How to Perform Strength Training for Gymnastics

Gymnasts are known for their strength, grace, and flexibility. These are a few ways to increase those traits in yourself, whether or not you are a gymnast.


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    Work on your abs. For almost all aspects of gymnastics, you need great stomach muscles, especially on bars. Mastering moves such as hollow body (when you lie flat on the ground and lift your legs and shoulders and arms, so that only your back and butt are on the ground. If you are doing it correctly, your stomach should become hard and it should be difficult. Try to work your way up to holding this position for a minute or more.) This can help you to do a variety of strength moves such as:
    • tuck-ups (when you do hollow body position, then curl up into a tuck so that only your back is still on the ground, and then back to hollow body- do about 30 at a time)
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    • v-ups (same as tuck-ups but instead of going into a tuck, you go into a v position with only your butt on the ground), and plank position (when you lie on your stomach and put your elbows on the ground and lift your stomach so that only your feet and elbows and forearms are on the ground- hold for 1-2 minutes). For every exercise you do, it is important to keep your head neutral.
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    Practicing these moves can help with gymnastics or simply to get the body you want. Hollow body position is vital to your success in Gymnastics, because you will use it at every event and if you do it incorrectly it can cause many problems. However, if you master it, and it becomes a good habit you will have great success in gymnastics.
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    Build leg muscles. This is not as important as abs but is still necessary. This can be done by running or heel-raises (when you stand on the edge of a surface- such as on the stairs or in gymnastics you can stand on the beam with your heels off the edge of the beam and you go from having your heels as far down as they go to standing on your toes, and repeat that about 100 times).
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    Build up your arm muscles. Do push-ups and pull-ups to get that muscle. Try a drill where you have a surface that is about 3/4 of a foot tall, and you do three sets of push-ups: 30 with your hands on top of the mat, 25 on the ground, and 20 with your feet on top of the mat and your hands on the ground.
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    Develop flexibility. Try doing all three splits every day for two minutes each. Once you have those splits down, you can work on the flexibility in your thigh by going into either your right or left leg split and lifting the foot of your back leg up so that that leg is bent. It's a really good stretch. Also practice going into a straddle and touching both legs and getting your stomach to the ground in the center. Try to touch your toes in a pike. Go into a lunge before doing your splits, you don't want to pull a muscle. Gymnasts should be flexible all over- not just in splits.
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    Take dance classes or practice drills for balance and coordination. This should help you become more graceful.


  • Try things such as Pilates and yoga to increase both flexibility and strength.
  • If you have a home beam then practice doing forward rolls and cartwheels on it. If you are at a slightly higher level try doing front somersaults or backwards walkovers.
  • Practice! Make a schedule so that you practice a little for each main thing every day. Don't worry- it gets easier as you get better.
  • Never give up.
  • If you have more free time, you could practice bridges, and try pushing over your shoulders for flexibility.
  • If you need more time to stretch and practice, you should work more often on skills you have difficulty with rather than the skills that you've mastered, but still review and practice the skills that you've mastered so you do not lose them.
  • Don't force yourself into any position that you're uncomfortable doing, such as the splits or anything requiring a flex you can't do. This can pull or tear muscles and lead to great pain.
  • Keep on trying and practice in your spare time.
  • If you don't know how to balance you just keep trying. A back walk over it is kind of easy so what you do is lay down on the floor put your hands facing your feet then lift your self up but you need to be skinny and have muscles in your arms.


  • Keep stretching and doing workouts, or you could lose flexibility.
  • Do not over-train; this will result in pain and/or injury.
  • Check with your doctor if there are any health and/or age factors that you should discuss.

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Categories: Gymnastics