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Jan 9, 2008
Does your gym do harder conditioning in the summer. My daughter has been having alot of difficulty adjusting this summer. This is her 2nd year and this year she is conditioning with the older girls. The whole team is conditioning together and they are doing alot of running. She is going into 4th grade and she is doing this with the high school girls. I have heard the older girls complain about how hard it is, this is the first time this year that my daughter is actually trying to get out of practice.
Jul 21, 2007
Usually the harder conditioning is done in the summer to build up strength, and when the season starts the goal is to maintain the strength they got during their summer training. Out of season you can focus on learning new skills and working to gain strength and flexibility but in season the main focus is usually routines (at least in most cases).

I'm sorry your daughter is having a hard time keeping up with the older girls, it would be hard working out with kids that have been in the sport for many more years. It should make her better in the long run, I just hope it's not too much for a little girl.

Good luck with everything
My 2 cents worth from a slight different perspective...

Our gym is a bit more lenient with the younger and lower level kids when it comes to "slacking off" in conditioning. Even though they spend similar amount of time doing it and part of the time doing it together (especially in the summer when conditioning is much more frequent and intense), understanding the circumstances the coaches are never as hard on the L4/5s so long as they are showing progress. My feeling is that your gym is no different.

Sometimes it could be the young gymnast herself who might be trying too hard to keep up. In more ways than one, that's a good thing! Also, conditioning with the higher level is a good thing as well because not only is it good for harmony, it's also getting the younger ones used to what's ahead in the future. Strength and stamina (including cardio) is absolutely needed for L6 and up. Just spend some time explaining that to her (or communicating that feeling with the coaches) and she'll be fine. Also, if she has the will, she will be able to keep up in no time. Bear in mind that although conditioning (along with dancing) is a big part of competitive gymnastics, only a few gymnasts regardless of level are willing to participate if given the choice.

BTW, I would recommend not watching her practice right now until she's more comfortable with the conditioning. Otherwise, you could be heart broken watching her "struggle" through it. If you do any intensive exercise at all, you will understand what I mean. I was watching my 10yo L4 going through this a couple of weeks ago. From the look in her face, a big part of me was wondering whether she will pass out due to fatigue or dehydration. Then I saw the other kids whom she was running along side with and who handled it well, I have no doubt that she will too in time. Besides, as soon as she stepped out of the gym, she was full of energy again.


May 28, 2009
Region I
Our gym always does slightly more conditioning during the summer, for all levels from pre-team through optionals. The time dedicated to conditioning remains the same (30 minutes) a work out, not including pre-conditioning that is part of the 30 minute warm up time. However, we tend to add more conditioning to each event rotation.

Of course, we don't expect the same thing from Level 4s as from Level 9s. Their strength, maturity, and experience is vastly different. However, we expect every gymnast to try their hardest and make improvements.

I've found that it is sometimes hard for young gymnasts or new gymnasts to understand that gymnastics is a progressive sport. Once they master something, there is always something new to learn. Sometimes ackowledging that this will be a challenge, but that it's required to advance in the levels, can help.


Yes, they definitely do harder conditioning in the summer! Summer is always tough--with harder skills and tougher conditioning.


The harder conditoning is usually in the summer to build up stregth for the compotition season. Its ok that the oldder girls were complaining. I was conditoning with the older girls when I was in 4th grade too. Ifshe is having no problem and she is not complaning about it then don't worry about it.

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
Yes, our gym increases the conditioning to about 1 hour/practice for the optionals in the summer and my gymmie isn't all that thrilled with it. She does understand the reason for it though. 1 day/week all the team girls from L5-10(we don't do L4) practice together and they all condition together that 1 day. According to my gymmie the L5s(especially the younger ones) don't do as many reps and do some different drills than the optional girls which only makes sense since the older girls are doing tougher skills. The rest of the week, the L5s have their own practice times and conditioning is not as intense as what the optionals do. I did see a few new L6s come staggering out of the gym before the summer even started----more conditioning than L5 and they were not used to it.

If dd continues to complain or does not want to go to practice, take some time to talk with the coach. It may be too much conditioning for her right now, she may not understand the goal of the exercises or may be trying too hard to be like the "big girls."
Our gym definitely steps up conditioning in the summer. As a few people said, it's to do harder skills in the summer, and prep for the season. On top of that it's hard for the gymnasts since it's hot, but it pays off in the end.


Gym, as with many sports, does go harder in the summer. It just gives you a good training base.


During the summer our first hour is conditioning. During the season(since I do high school) we spend the last 15-30 minutes conditioning depending upon if we have a meet the next day or not.
Jan 9, 2008
Thanks for all the encouragement. The past few days daughter has been much better about going to practice. It seems like everybody agrees with the conditioning being important, it's just hard seeing my daughter who normally loves going to practice being so upset that she is crying and trying to get out of it. It has totally caught me by surprise that I even questioned her if she wanted to quit. She insisted that this is not the case so I took out a calendar and showed her how many more weeks she has left of hard practice and I tried to explain why she needs to condition so for now she seems better about it.


we definitly have more hours in the summer and the kids say its harder but I think too that with the more hours and the new skills most are learning it just seems harder. I do know the coaches do tweek up the pressure on the kids a bit especially for the newer kids, to see if they can handle the pressure. The thinking is if they can't handle it at practice they will never handle it at a meet. Not sure if I agree with that
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