Strength Training For Gymnasts [7 Important Fundamentals]
Would you be a millionaire if you got a dollar for every time someone told you that flexibility is the most important factor that is going to lead you to success as a gymnast? Because I certainly would. However, what I believe is contradictory to the overall societal belief surrounding gymnastics.
Don’t get me wrong! I am in no manner negating the significance of flexibility. No other component can take over its place, even if they tried.
Yes, it is undeniably crucial to gymnastics, but the ground of this sport also lay on other factors that we tend to overshadow and ignore. Strength is one of such components.
Having said that, strength has an equally if not a more crucial contribution to how well you perform a skill and whether you can do it in the first place.
The significance of strength training Fundamentals
To put my argument into illustration, do you think you would be able to perform a skillset or your entire gymnastics routine if you had a grave deficiency or were feeling weaker than usual? The chances are that it would be difficult to do so, but if your determination fuels you enough to get you through it, you may find yourself to be exceedingly exhausted.
Similarly, if you lack the strength that is required by a gymnast, you might face countless unusual hurdles and problems in learning and adapting to new routines. Keeping all of this in mind, I would sincerely advise you to work on your overall strength (especially if you were unaware of its importance before this read).
1) Never compromise on how well you can perform a skill set
I know what you’re thinking, honestly? This is how I’m going to straight train? Why certainly, yes. You may have heard this before but I am certain you haven’t paid much heed to it.
And believe me, I am not blaming you. I was no different until a mentor of mine suggested I truly understand the meaning of not compromising over the quality of skill.
Allow me to elaborate, most of the time, we are in such a haste to get to the next skill in line or to learn the exercise we have a personal preference towards that we forget to put our mind and body to the present moment.
Henceforth, the skill you are performing or learning to perform doesn’t get its well-deserved share of attention. Thus, an underprepared form and little to no improvement. To avoid the mentioned scenario, it’s best to work your best and hardest in regards to the progressive stage that you are at.
2) Avoid resistance till you have mastered a particular skill without it
Have you come across the saying, ‘everything is beneficial at the right time’? Identical is the case of resistance (weights etc.). Adding resistance can, without a doubt, maximize your strength and test your upper limits, but only after the skill alone is a piece of cake for you.
Otherwise, resistance might play the exact opposite representation in contrast to what you expected it to be. It may make the exercise more laborious for you untimely (when your body strength hasn’t developed up to that point).
On top of that, would it be worth it if you are left exhausted and disappointed at the end of the day, all of which is worth minimal progressive (strength and form-wise)
3) Maintaining a balance in your exercise is your best hit at achieving perfection in body strength
As a gymnast, we are well aware of the extensiveness of keeping your whole body in shape for your routine and warm-up exercises. Now imagine if you strictly only did exercises that were beneficial to, per se, your upper body and had no influence on your lower body.
Would you be able to swiftly perform your casual gymnastics routine and difficult skills? The answer is a big fat no. This is because your lower body wouldn’t be trained or capable enough to cope with your body weight and have the right amount of mobility, simultaneously.
Correspondingly, if you fail to achieve a balance in your exercise schedule, your strength building and training will be compromised. The depriving impact can be the most detrimental particularly in regards to push and pull exercises since they play a primary role in presiding over your body mass.
Therefore, remember this to be an integral factor in strength training for a gymnast; the number of push exercises you perform should be in equilibrium with the pull exercises your routine is composed of.
4) Choose your strength exercises in correspondence to the skill you intend to learn
It isn’t humanly possible for one to have a pre-workout session that puts the entirety of your body to work. Specifically, if you are training for a particular gymnastics skill.
On the flip side, a favorable alternative we can follow is to strengthen the target muscles that majorly make a skill possible. In this manner, your body will be strength trained as per your current need.
5) Staying true and loyal to your efforts is everything
The tree of patience bears the sweetest fruits. You may be putting in all of your sweat and tears into gymnastics strength training but fail to find any immediate positive reinforcement.
Is that the scenario you are struggling by? If so, then hear me out. Your hard-work isn’t going in vain at all. You may not see it right now but I promise, you are going to thank yourself for all your attempts at strength training later.
The only part of the deal that you have to hold up is to stay consistent. If you can put a tick for your stability, there is little you need to worry about.
6) Change is always good
You must’ve already guessed what I’m going to say next. If there is anything I have learned from my personal experience is that gymnastics never gets old. How is that? If you continue to bring diversity to your home workout equipments as covered in this article and routine, you will find yourself improving day by day. And take my word for it when I say, nothing could be more exciting.
Some ways that you can vary your strength training workout are;
7) Give yourself breaks when you need them
As a beginner gymnast, I would more often than not get these jolts of motivation for a couple of days. In those days, I was unstoppable. That is, in all the good and the not-so-good ways. I wouldn’t deny that I would exercise and train exceptionally in those days, but at what cost?
At the end of the day, I was always left weary and exhausted beyond measure. Because of this, it was frequently difficult for me to get back on the train afterward. The reason I communicated this silly unimportant chunk from my own life was to give you an example not to follow.
Give yourself the rest that you deserve. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, it is biologically proven that your body will only benefit from a physical workout if it has the strength. Otherwise, your body muscles will gradually be worn out leaving you with no option but to rest.
On that ending note, I wish you all the best in your life and particularly, in gymnastics. I hope you were as invested in reading this article as I was in writing it.