Parents Another flexibility question

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Proud Parent
May 13, 2017
Sorry if this has been asked 1,000 times! But, my 5 year old DD (almost 6 year old) doesn't have the back flexibility like a few of the other gymnast her age. They go into a back bend, and it's like their hands touch their feet!! I'm truly amazed. They look like rubber bands! Right now, my DD can do all the skills they can do (expect some of their skills are prettier to watch because of their flexible backs). Will it hurt her in the future by not having a back made of rubber?! My DD probably has more strength and power over the flexible back girls. These girls were just born with amazing bending backs!
She may struggle w/ walkovers and maybe even handsprings on beam. But it may give her an advantage on other things... How flexible are her shoulders - cause that matters too for a lot of skills? Girls w/ inflexible shoulders can struggle w/ beam and certain vault/bar skills.
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Some kids are more naturally flexible. I do agree that it's not just about the back, but hips and shoulders too. If her coaches don't seem concerned then I imagine she is fine at this point. No matter what though, she is pretty young, don't push dong a lot of extra back flexibility stuff. Leave it in the gym.
It's not that she isn't flexible. She can lay back and touch her feet to head. I think she can almost do all her splits. She can stand and go into a backbend. And you guys are right, she's 5 I'm not pushing flexibility in the back. I was just curious if girls born with a flexible back had a big advantage over "normal" backs.
My ODD is like your DD's teammates. Super flexy, she can easily put her hands by her feet in back end. She is very strong too but not powerful at all.
My middle DD is more like your DD, she doesn't have the best back and shoulder flexibility. Compared to her sister, she really struggled with walkovers, but back handsprings are coming easier.
I'm sure your DD will also find some skills take more effort than others, but she will find others that come easily.
As far as the extreme flexible backs, there was one girl at our gym like that. Like you are saying, some skills looked really pretty. But I actually noticed that she was too arched a lot of the time, so it ended up being a negative thing. I've also heard that without a strict focus on strengthening the back muscles, girls with hyperflexible backs are more prone to injury.
If funny you say that about backhand springs. She is learning her BHS right now and I've been amazed how well she is picking it up since she can't go a BWO yet.
Most gymnasts have strengths and weaknesses based on their natural body type. My DD (age 9, L6) sounds like yours. Strong upper body and core. Leg and shoulder flexibility are fine. BUT, a tighter low back and hips. Some skills have been harder/slower to acquire, and she will never be one of those gymnasts who strikes contortionist-like poses on beam! Walkovers took awhile, especially on beam, and limitations w/ hip flexibility has made straddle press handstands a bit of a struggle. However, she is strong on bars with a good hollow body position - whereas some of her bendy-back teammates have a hard time avoiding an arched back. I'm sure your daughter's coaches will work with her to improve flexibility if needed (just like they will work with other girls to improve strength, body shapes, etc.). I wouldn't worry.
So, who usually goes farther in gymnastics? The girls that start off "bendy" that get their kickovers easier or the stronger upper body core strength girls?
So, who usually goes farther in gymnastics? The girls that start off "bendy" that get their kickovers easier or the stronger upper body core strength girls?

The kid that likes it the most/stays healthy the longest. There are so many variables and their flexibility changes over time. My DD started out really bendy and is less so now at 12.
At the end of the day, your DD probabky will have an advantage over these girls, not a disadvantage. If she is flexible enough to touch her feet to her head, then she does not lack flexibility at all. It sounds like these other girls have hypermobility syndrome, if they are doing bridges almost holding their feet. Sure it allows them to do a few cool contortion tricks. But on the down side it will make them more prone to injury, especially as they get older and hit their preteen years, it can cause major problems. That type of extreme back flexibility is absolutely unessesary in gymnastics. As little ones they do a lot of walkovers, but once they reach the higher levels you won't see it anymore.
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