WAG How tiring is gymnastics?

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vagymmomma

Proud Parent
Apr 26, 2010
2,746
Virginia
As a parent who did not do team gymnastics as a youth, I sometimes have a hard time understanding what a gymmie really goes through. I know that there are certain days that the team does heavy conditioning and you can tell by the red faces, sweat and overall exhausted body position of the exiting gymnasts that it was a tough workout. But there have been a couple times this season that made me wonder how much energy the sport really requires to perform routines. I'm sure there are many factors. For example, optional routines seem more mentally and physically taxing (in particular, mentally).

As an example, I was a little surprised when the coaches cut a normal Saturday practice short (from 4 to 2 hours) because they had a meet the next day (it was a local meet but early morning time). The reasoning was they wanted to give the gymnasts a chance to rest up before the meet. And a couple meets ago, DD's team didn't use the entire warm-up period on bars because they did their standard number of reps. The gymnasts could have done more, but DD said she didn't want to do more because she was getting tired. I think they maybe did 3 full routines and some tap swing warmups. So maybe can someone help me understand -- how tiring is this sport? It's the same thing I wonder about Olympics sprinters -- okay, you only ran 100 M -- how tired can these world class athletes be? (And I appreciate that there are several qualifying runs as well, but it's only 100M???).

I think DD may be one of the fast twitch types we've talked about in other discussions, so that may impact her stamina (though she was never one of the gymnasts who ran out of energy at the end of a floor routine). I heard that for a lot with gymmies in level 6 - overall conditioning may be an issue. So, educate me, how hard is this sport and do you normally take it easier before meets?
 

EastCoastGymMom

Proud Parent
Feb 1, 2013
185
I honestly cannot think of another sport which requires more physical or mental strength than gymnastics, especially for young children. Maybe try to do some of the skills and get a feel for how exhausting it is - vault steps, jumps on beam, kips/leg lefts/L holds, floor conditioning, rope climbs, tumbling. I am always shocked when I try to do conditioning with my daughter - it it so much harder than it looks! Same with the skills - even the lower level skills (pullovers, back bends, kicks, handstands) make me sore the next day!
 
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shelovestoflip

Proud Parent
Sep 29, 2010
715
I'm not a gymnast (nor ever have been) so can't answer specifically due to experience.

However I think what they do on floor or vault requires short bursts of energy. Coupled with an incredible amount of body strength on all events.

My daughter can do a ton of push ups and sit ups. She regularly scores out on the fitness test at school....beating all the kids in her grade.

They are strong and use their own body weight to condition.

All their conditioning uses so much energy and is burning calories way faster/more efficently than general aerobic activity.

As for taking it easy before meets, I know my daughter's team cuts back on certain things in the days before a meet (conditioning maybe? Not sure, but I know she's mentioned this) Also, if they have an early check in, they often let the team leave an hour or two early on Friday night.
 
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Iwannabemargo

Numpty Watcher
Proud Parent
Aug 28, 2011
6,962
UK
Can you do a handstand ? If so then just try and hold it against a wall for say 30 seconds. ( My handstand days are well over :rolleyes:) Thats the kind of effort they put in, but for between 2-4 hours at a time.

Gymnasts are seriously hardcore !
 
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cbifoja

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2012
3,007
If my daughter is any indication....not at all. I swear she has just as much energy after a 4 hour workout as she does after a 45 minutes workout. And at the end of the 4 hour, she is still bouncing and running and doing extra bar/beam sets or begging her coach for spots on giants or bugging the college girls to let her tumble with them.

I want just an ounce....just the smallest ounce of that kind of energy level. I could get so much done with just an ounce.
 
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D

Deleted member D3987

as i have stated, gymnastics is the hardest sport anyone can do. and it's no wonder that "crossfit' has adopted much of what we do. there are no words to to explain just how hard and rigorous our sport is. and this coming from someone that did it and now places those same demands upon the kids.

maybe you all ask your club owners to conduct 1 day of experiment. it will only take an hour. most of you 1 minute. have them take you adults thru the "elite conditioning" portion of the elite program. and make sure you can take off the next 3 days. :)
 
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kecks

Member
Mar 20, 2009
248
...it is extremly hard. we had do to short gymnastics sessions when we were on national team back in the days for track in europe (100m/200m/relay and hurdles). evereyone hated these days - soooo tiring! as for the sprinters: you see the 100m full out effort. you do not see the one hour warm up before that and the cool down that's following (after each round; so for the finalists in a meet it's often 4x100m in the day plus around 3 hours warm up and cool down...) and you do not see all the work done in the months before that (champions are made in wintertime in track not in the summer when actual season starts...). this work is exhausting to say the least. it's not tiring like a marathon done slowly or like a jogging thing; it's tiring like gping all out or at leat at 80% effort again and again and again and again and... for at least 2 hours of training each f**** day. especially the repeated efforts for, let's say, 4x200m with long rest periods (like 10 to 20 minutes) in between make you feel really, really sick. pain is garantued in any elite sport, suffering is optional.


oh, and dunno, i *love* your "do the elite conditioning"-idea, just one time. ^^
 
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cbifoja

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2012
3,007
My daughter loves to laugh at me when I do my "wolf" jump. She says I look more like our fat beagle.

And I'll readily admit that I've just tried walking across her LOW beam....the beam that is a whole what, 4 inches off the floor? Just walking is a little scary.
 
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gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,655
Also remember it is not just the physical aspect but the mental too. Dd often says that if she does a couple of good routines during warm-up, she is done. She doesn't want to risk ending warm-up on a negative note. It's not worth the mental "what-ifs".

Sent from my ADR6400L using ChalkBucket mobile app
 

iwannacoach

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Mar 25, 2012
2,877
region II
What?..... Gymnastics is tiring?? I hate to say it folks, but it's not tiring at all. How do I know? Well geez, I can watch it all day long and hardly break a sweat!!!
 
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htimcj

Proud Parent
Jun 12, 2011
3,638
Idaho Falls, ID- Region 2
I know that the couple of times I have tried to do DD warm ups/conditioning I nearly killed myself :) And these girls do it 4-5 days a week. I MIGHT have been able to do it when I was taking ballet for 6 days a week 3 hours each but then I probably still couldn't do a pull up :)

I also know that DD never goes to practice the day before a meet (coaches are OK with this. Most of the time with travel it is not possible anyways) because even a shorter routines only night can make her sore/tired the next day. She would rather take the evening off and be fully recovered.
 
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