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Lurker

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Jan 22, 2022
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My 6 year old daughter recently started pre-team. She had gymnastics class 70 minutes twice a week and one of them increased to 85 minutes when she started pre-team. She wanted to go to gymnastics more so we added an additional 2 hour class. She has soccer once a week so Monday- Thursday she has a sport activity. Then swim on Sat but that is only 30 minutes. On her days "off" she wants to run on the treadmill we have at home and lift weights (I bought her 1 and 2 lb weights so nothing crazy here). And just constantly doing handstands and other things all over the house so she does not sit still. Last night I watched a bit of her gym practice and she looked obviously tired, couldn't really get her squat on and other things she had been able to do fairly consistently was struggling with. I tried asking her if she was tired and of course she said no. She said her leg hurt when she was doing her split jumps (she is not the most naturally flexible but that is certainly improving the more gym she goes to). But then this morning before school was running all over the house and I asked if her leg still hurt and she said she wasn't thinking about it so it was fine. I guess my question is when you initially increase hours at gym how long does it take for their bodies to adjust to the increased activity. And how much do I need to worry about having her actually rest to recover when this young?
 

katrid11

Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
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Young girls typically recover very quickly. It is highly possible that all the stretching made some muscles sore. MOST of the time, my daughter is sore, the next day is like noting happened.

However be mindful that a day of rest is a good thing.

Personally I would limit any weight lifting and treadmill running. Those are areas where improper form will hurt her and an injury at a growth plate can be devastating and will require significant down time. Our coaches prefer the girls do body weight exercises in off time - pushups, pull ups, leg lifts, squat jumps, etc. They can then work on their gymnastics form while doing the exercises (hollow body, straight back, tight legs, etc).
 

Carly

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Jan 3, 2016
261
Young girls typically recover very quickly. It is highly possible that all the stretching made some muscles sore. MOST of the time, my daughter is sore, the next day is like noting happened.

However be mindful that a day of rest is a good thing.

Personally I would limit any weight lifting and treadmill running. Those are areas where improper form will hurt her and an injury at a growth plate can be devastating and will require significant down time. Our coaches prefer the girls do body weight exercises in off time - pushups, pull ups, leg lifts, squat jumps, etc. They can then work on their gymnastics form while doing the exercises (hollow body, straight back, tight legs, etc).
I completely agree with the above poster. I would also limit the types of gymnastics that she does at home. Talk with the coaches and see what they say. If she is doing gymnastics at home with bad form, it will only make it harder for the coaches to fix the bad form.
 

Gymbletot

Proud Parent
Nov 28, 2021
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My 6yo has recently upped her gym time a bit too (from 2-4 hours) and has mentioned some muscles feeling a bit sore a couple of times but it doesn't seem to stop her cracking on with anything :)
 
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JBS

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Sep 3, 2005
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And how much do I need to worry about having her actually rest to recover when this young?

I would say the main thing is making sure she is getting enough sleep at night and proper nutrition. Approximately 10 hours of sleep is about right. Beyond that... we never worried about rest and recovery at that age with any of our kids.
 

Lurker

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2022
15
41
Young girls typically recover very quickly. It is highly possible that all the stretching made some muscles sore. MOST of the time, my daughter is sore, the next day is like noting happened.

However be mindful that a day of rest is a good thing.

Personally I would limit any weight lifting and treadmill running. Those are areas where improper form will hurt her and an injury at a growth plate can be devastating and will require significant down time. Our coaches prefer the girls do body weight exercises in off time - pushups, pull ups, leg lifts, squat jumps, etc. They can then work on their gymnastics form while doing the exercises (hollow body, straight back, tight legs, etc).
Thanks for the reply, I make it clear to her that eating well and rest are important for her muscles to heal and grow. I need to figure out the right balance between letting her constantly go go go and getting her to slow down and take it easy. When I say treadmill it's usually a 14 or 15 minute mile and I bought the light weights to also try to appease her while limiting bad form ect. And she can only use them with me there making sure her form is correct. As a former athlete running/strength training are the only things I am equipped to help her with gymnastics related not so much.
 

Lurker

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2022
15
41
I completely agree with the above poster. I would also limit the types of gymnastics that she does at home. Talk with the coaches and see what they say. If she is doing gymnastics at home with bad form, it will only make it harder for the coaches to fix the bad form.
Yeah we don't really do "gymnastics" at home I bought some mats because it was she either does handstands downstairs on the hardwood floor or I get some mats for upstairs. She also got a cheese mat and a floor beam for Christmas. All these items are more toys for her to set up obstacle courses with her younger brothers than actual gymnastics. The problem is she always wants to do handstands or when she was trying to get her backbends she just keeps on trying until she can get it. (at which point I tried to get her to just hold her bridges and practice that way but for a 6 year old that is too boring) I know fully well that I am not equipped to help her with form. But if she has a practice where they do handstands with shoulder taps and comes home and makes a game for herself to see how many she can get and does that over and over and over again I can't limit it haha. And that is why I agreed to let her do a third practice a week.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
114
Weight training and running on a treadmill sound a bit excessive at that age. I would worry about burn out or injury. But, I do understand that all of our children have different likes and dislikes so this may just be her way of having fun. I would encourage you to be very aware of how you talk about these things in front of her so as not to put any added pressure unknowingly. As far as the soreness, our coach warned us that my then 7, now 8yr old daughter would probably experience some soreness with the increase in intensity and hours when she made team. The coach encouraged us parents to watch for signs of soreness and to help ensure that the girls got a good amount of sleep has well as stayed hydrated and took in good nutrients.
 
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txgymfan

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Sep 4, 2008
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I’m glad you are making sure she has the right form for weight lifting. That is a skill/habit that she can continue throughout adulthood.

I would tell her to leave the backbends / bridge kickovers at the gym. Excessive back bending skills are dangerous and since gymnastics skills are not your expertise they should only be in the gym.

At home, most coaches seem to say stretching, handstands, leg lifts and other body weight exercises can be helpful. If you want some fun exerc to try together look up Chellsie’s Challenge on YouTube and Instagram . Chellsie Memel has done over 100 and some could be done or modified for her age.
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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Littles are usually pretty quick to get used to a small increase in hours. Having said that, I personally would drop that extra class particularly if it is a full gymnastic class (doing all the events) . There is no need for it and It will allow her another evening of rest at home, time with siblings of friends, etc. The 2 days the gym has set for preteam should be enough for her to progress well. You want her wanting more so she looks forward to moving up. if she really needs an outlet for excess energy and if the gym offers other classes like cheer, dance, or par-kour/ninja warrior type, that might be a good option. Lets her get out excess energy while trying something new.
 

Lurker

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2022
15
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Littles are usually pretty quick to get used to a small increase in hours. Having said that, I personally would drop that extra class particularly if it is a full gymnastic class (doing all the events) . There is no need for it and It will allow her another evening of rest at home, time with siblings of friends, etc. The 2 days the gym has set for preteam should be enough for her to progress well. You want her wanting more so she looks forward to moving up. if she really needs an outlet for excess energy and if the gym offers other classes like cheer, dance, or par-kour/ninja warrior type, that might be a good option. Lets her get out excess energy while trying something new.
Good advice on the variety, I think covid is still limiting our options. In the past I would have looked at the community center 2 minutes from our house for a dance class or karate or just something different but for the time they have very limited classes except for swimming. They are starting to add some new classes all the time so I will keep my eye out. I will add the only reason I agreed to allow her to do another class after her asking over and over was all the reading I've done here that doing gymnastics at home leads to bad form. And bars are her absolute favorite and I refuse to buy her that for home for safety and the same reason above.
 
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