Training question

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What does your typical conditioning program consist of? My daughter is a level 9 soon to be 10 gymnast, who seems to be overconditioned in some areas and not enough in others. I want to know what most other gymnasts do fro their conditioning, and when is it too much?
DD's trainer has made reccomendations for injury rehab, but her coach doesn't want to listen. Coach is stuck in her old patterns, and focuses only on upper body and core conditioning. DD is frustrated with her leg strength and power, but has very very muscular upper body and core.

It would be interesting to know what other gymnasts and coaches do for conditioning? Do you keep the same program over and over, do you build in a conditioning cycle? Do you work certain areas , or try to get them all? What kind of reps do you do? how many? Is your program the same for all levels or tailored for each level?

Thanks for any input


Well, the coach we've had since last July apparently believes in "no conditioning or strength training". From July until the beginning of the month they have not done any of this. now they do conditioning for 15 min 2Xweek. NOT enough

Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
I think that it's best to have a consistent conditioning program, but that's assuming the program is effective and well balanced to start with. I try to adjust my conditioning program depending on what I think my kids need, but overall I try to keep it fairly consistent.

It's impossible for me to say what changes -- if any -- need to be made to your daughter's conditioning without working with her myself. Generally speaking, boys need a stronger emphasis than girls on upper body, but it rarely hurts to be "too strong."


Proud Parent
Jul 16, 2007
My dd and her 9/10 teammates condition 2 hours every day. The first 15 minutes is an aerobic-style run and then they do more standard conditioning. Every other day, the last hour of the two focuses on torso/upper body or legs/lower body, alternating. The conditioning is modeled on the national team warmup - not the current version but the one immediately prior to this (from the 90s??). They do do most of the physical abilities every day (e.g., levers, rope, cast handstands from front support). They also cool down every day with a minute handstand on the beam and 10 presses on the beam (not many do those on high beam though). The ones who are injured will do their physical therapy (sometimes instead depending on their injury, but usually in addition to regular conditioning) and augment with elliptical training. They also stretch out with therabands prior to the beginning of practice. Stretching for about 15 minutes is a part of the 2 hours, however.
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When I was a gymnast (level 10) we did 45 minutes of conditioning every workout. The workout depended on what day of the week it was. Typically every Monday we would do our team warmup--10 minutes of running then 4 leg exercises (15 of each), 4 torso/core exercises, 4 arms exercises--then we stretch. On Monday's we also did a general conditioning workout typically incorporated on each event (cast handstands, shape holds, etc).

Tuesday: beam conditioning warm up which consisted of various exercises, and general conditioning workout on each event.

Wednesday: run timed suicides-4 laps (line touches running), arm exercises--25 of each, run timed suicides--3 laps, stomach exercises 25 of each, run timed suicides--2 laps, leg exercises--25 of each, run timed suicides--1 lap. If we didn't complete the suicides in the time limit we had to do extra.

Thursday: 30's (30 of 3 arm exercises, 30 of 3 stomach/core exercises, 30 of 3 leg exercises).

Friday: rehab strength---physical therapy stuff

Saturday: Sprints--timed laps across the floor and we had to beat the clock 3 times.

--We typically did this each week, however the workouts changed occaisaionlly. We had about 7 different conditioning workouts which were labeled by various names.

Now that I'm a coach I vary my conditioning based on the level of the gymnasts that I'm working with and whether they are recreational kids or team kids.



It's always best to keep a balance with upper and lower body conditioning.......

Inquire........ is this a "team" issue or individual to your grand athletes all have areas that are their weakness...such as strong gymnasts often need more flexibility and flexible gymnasts will need to work on strength.

Ask this just her personal weakness and perhaps not a coaching weakness ?
Something to consider.............


No, this is my daughter, and she is the only optional gymnast in her gym, the rest are in levels 3-6 USAG, Very small gym!
The reason we are asking is we are concerned about the repetitive nature of her conditioning and that it only focuses on upper body and stomach type workouts, this is not a weakness for her, on the contrary she is very very very strong upper body but has problems with her leg strength, She frequently is frustrated with her power and punch in tumbling now that she is working double backs and multiple twisting type tumbling. She has worked with a physical trainer to get help with this, and he has designed workouts for her, he has also commented that her upper body strength is beginning to affect her flexibility and range of motion, Coach doesn't seem to "get it" Good coach, just missing a piece of the total package, as DD is only upper level gymnast, we often times have to fill in the needs for our daughters coaching demands ourselves, and resource out to some wonderful helpful trainers and coaches in bigger gyms. This is OK with DD's coach, she is supportive, She has a great attitude and welcomes any help, We just would like an idea of the conditoning done by other level 9/10 gymnasts so as to get an idea of what is typical

Thanks so much for any ideas we get!!!!


Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
Conditioning should change on a regular basis. If she is always doing the same thing she will get bored and put less effort into it. She will also as you say overuse certain muscles groups while neglecting others. Conditioning programs should always be reviewed frequently.

Leg conditioning is very, very important in womens gymnastics. Mens gymnastics requires more upper body and core training but for women the leg training is essential. So many of our skills rely on explosive leg power. Women don't tend to have as strong legs as men naturally and need to develop it a lot more too for the powerful tumbling skills.
Sep 9, 2007
We do a different event every day usually (unless there's a meet or something coming up and we have to work on something) and we always do at least 45 minutes conditioning on that app. (eg last night was bars so we did levers (sp?) and leg ups and things like that) as well as general conditioning on Mondays, Fridays and weekends (running, circuits, weights).

I definately think it has to keep changing, my old coach gave us the same sets every night for weeks on end and you ended up doing it without thinking.


Women tend to be a bit weaker in their legs and lower back compared to men's. This is also where they seem to have a higher frequency of injury ( also because of the Q angle in the legs and hips ).

Squatting and lunging. Jumping versions as well. Single leg squats ( also jumping after going through progressions ). Lots of attention to ankle strengthening exercises. Plyometric jumps off blocks or stacked panel mats. Working low squats vs the typical demi plie squat ( since that neglects full ROM in the squat hence why the single leg squat is good for that ).

She should be moving the ankle in all ROM. Up and down ( good to do on the beam and have the heel go below the top of the beam when standing on it ) as well as different angles. She also should be doing rotations outward and inward of the foot as that is where most of the ankle injuries occur.
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