazing sport.


Twenty Two

Question

My daughter is a new level 6 and she is having trouble with her clear-hip on the uneven bars. She shoots off the bar but she can't get around the bar without her hips touching. Please tell anything that you have to help her.

 

Answer

It sounds like your daughter is waiting too long to lean back on her clear hip circle. The earlier a gymnast leans back for the clear hip, the higher she will go. She should remember that when she feels that she is not going any higher on the cast she must lean back. She must remember to remain tight. Drills for the clear hip are in the book, Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Exercises. There are also conditioning exercises for the clear hip circle in the Cast Handstand Animated E-books.


Twenty Three

Question

I am concerned about safety. Out of 20 competitive gymnasts, one broken neck, 3 broken legs and half a dozen overuse injuries this year. Could training over 70 minutes at a time on one apparatus be one of the causes or are these statistics normal?

 

Answer

Wow, I would take my child out of that gym immediately. That is a HORRIBLE safety record!!! Obviously the coaches need some form of safety training and they should hire someone who can help them pinpoint the causes of the overuse injuries. The amount of time trained is not as important as what is being done during the training. Seventy minutes is long, but it depends on the level and the program. My general rule of thumb regarding injuries... If three or more gymnasts on a team of ten or fewer gymnasts have pain in the same general area (lower limbs or upper limbs) then a change should be made in the training program or with the equipment being used. Sometimes only a minor change is necessary such as reducing the number of a certain exercise, drill or skill. If only one gymnast on the team has pain then it could be an individual weakness, injury. You may enjoy my article on injuries. Here is a pretty good website for injury information... www.sportsinjuryclinic.net.


Twenty Four

Question
My daughter is 9 years old and training Level 8 skills this summer. Some of the older girls on her team have wrists supports and it had been suggested that my daughter have wrists supports as well. My daughter does not have any pain or discomfort in her wrists when tumbling or doing vault. Should she have wrist supports prior to experiencing pain or would having them not allow her wrists to develop strength? Thanks for your help.

Answer
If your daughter has no pain or injury there is no reason for wrist supports. That is similar to putting her arm in a cast for no reason. Your daughter must develop and maintain the strength and flexibility necessary in her joints to remain healthy. If your daughter develops pain in her wrists you must take her to a doctor and follow the doctor's instructions. Most coaches are not doctors, but many of them make medical decisions for their gymnasts. That can be very dangerous. The wrist support recommendation for all gymnasts is not a good coaching decision because the gymnasts could easily end up with weak wrists. They may also lose the wrist flexibility necessary to perform many skills, even the simple skills such as a handstand. 


Twenty Five

Question

Gymnastics Training: Shoulder flexibility exercises for gymnasts are in the book, Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning for the Walkover, Limber, Back HandspringMy question is concerning the proper way to perform a back bridge. I have always taught my students to be flat on their feet during a bridge however was told today that the girls should be rocking on their toes. Are you familiar with this technique for girls who have experience with bridges? I was always told that rolling onto the balls of feet during bridges was not proper technique and could potentially cause strain to the knees.

 

Answer

A bridge should be performed with the shoulders directly above the hands, as if the gymnast is pressing their arm pits towards the wall they can see. I have never heard of knee damage in a bridge, but that does not mean it is not possible. The rocking is a good way to stretch the shoulders IF it is being performed correctly. Most gymnasts rock towards their feet too much which stresses the low back. They should be slowly rocking towards their hands to stretch their shoulders. many gymnasts are performing too many repetitions of the rocks. They only need a few good, slow rocks to stretch their shoulders. Many coaches ask their gymnasts to rock too many times which is unnecessary and could cause low back problems. For shoulder flexibility and proper alignment while performing walkovers you should see the walkovers section in the book, Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning for the Walkover, Limber, and Back Handspring.


Twenty Six

Question
My daughter has been working on a back handspring for nearly two years. In the 8-10 times they've let her try it on her own, she fell on her head. She does all the drills. She can hold a hand stand for at least 5-6 seconds and walk on her hands at least 5-7 steps. She has a very nice handstand snap down. She can do limbers, tick-tocks, bridges, back walkovers,. They practice handstand dips, jumping backwards onto mats, pushups... all the drills. They do a lot of conditioning. They practice on a variety of things such as a mat on the trampoline, thick mat, wedged mat, cheese mat. Just when the coach thinks she is ready to try on her own she'll come straight down on her head. What is the most common problem when someone lands on their head? She is getting so discouraged since she has worked on it for so long and it is the one thing that is holding her back from moving to the next class. Her goal is to make it to the  team. 

Answer
The most common mistake in a back handspring is that the gymnast jumps up rather than back. Another common mistake is the arms are too slow. And other mistakes are lack of opening the hips after the push or the gymnast brings her legs over before her hands contact the floor. All of these mistakes can cause a gymnast to fall on her head. The coaches should not allow your daughter to perform this skill on her own. She needs many more drills for jumping back, fast arms, body position, shoulder movement, and timing. She also needs more strength in movement. A static handstand does not help back handspring technique. It only helps with basic shoulder strength in the vertical position. Handstand pushups do not help with back handspring technique either. Muscles only perform the movements they are trained to perform. If the coaches are not helping your daughter learn to sit back more and offering drills for the shoulder movements your daughter will not be able to perform the skill correctly. You may find the Back Handspring / Walkover book to be very useful. Some of the drills can be performed at home while others cannot. This book would be a nice gift for your daughter's coach.


Twenty Seven

Question
I've taught full twists before but I'm looking for the most effective technique and drills. The way I've always taught a full was by setting your layout (arms up) then wrapping in to the the side (arms bent and fists towards the dominant arm pit) Though I read somewhere that dropping an arm is useful but I don't know if that's true and if so how do you do it? This one website described dropping your dominant arm first then both arms out to the side then wrapping into your chest which was really confusing to me. Also, do you have any advice on drills?
Thanks a bunch~

Answer
Your gymnast must be extremely tight out of the back handspring and on the rebound for the full twist. She must lift her arms up and back. Once in the air she must tilt by lifting her toes with a tight body and beginning to pull her arms down. Once she does the layout, tilt, and she begins to pull her arms down she must shorten one side of her body for the twist, the side that she is twisting towards. Your gymnast must contract the muscles on the side of her body as she pulls her arms down and over to that side for a full twist. I prefer straight arms and both hands down to the hip/thigh she is twisting towards. That often helps the gymnast shorten that side of her body so that she can twist effectively. That can be practiced on the floor. Have your gymnast lie on her back with her arms up by her ears. Next instruct her to lift to a slightly hollow position. Once in the hollow position instruct her to pull both hands towards one hip. If she performs that correctly and quickly enough she will end up rolling towards that side. Once that is mastered you can have her hold a light medicine ball and perform the drill. She would touch the ball to the floor next to her hip/thigh. She would not be able to roll when using the medicine ball so alternate the exercises. The exercise is explained below.
There are more conditioning exercises for tumbling including twisting in some of my animated e-books.

Gymnastics Conditioning for Full TwistOblique Crunch with Medicine/Stability Ball
1. Sit in upright position on stability ball with feet flat on floor.
2. Walk feet forward allowing stability ball to roll underneath body until it is positioned on lower to mid-back region. Raise hips slightly to create a "table top" position parallel to floor.
3. Place hands above head holding a medicine ball. Head should be in a neutral position with a space between chin and chest.
4. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise your right shoulder up toward ceiling and bring medicine ball towards opposite hip.
5. Return to start position and repeat with the other shoulder.
6. Remember to keep head and low back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion of either may cause injury.
7. This may be performed on the floor with straight legs to more closely simulate twisting in gymnastics.


Twenty Eight

Question
My daughter is a Level 5 and I have had a couple of frustrations at her gym. I know parents are not supposed to get involved in any way in their sport and progress, but I can't help but notice that her gym does hardly any conditioning, kids are practicing vaults with no spotting (including Tsuks). I don't want to be the meddling parent; however, I can't help but be concerned that 1st, if my daughter wants to attain Level 9/10 how she would do this with only practice and little or no conditioning, and 2nd, should I be concerned that the coaches are allowing some kids to go over the vault with no spot, including Tsuk vaults (in other words, coach is somewhere else in the gym - not even close). She doesn't want to switch gyms but she does get very frustrated with these issues and I'm putting out a fair amount of money and not sure that this is the gym to get her where she wants to go. The owner is very closed to criticism and doesn't like us to voice our opinions regarding coaching, conditioning, etc. We are supposed to turn our checks in, be happy, and not get involved as "the coaches know best". Also, what is a good coach to athlete ratio or does it vary according to level? Thank you!

Answer
You have every right to be concerned. Your daughter's safety is the most important factor in her training. Conditioning should be 20% of the training time. Gymnasts should be performing plenty of drills for skills in addition to the conditioning. The gymnasts should be spotted for skills whenever necessary. Sometimes it is not necessary to spot when the correct drills have been introduced and practiced. Your daughter should be in a gym that suits her goals and personality. She should be in the most safe atmosphere possible where the coaches respect the children. Please follow your gut instinct as to whether you should keep your daughter in that gym. If you are in or near NJ I can help your daughter with conditioning in person.
You may find the articles to be very useful. Here are some of the topics... Mental Blocks, Tsukahara Vault, Giant Swing, Split Leap, Handstand, Cast Handstand, Glide Kip, etc.


Twenty Nine

Question
My daughter is getting over stressed for competition to get the scores she needs to qualify for nationals. And she is getting tired in the middle of her routines. Can you help her?

Answer
 
I am so sorry to hear that your daughter is having trouble with her routines. If she is getting tired in the middle of routines, the coaches are not offering her enough muscle endurance and cardio endurance training during her workouts. Many gymnasts perform back to back routines and others perform each section 5-10 times without rest in between in order to condition properly. The conditioning program makes a huge difference in a gymnast's success. If the coaches are only offering general and not sport specific conditioning they are not giving your daughter all of the tools necessary to succeed.  Other reasons a gymnast may be fatigued more than her teammates are nutrition, hydration, and quality of sleep. Nutrition and hydration play a VERY LARGE role in performance and many people do not realize this. To be sure she is getting enough of the nutrients she needs visit
www.mypyramid.gov, www.eathealthy.org, and www.gssiweb.com for safe and accurate nutrition information, nutrition tools, and sports science articles. Another thing many people do not think about when it comes to training and performance is quality of sleep. Please make sure your daughter is getting high quality sleep because that greatly effects an athlete's mind, body, and performance. You may enjoy some of the gymnastics and health articles. If you are in or near NJ  I can train your daughter in person. I can help her gain sport specific strength.


Thirty

Question
I have a 7 year old daughter who is currently training 12 hours per week. She recently starting complaining about knee pain. She says it mainly hurts when she runs, bends down before split jumps and landing dismounts from beam and bars. I spoke with the gym and they said this is a very normal complaint among gymnasts, especially those at her age who are going through growth spurts. They have told me that keeping her out of the gym for a few weeks will not benefit her. I am concerned that she could be doing damage and I would like to consider taking her to a pediatric ortho. Am I over-reacting? Should I just continue to let her train as normal. We do ice for 20 minutes after practice and I've been alternating Tylenol and ibuprofen. Thanks in advance for any insight.

Answer
You are NOT over-reacting. You MUST bring your daughter to a doctor as soon as possible. Your daughter is either performing too many repetitions of something that is causing this pain or she is performing an unsafe exercise. In the meantime, do not allow her to run or jump until you hear the doctor's opinion. There are plenty of vaulting and tumbling drills that do not require running or jumping that the coaches can allow your daughter to perform during those events. She should also remain on the low beam and low bar so that she does not have to jump from that height, no dismounts until she is seen by a doctor. You MUST bring her to a doctor immediately. Pain is NOT normal in this sport or for her age group. That is a poor excuse for a coach without any desire to learn about injury prevention. If pain is common in the gym where your daughter trains you should look for another gym. If three or more gymnasts on one team have pain in the same general area of the body there is something wrong with the training. And if the coach disagrees and allows your daughter to train on an injury, they are negligent. If the gymnast informs the coach of pain and the coach forces the gymnast to continue, they are abusive. I would take a very close look at that training program and follow your gut instinct.  Your daughter's health and safety are most important. Your daughter should NOT be running or tumbling until the pain goes away AND you see a doctor. She should also be icing her knee AS SOON as she starts to feel pain, even if that is in the middle of practice. The coach MUST allow your daughter to stop performing whatever it is that is causing the pain. Remember, the more your daughter trains on this injury, the longer the healing time and more risk of permanent damage. PATIENCE is the key with recovering from injuries. You should ask your daughter's coach to make sure your daughter does not run or jump, especially deep squat jumps and frog jumps. A thought on overuse injuries... If three or more gymnasts on one team of ten or fewer gymnasts have pain in the same general area (ankles & legs or wrists & elbows) then a change should be made in the training program or with the equipment being used. (Sometimes only a minor change is necessary.) If only one gymnast on the team has pain in any part of her body then it is more likely an individual weakness, injury. If she is one of the many gymnasts performing the deep frog jumps she should stop doing them immediately. That jump puts enormous pressure on the ligaments and tendons. Some of the less experienced coaches saw a video clip of elite gymnasts performing that jump and they assume it is a safe exercise for every gymnast. It is not and it is COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE for gymnastics. Gymnasts need eccentric strength to stick landings. They must be able to stop the force of 8-12 times their body weight at a 1/4 - 1/2 squat position. There is actually a deduction when a gymnast squats too low while landing from a dismount. Gymnasts also need plyometric (rebounding) strength for tumbling and vaulting. Tumbling and vaulting require rebounds which involve a very quick action of the ankles and shoulders along with and a very tight body to produce the rebounding action. There are no skills in women's gymnastics that require a gymnast to take off or land in that deep frog position, buttocks touching heels with legs turned out.


Thirty One

Question
My level 5 gymnasts are getting bored with their routines. It is only half way through the competitive season. How do I keep them from getting bored for the rest of their competitive season?

Answer
I think that is common in gyms where the kids only do routines. Try doing days of drills for the skills that are in the routines two days a week. Their routines will improve without the girls getting bored. You can also do contests based on the major elements in the routines such as who can stick the most cartwheels on beam in a row or how many glide kips can the girls do in one minute as a team. Make sure you only count the kips with straight arms!


You may also enjoy Karen Goeller's gymnastics articles, training programs,  and books.


Read More Questions

One: Eating Disorders / Two:  Sever's & Tendonitis  / Three: Handstand / Four: Sport Specific Conditioning / Five: Grips / Six: Mental Block-Fears / Seven: Elite-Press Handstand / Eight: Splits / Nine: Switching Gyms / Ten: Giants / Eleven: Walkover Back Pain / Twelve: Turns and Tightness / Thirteen:  Level 4 Beam Dismount / Fourteen: Practice Bar / Fifteen: Shin Splints / Sixteen: Gym Hours / Seventeen: Bruise from Cast HS on Bars / Eighteen: Stretching / Nineteen: Cartwheel-Beam / Twenty: Ankle Weights / Twenty One:  Height-Tall / Twenty Two: Clear Hip Circle / Twenty Three: Multiple Injuries / Twenty Four: Wrist Supports / Twenty Five: Bridge / Twenty Six: Back Handspring / Twenty Seven: Full Twist / Twenty Eight: Conditioning / Twenty Nine:  Routine Fatigue /

Thirty:  Knee Pain Thirty One: Bored with Routines


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