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Does anyone here have any set physical training regimes at home or elsewhere that your DD follows? Care to share your schedule? How much time is devoted to strength training? How often?

Part of daddy-daughter time is our (occasional) workout together. At 45, I'm not energetic as she is, and personally loath working out anymore, but this is an area where I know I can help. Nonetheless, We do pushups, crunches, Jjacks, and of course practicing proper stretching techniques, handstands, etc.

One of the thoughts I had was to introduce some of the TOPS physical ability training into our workouts. Such as, climbing the robe while in pike position, push up to handstands, etc. While I think it would be helpful, i'm wondering if this kind of training would be a bit over the top for an 8 yr old L3 athlete.

Your Thoughts?

Also... DD and LOML have asked for a swedish bar installed into our home gym. I'm a little reluctant since I can see it easily being used as an indoor playground rather then a strength training device. But... Being the Dad I am, I learned long ago that it's easier just to do what I'm told... including building "scaled" beams and bars for Nastia's American Girl dolls. After all -- they are gymnasts too! (im told) :|
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Feb 26, 2007
Personally the girls don't work out at home, my girls do other sports like skiing, swiiming and they ride there bikes etc. I leave the coaching to their coaches, that's what I pay the big bucks for. I could coach them of course, but I would rather keep our life at home about other things.

Right now the coach has asked my little one to do two perfect handstands a day at home, she needs to have a 2 sec hold on beam this year, so she does that and I will remind her, if she doesn't want to do it I don't make her as it is her sport not mine. She does the Handstand on the floor, not on a beam at home.

I think introducing a TOPS type conditioning programmes is asking for trouble with any child, it is hard work and could lead to resentment.

Though as always, you know your DD better than I do and you should do what you think is right for her, but you should always aske her coach what would be okay.
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Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
While we do have home gym equipment, a bar, a homemade beam and a little mat, I don't expect or even ask my DD to use them. She wanted them, she has them, she uses them when she wants, many times just playing on them. That is all fine with me. If she asks me for help, I will try, but most of the time I tell her I can't because I really don't know how to help. She mainly uses them as play things though and that is fine with me. :D
Umm.. ok before this gets taken out of context... (I guess I have too many questions bottled up inside)

My real question is NOT about home gyms. It's about strength training, not gymnastics training. Does your DD do any strength training? Such as, 10 mins of stretching, 10 minutes of exersize, etc.

FWIW: My wife is very active in home arobics for herself. - thus the creation of our gym.
Oct 2, 2008
South Carolina
I think it is GREAT that you are interested in being so involved in what your daughter is doing!

Any type of home workout is always a very fine line on this board as people have very strong opinions. In regards to strength training, I believe this depends 100% on your child. Some children do not enjoy conditioning (some even Hate it), while others LOVE it. My DD is one that enjoys conditioning and frequently asks to do extra practice time at the gym to condition more after her practice is over. She does pushups and V-ups at home on her own saying she wants to get stronger and loves physical education class as a Kindergartener. She even does bridge contests with her grandfather who is a black belt in TKD (she always wins and his is a really ugly bridge-LOL). Involvement in areas like this (when they are desired by our children) are memories that my DD (and yours) will carry with them for a lifetime!

I think the bottom line is don't push her to do it. If it is something she is wanting you to do with her (versus you wanting her to do it with you) and she enjoys it, then it can be a great relationship building experience that will also end up making her stronger for the sport she loves..


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
nothing structured here.

DD spends about every waking minute walking on her hands. Outside she is riding her bike. rollerblading etc. so I don't see the need.

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
Does her team practice include strength and work on flexibilty at every workout? If yes, then she's probably getting enough as is. If SHE brings up wanting to do some training at home, make sure its her idea and limit what she does. You will find that as she moves up in levels and spends more and more hours in the gym, the desire to do anything at home usually drops off. I would not try doing TOPS on your own at home.

My gymmie is 12 and competing L8. Yes, when she was 8(she was on pre-team), she liked doing some strength work at home. Gee, your suggestion of doing it with your dd was a great one----I usually did not do anything with my gymmie except watch(which doesn't burn calories). Really once she started competing, she was too busy with practice and school---home was a nice place to veg and if she wants to do something she can. Really I try and leave the gym at the gym.

If you do end up caving in on the bar, set down rules that it is only for pullups, leg lifts etc. and not to practice/learn bars skills. Encourage other activities---bike rides, swimming as things to do that will help outside the gym, but also give your dd a break from the traditional conditioning.
Honestly - We don't push her to do anything -- except school work, and clean her room, being just barely successful at both. But keeping up with schoolwork trumps everything in our book.

Nastia practices her sport on her own. She chooses when, how, and what she wants to do. I have no clue what to look for, so I don't help in that respect. Mostly when I'm around, I'm just asked to watch. But sometimes she "challanges" me to do things with her. At first I begrudgingly accepted the challenge, but more recently am happy to oblige. (I still beat her time in 6" leg lifts). She's getting bored with the same-ol same ol routines, and is asking "what other excersizes should we do".

I think it's important to note that my time with her is limited. I work full-time, and also do woodworking for hire to help make ends meet. When I get a larger order, this work can consume months of time. That said, I'm just trying to see if I can create a short do-able physical training routine that we can do as a team - and that would pay dividends when it comes to her sport.

Don't get the wrong idea though. I'm not one of those dad's trying to push her into a full time career of gymnastics. I want to do what's best for her AND her sport, when I have the time.
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Part of daddy-daughter time is our (occasional) workout together

I highly recommend using that limited daddy-daughter time doing something else. Grab a soccer ball, go fishing, a one on one dinner, read some books...heck, bring her in the shop and build a bird house....anything but gymnastics or conditioning. The time goes by waaaaay to fast. Pretty soon, she will be the one with limited time.
Feb 26, 2007
Calisthenics - Conditioning Without Equiptment

Above is a great set of excercises good for gymnastics and for general fitness. Maybe Nastia could choose one and you can have a new skill per week.

The most important skill she could possibly work on at home is the handstsnd, tight and learning to hold it for prolonged periods. The hollow and arch holds are great too.

The aim is to have her lead and always have fun. Personally I'd go for a walk together.

Good luck.:)
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Mar 5, 2008
North America
We don't do too much home conditioning. When the weather is nice, the kids are outside running around, rollerblading, riding their bikes or climbing trees so I figure that is enough extra conditioning in my book. Sometimes the kids will want to go down and "play on the mat" or practice stuff on the beam but I pretty much let her guide what she wants to do. I used to do the more regimented workouts but found that she ended up just resisting and whining so we stopped. It can be tricky at times so as not to cross the line and be over-bearing with it to where the child is not enjoying it and it seems more like work than fun.


Proud Parent
Mar 1, 2007
I think it's great that you do daddy-daughter work out time! We do not do anything here at home. My DD is only 7 and going to the gym 11 hrs a week. The rest of the time she is doing other activities or making up her own routines. Being that we are in the middle of comp season we don't push for anything extra either.

Maybe her coach would have some suggestions for excercises you can BOTH enjoy together?


My dd's coaches actually gave her a list of stretches and conditioning she was supposed to do at home every day. She is flexible - but not as freaky flexible as some other girls. Since she was already training 20 hours a week, it was really hard and stressful for her to try and find time to do even more stuff at home. Now that she is no longer in the gym all that time she actually is stretching and conditioning at home all the time - probably because she doesn't know what else to do with all the extra energy she now has. I have always been a very physically active person so we are always doing weird stuff around here. When my kids are going stir crazy or getting really frustrated over something I have them do push ups or pull-ups, run up and down the stairs a bunch of times, etc. I use it as a healthy outlet rather than having a goal or anything though. I would never try to implement a home training regimine like tops - too intense IMHO.
Thanks for all the great replies. All Good stuff.

Im going to talk with her HC tonight about stretching regimes. That's something that can easily be done in front of 'Zack and Cody'.

Nastia doesn't spend as much time in the gym as some of your girls. She does about 9-10 hours a week. Mon, Wed, Th for comp classes, and Fri for a 1 hr private lesson. She is often allowed to join in with the tumbling class or stay after to practice, but those are limited opportunities.

And far as not pushing... thinking about it more, I'm not sure I can agree 100%. Not forcing yes... pushing, well I do think I should to push a bit.

When I see her on her 5th back-to-back episode of Hannah Montana... Sorry. enough is enough. My thought is: "Go outside and play -- or lets practice." Both LOML and I agree that TV is nice and all, but it's not going to become a daily ritual.


And far as not pushing... thinking about it more, I'm not sure I can agree 100%. Not forcing yes... pushing, well I do think I should to push a bit.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. If your daughter is 8 years old, has been doing gymnastics for four years and is a L3....I'd hardly say that you are pushing too hard.

The amount of time she is spending in the gym is normal for a L3. As she progresses through the levels, her gym time will increase incrementally. For instance, my DD is a L6 and trains for four hours/four days a week. Next season, if she is promoted to L7, it will be four hours/five days a week. She is now ten years old and will be eleven in a few months.

I was concerned about her physical development in the beginning, not wanting her to get too muscular and have the prototypical 'tank like' gymnastic build. To that end, we got her an audition at a ballet school and she was accepted. I like the stretching and flexibility she gets there. It has helped her to build long lean muscles instead of compact 'bunchy' muscles.

I would say that her strength and flexibly have been appropriate for the levels that she has been in and her age at the time. Now though, as a L6, her muscles are getting very dense.

Sounds to me that at 8 years old and with the full support of her parents, your DD might benefit from skipping up to L4 which would also increase her gym time. Sounds to me she might be getting a little bored as a L3 and is ready for something more challenging.


When I see her on her 5th back-to-back episode of Hannah Montana... Sorry. enough is enough. My thought is: "Go outside and play -- or lets practice." Both LOML and I agree that TV is nice and all, but it's not going to become a daily ritual.

That I agree with - I don't like my kids vegging all day in front of a tv either.


Sometimes, kids do need downtime, especially with some parents who have a full schedule for them from wake to sleep. Then again some parents are nutty and so are their kids.

Going through should give you lots of ideas. Doing TOPs conditioning every day would be about an hour to two and that might be too much all of a sudden and she just might not be up to it.

Maybe take a look at Kallista Pappas got into crossfit with her brother after her dad got into it. Currently she's a 14yo L9 up somewhere in the NW but probably started when she was 11 or 12. It's definitely a program that will include some basic gymnastics your daughter is used to with conditioning you can do at home.

I think Coach Sommer posted that his athletes do physical preparation/prevention, conditioning, stretching 40% of their total training time.
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Thanks for the comments and the link to BlairBob. Lots of great info there.

I wasn't thinking of anywhere close to 1-2 hours daily. More like 3 hours WEEKLY. My idea was to introduce "some" of the TOPS conditioning slowly. Such as, rope climb, leg ups on stall bars, V-ups, and of course continue practicing her press to handstand. This is something that Nastia has been practicing for months now on her own. She's very determined about mastering that skill. She's pretty getting close on her own.

Our gym doesn't really get into any real conditioning (other then basic stretching and warmups) until L5.

I'll be sure to check out the advice of the websites you provided. It's hard to argue with expert opinions. My goal is to create a FUN and beneficial program that we can do together, but focusing on specific areas of conditioning. Such as core, and prevention.
Jul 12, 2007
Don't forget to have lots of handstand contests:D

Sorry I can't add anything more to the workout regime. My boys and I like to find time to run together, and that is about it. But just wanted to say that getting/staying fit is so important and can last a lifetime.... I think its great that you guys find time to work out together! Workouts CAN be fun time, and the fact that you can do it together - just beautiful. What a great example you are setting! :D


Here's a parental hint. You don't want to have your daughter spend years in compulsories. Eventually the music will make you go wonkers. And if you want to get her out of L4 to get that kip she will develop push, pull, and leg lift snap and hold strength to get that kip. Of course it will help just about everything else too. Not being strong enough keeps kids in compulsories too long sometimes. Strength is easy, skill is hard.

Definitely start with some of the TOPS stuff then. I've heard of one family that had ropes all over the house that the kids learned to climb from an early age. An interesting way instead of the stairs.

If you're interested in prevention, look into the wrist prevention drills of Coach Sommer and on drillsandskills. It's one of the things that limit gymnasts time in the sport often ( besides hip and knee joint stability for the gals [ get her to squat to the floor or one leg squat ). Developing good shoulder flexibility can make or break a compulsory gymnast and make their bars a lot more efficient.
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