The Gymnastics Life
Strength for gymnastics is often one the most overlooked and overanalyzed aspects of our sport.
We either neglect it all together (guilty), or over think so much that we're really not doing anything beneficial (guilty) i.e. doing too much or too many different things. In a 3-4 hour practice, it's of no ones benefit to be doing an hour of strength.
I started strength training shortly before I began spotting (just a young buck at 16). Prior to that it was push ups, pull ups, handstand push ups, etc. for wrestling.
I sought help and someone gave me a strength program that was your typical body building lower body/upper body split.
My journey didn't stop there. 7 years later I did Insanity in home workouts and then P90X.
And then I stumbled on CrossFit.
CrossFit changed my life (both in the way I view fitness and how my career path changed), but this post isn't about CrossFit (not entirely). The beauty of CrossFit is the way they define fitness and how to get there. Greg Glassman (CrossFit founder) says that a training plan should be marked by its "simplicity and efficacy."
There it is right there. Is it easy AND does it get the job done?
So here's my minimalist approach to strength for gymnastics (in no particular order):
Note: I reserve the right to add variations to each exercise. The core movement will always remain.
#1: Legless Rope Climb (Variations: L-Sit and Weighted)
#2: Handstand Push Up or Burpee (Variation: deficit handstand push up)
#3: Lunge Walk or Box Step Up (Variation: weighted)
Note: box step ups are performed at about knee height.
#4: Back Raise (Variation: back raise holds, weighted)
Note: we perform these with a partner, ideally we would use a glute ham developer but we won't have the space.
#5: V-Up (Variation: weighted)
Note: we perform these starting with a foam block over head laying flat then exchanged it to the feet and back to the hands each rep. Every rep is complete when the athlete is completely flat again.
And there it is, simple and effective!
How about you? What do you have in your top 5?
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.