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Feb 27, 2022
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Hello! I’m just curious if there is anything a gymnast can do to gain power or is this only something you’re born with? My dd has flat feet and a bit knock kneed so it effects her running which in turn effects her jumping. She is only 7 and pretty strong and flexible. The other day she was practicing at home and showed me that she has some power deep down in her, but I just curious if this is something she can develop. Also any suggestions for the legs and running? Thanks so much!
 

JBS

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Yes and no. Some people are definitely more powerful than others... but it's definitely something that you can improve. I would look up some local strength & conditioning trainers.

We have many young football and baseball players in our town that go a couple of different places for this. Gymnastics is no different... some of our kids are now going... they are getting stronger. Many times overall strength and power building is best done by those that specialize in this area.
 
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Feb 27, 2022
21
39
Yes and no. Some people are definitely more powerful than others... but it's definitely something that you can improve. I would look up some local strength & conditioning trainers.

We have many young football and baseball players in our town that go a couple of different places for this. Gymnastics is no different... some of our kids are now going... they are getting stronger. Many times overall strength and power building is best done by those that specialize in this area.
Thank you for the suggestion! I will do some research for our area.
 
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Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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Personal experience: I had a harder time with vault and tumbling until high school when I joined the track team and took weightlifting as a PE elective. It was mind blowing to see how much I improved. In one semester of regularly doing the Olympic lifts, my vertical jump improved by three inches! I honestly had so much fun lifting - our teacher was extremely knowledgeable and developed a customized program for each of us. Working with a professional like this really can make a difference.
 
Feb 27, 2022
21
39
Personal experience: I had a harder time with vault and tumbling until high school when I joined the track team and took weightlifting as a PE elective. It was mind blowing to see how much I improved. In one semester of regularly doing the Olympic lifts, my vertical jump improved by three inches! I honestly had so much fun lifting - our teacher was extremely knowledgeable and developed a customized program for each of us. Working with a professional like this really can make a difference.
Wow! That is a big difference. I see that both comments on this post are from coaches. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. Do you recommend waiting until she is older for this kind of training or earlier the better? Obviously she has big plans for her gymnastics career (like every other little girl her age who falls in love with the sport), but I don’t want to burn her out. She is the kind of kid that comes home and keeps practicing. She’s literally upside down all day long. I’m happy to give her training like this but they are already in the gym 9 hours a week.
 

katrid11

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Sep 1, 2020
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Wow! That is a big difference. I see that both comments on this post are from coaches. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. Do you recommend waiting until she is older for this kind of training or earlier the better? Obviously she has big plans for her gymnastics career (like every other little girl her age who falls in love with the sport), but I don’t want to burn her out. She is the kind of kid that comes home and keeps practicing. She’s literally upside down all day long. I’m happy to give her training like this but they are already in the gym 9 hours a week.
My DD has long thin legs and had nearly no power. I was a college athlete that thrived on my leg power so I worked with DD on off days to improve her power. everything we did was without weights b/c DD is now only 10 and every Dr/trainer we have encountered discourages weight lifting before kids hit puberty.

What we did:
squat jumps
box jumps
tuck jumps
switch lunge jumps
sprinting (10 yds, 25 yds, vault length, line drills)
straight jumps
regular squats, plie squats, leg lifts, lunges, side lunges, etc.

some days just did the exercises in a circuit (choose 3 and rotated until each done x times with a certain number of sets). 1 day every 2 weeks we did somethings for time. Like box jumps - how many can you compete in a minute.

After 2 mths DD saw a marked improvement in her sprint speed, her vault power, and her conditioning scores for leg power went up by 50%.
 
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Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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Wow! That is a big difference. I see that both comments on this post are from coaches. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. Do you recommend waiting until she is older for this kind of training or earlier the better? Obviously she has big plans for her gymnastics career (like every other little girl her age who falls in love with the sport), but I don’t want to burn her out. She is the kind of kid that comes home and keeps practicing. She’s literally upside down all day long. I’m happy to give her training like this but they are already in the gym 9 hours a week.
I did not realize how young she is! Too young for weights, but the post above me has great ideas for younger athletes.
 
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JBS

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Do you recommend waiting until she is older for this kind of training or earlier the better?

It's perfectly safe for 7 year old to work on strength and conditioning as long as it's done correctly.


When I used to coach tons of preschool classes (23 a week when I started coaching)... I had every single kid to 3 spotted pull-ups every single week. It's just what I did with them. I would get comments from other coaches about how I always got all the good 4 year olds. Not true... I just got the strong ones because I had them when they were 3 and did pull-ups. Most of them couldn't do them at all when they started... it was 95% me holding and lifting them. When I would get kids from other coaches there was a noticeable difference in strength.

I didn't just give them a bar and tell them to pull... I spotted them... I paid attention to their legs... did things differently with certain kids to help them engage their core. The point is... many other coaches tried this same thing... they all failed and gave up. They said... "You just get the strong kids". These other coaches just didn't have a clue what I had learned from helping the kids in just a couple of weeks...

Everything is build around the core. Without proper core strength supporting the body... the pull-up will never get off the ground.

Someone that knows what they are doing will have no issues doing strength and conditioning with a young child.
 
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JBS

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Another thing to note is that this is actually "cross training"... but it highly benefits gymnastics if the gymnastics training is taken into account. This means that playing basketball could give you similar benefits... but the basketball coach is not going to take into account your gymnastics. Over 75% of the gymnasts that we have had play basketball over the year have had major lower extremity issues (heels... knees... calves... ankles... hips... etc)... it was just too much pounding when put together.

Here's a simple video of some fun stuff for young kids...

 
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Feb 27, 2022
21
39
My DD has long thin legs and had nearly no power. I was a college athlete that thrived on my leg power so I worked with DD on off days to improve her power. everything we did was without weights b/c DD is now only 10 and every Dr/trainer we have encountered discourages weight lifting before kids hit puberty.

What we did:
squat jumps
box jumps
tuck jumps
switch lunge jumps
sprinting (10 yds, 25 yds, vault length, line drills)
straight jumps
regular squats, plie squats, leg lifts, lunges, side lunges, etc.

some days just did the exercises in a circuit (choose 3 and rotated until each done x times with a certain number of sets). 1 day every 2 weeks we did somethings for time. Like box jumps - how many can you compete in a minute.

After 2 mths DD saw a marked improvement in her sprint speed, her vault power, and her conditioning scores for leg power went up by 50%.
Thank you soooooo much for this! We will do this!
 

Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
230
From personal experience, my seven-year-old had zero power when she started gymnastics. She was much more of a beam and bars graceful gymnast. Just doing gymnastics over the years and doing the conditioning has helped her become a very powerful gymnast especially with the vault. It used to be her worst event and now it's one of her best. So, I think if you have a good conditioning at your gym, the power will come but if not, working with someone who really understands young bodies could be helpful.
 
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Mar 20, 2009
257
Hello! I’m just curious if there is anything a gymnast can do to gain power or is this only something you’re born with? My dd has flat feet and a bit knock kneed so it effects her running which in turn effects her jumping. She is only 7 and pretty strong and flexible. The other day she was practicing at home and showed me that she has some power deep down in her, but I just curious if this is something she can develop. Also any suggestions for the legs and running? Thanks so much!
In general an individual full power will bloom after physical puberty is complete. Young kids can practise basic running mechanics but at 7 years of age this is pretty futile as they usually lack the necessary body awarness. Just encourage lots of jumping and sprinting everyday in age appropriate games and free play. The rest will come.
 
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Feb 27, 2022
21
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This was my next question. How do we know for sure what a kids physical abilities are so young? I get the impression her coach thinks she’ll never have the power. I asked what she could do to help increase power and she said nothing. They already do plyo in gym. I’m no gymnast but I do know human development. It looks to me like she is still figuring out where her body is in space? Just to give you an idea of where she is, she just got a BWO on beam (2nd girl on team to do it on her team) and was one of the first to get her ROBH, and she’s close to her Kip. She is also SUPER brave. However, last year she competed bronze and NEVER, I mean NEVER was able to do a handstand flat back with out piking so now she has developed a fear of it because she’s convinced she’ll never get it. It’s not like she’s afraid of the skill, she’s afraid of failure. She’s tired of disappointing her coaches but mostly herself. I parented her through this and she went in the next day and got vertical. Coach even came out to tell me how well she did. I just want to help my kids achieve HER goals. I appreciate all the help you have given and continue to give me. As a gym mom who never did gymnastics I’m very grateful for this forum.
 
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Mar 20, 2009
257
This was my next question. How do we know for sure what a kids physical abilities are so young? I get the impression her coach thinks she’ll never have the power. I asked what she could do to help increase power and she said nothing.
The coach is not wrong as a talent in power and speed (explosive strength you need for acceleration and jumping height) is mainly a genetic disposition (much more than i.e. flexibility or endurance) which gets to full force after puberty by sprinting and jumping a lot before puberty hits. If an individual has this disposition for speed or not or how much of it can be seen very early on - the fast ones are fast from the get go compared to their peers. However that only means they have a huge advantage over kids not talented in this specific way. It does not mean that all the other kids can not get much faster by sprinting and jumping while playing every day for now and specialised speed training later on. They can and they will. But they will also always be much less explosive than the fast twitch (muscle type) ones.