For Coaches What do your tell your students to do at home?

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What do you tell your students to do at home for practice daily? Do you tell them to stretch an hour a day, do 200 situps a day, 30 pushups, ect ect.

I am sure it also all depends on each level. I was just curious what the difference is between coaches and in comparison to what our coach has said. :)


Jul 5, 2007
For our rec kids, nothing unless they approach us. We don't have a sheet of exercises or anything. Stretching an hour a day or 200 situps seems very extreme to me for young kids. Granted I was not like the highest level ever at gymnastics, but I was a pretty high level, and even the most motivated among us did not stretch an hour a day as teenagers outside of practice (although I guess we practiced every day or almost every day, sometimes twice with high school).

If we're approached then we'll usually recommend specific exercises for whatever they can't pass.

For team, our coaches had a sheet for the week off in the summer, but otherwise I would assume they just figured we knew what the exercises were and would either do them or not. Sometimes they would vaguely rant about how if we wanted to improve the details of our routine, then we would do this or that, but they didn't really consistently quantify what we should do outside of the gym.


In general I will say handstands and it will depend on what level they are in. So handstands is a good starting point and maybe headstands if they are working on them already and aren't fat. Telling them to work bridges is also easy or hollow or superman rocks.

If they are working on and can do them easily I will them bridge kickovers off the couch. Perhaps playing with arabesques and scales with their eyes closed or a mirror.

If they have a door bar, pullups and leg lifts.

If they are a boy, I will tell him to set up a bucket and perhaps guide them toward making a mushroom. Sure they can buy them if they want but that is a huge expenditure. Making a set of parallettes is a must for a boy if they have aspirations of going far. If they don't, don't bother.

I will tell some parents, a set of rings. Even if they are girl's. Maybe build or buy one of those beams for a gift.

If they need ab strength, I'll tell them to start doing lying leg lifts or V-ups.

The simple answer when they are weak is more pushups and proper variations to get full ROM. Lying leg lifts or basic squatting. This is the general answer toward tumblers. 3 simple exercises.

I seem to forget stretching. Tell them to start off just doing this or any of this stuff just periodically or one day a week. Then two or three. If they are a team kid, I tell them this is the difference between the kids who improve their stretching scores and the ones who don't.

Swimming is great if they have access to it. We all love butterflyer's when it comes to strength.

You can also buy bands and show the exercises but that will basically be for a team kid who is very committed.


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Jan 4, 2008
Absolutly nothing, kids will naturally practise anyway as they show off in the playground doing handstands and pullovers on the monkey bars. But I would prefer not to encourage it.

A child can injure themselves practising at home quite easily especially if they are tempted to show off to siblings and friends. Even straching at home can be dangerous as a child might not warm up properly and go into ballistic streching.

While injuring themselves is possible but not as common, what is very common is that the child is practising poor technique and training their bodies to do things incorrectly which will take a lot longer to untrain.

Geoffrey Taucer

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Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
In general, I reccomend light stretching and conditioning, and sometimes give kids more specific reccomendations depending on what they need work on. I try to keep in mind my kids' maturity level and personality; for example, I reccomended that my 16-year-old level 9 boy work on his press handstands at home, because I know he's mature enough and cautious enough to be safe when working at home, and make sure he has ample space, padding, etc, and because he needs work on his presses. For my 10-year-old thrill-seeking level 5/6, I reccomended that his parents not allow him to do anything more than light stretching and conditioning at home.


I didn't ask my high school team to do anything. Over Thanksgiving we asked them to be reasonable with food, and I wouldn't expect anything more than some stretching and maybe a short jog so they're not completely out-of-it when they come back on Monday. It was their own decision whether or not they stretched or did any workouts.

For summers, we did have lists of weight training for gymnasts, but it was up to the girls to decide if they wanted to do it. My kids are in the gym enough that I don't feel at-home training is necessary.
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