Gymnastics Fitness Training

Gymnastics Description

Gymnastics is the term for a variety of athletic events which are conducted in an indoor gym. Most gymnasts are fairly young (less than 25 years old). Strength, flexibility, cardiorespiratory conditioning, skill and coordination are all required to be a successful gymnast. To properly and safely enjoy gymnastics, Fitness Expert recommends seeking competent, experienced coaching from a school or recreation department.

Gymnastics Warnings

  • If you have experienced chronic injuries or nerve damage in the back, ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists or hands, gymnastics may aggravate such conditions, possibly causing more serious damage.
  • Many injuries result from falls, incorrect form, or improper dismounting technique.

Gymnastics Risks

  • Quadriceps, calf, shoulder or lower back muscle strains
  • Ankle, knee, wrist or elbow sprains
  • Wrist, cervical spine fractures
  • Hand blisters and calluses
  • Bursitis or tendinitis in wrist, elbow, shoulder or knee

Gymnastics Sport-specific applications

  • National, international and Olympic competition

Gymnastics Equipment required

  • Shoes: soft material, sometimes called "peds"
  • Gloves for working on the horizontal bar, parallel bars, pommel horse and rings (for men) as well as the uneven bars (for women)
  • Chalk or rosin for grip enhancement
  • Pads and mats
  • Event-specific equipment: parallel bars, uneven parallel bars, horizontal bars, pommel horse, rings, balance beam

Gymnastics Applicable substitutions

  • Martial arts
  • Calisthenics
  • Choreographed/active dance
  • Aerobic dance (all types)

Gymnastics Reference sources, organizations and publications

  • U.S. Gymnastics Federation: Pan American Plaza, Suite 300, 201 Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46225, (317) 237­5050
  • U.S. Olympic Committee: 1750 E. Boulder St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909­5760, (719) 632­5551
  • AAU: 3400 West 86th St., PO Box 68207, Indianapolis, IN 46268, (317) 872­2900
  • NCAA: 6201 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66211­2422, (913) 339­1906
  • American Trampoline and Tumbling Association: 1610 E. Cardwell, Brownfield, TX 79316, (806) 637­8670
  • United States Sports Acrobatics Federation: 3595 E. Fountain Blvd., Suite K­1, Colorado Springs, CO 80910, (719) 596­5222


Cardiorespiratory: Anaerobic/Interval

Fitness Benefits

  • Cardiorespiratory 3
  • Flexibility 4
  • Muscular Strength 4
  • Muscular Endurance 4
  • Body Fat Recution 2

Fitness Requirements

  • Cardiorespiratory 1
  • Flexibility 3
  • Muscular Strength 3
  • Muscular Endurance 3
  • Coordination/Skill 0

Muscle groups used

Primary muscles: shoulders, calves, chest, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, forearms, triceps, erector spinae and hip flexors Assistance muscles: abdominals (rectus abdominus), obliques, biceps, hip adductors, hamstrings and gluteal muscles

Energy expenditure

Approximately 0.03 Calories per minute per pound of body weight

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