Daughters training

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hi, i had some questions about muscle building.
my daughter is 11 and she in gymnastics since shes 5 shes level 6.
now my questions, the coach in her gym let them do so many conditioning that all girls there are on 3 or 4 % bodyfat they are all muscle.
some of them look like little bodybuilders. my daughter got a ripped sixpack of stomach at age 11.
there are many younger girls with also visible abs etc.
Whem we are on competitions non of the gymnast from other gyms look like them.
Is it dangerous at this age that they have so ripped muscles?

they lift little weights, do situps etc with weightplates and sometimes they train on the rings and pommel.​
What percentage of their training time is spend doing conditioning?

We live in England and my daughter is 11, too. She has very defined muscles on her torso and arms and most of the girls in her gym do too.

Her "sixpack" is visible through her leotards and some tight tshirts.

I think you will find that the muscle tone will help them with more difficult moves later on and that the other gymnasts that you are seeing at competitions without this sort of muscle definition will not ever be able to do the more controlled movements needing strength.
I know my daughter is pretty ripped too. Is your daughter overly sore or tired from the conditioning?? If not, I have heard that the more conditioned, the lesser the chance of injury. That may be why your gym is conditioning that much. Our gym conditions a lot but not extreme.
I don't think you can condition too much, unless they're getting overuse injuries from doing too many reps of the same exercises. It does make the skills easier and allow them to learn more difficult skills. I wouldn't worry about it at all. Just make sure she's eating enough.
I too have wondered the same thing!

A few weeks ago my dd did not have a shirt on and was laughing. I was surprised to see my four year old with a well defined four pack. It just seemed so unatural to me. 4 year olds are not suppose to have muscle definition like that. Part of me felt guilty (poor baby and she's never complained about being sore).

And just this past weekend as I was still uploading pics from her first competition. I saw a pic that I was like.....she looks like a little tiny bodybuilder. I posted the pic I am talking about in the photo Gallery under competition photos. It almost looks like too much on a four year.

But when I really think about it. She has always had that built. She is extremely strong. Her shoulders and thighs are huge compared to the rest of her body. I don't particularly like gymnast bodies (you know the ones with big shoulders, back) But that's the body dd was born with might as make it work for her!!!

I think conditioning is by far the most important thing. You can have all the talent and potential in the world but if you don't have the strength to do it...you won't.

All the older girls in our gyms have tight muscular bodies too. I think it's what seperates the good from the "needs more training" in order to move up.
haha having a gymnast body is great while for the gymnastics part of it. but its not fun when buying clothes. i have to buy my shirts bigger just so my arms fit in it. we were out buying jackets with my aunt and i tried one on and my aunts like oh u need a bigger size see how it fits in the back i guess bc my shoulders were big? and my moms like yeah thats how everything fits her. even if she had a bigger size it will still fit her like that.
and like pants. if they are tight jeans like most ppl my age wear them, my legs look huge because its showing off all my muscles. haha i like it tho
My daughter, who is now 18, worked out with weights since she became a level 10 at age 12. Nothing before that though. It never seemed to create any issues for her except she did get very ripped and still is. I agree, buying clothes becomes a real problem, and she gets a lot of open mouth looks from other girls when tyring on a bikini - she likes that! On the gymnastics side, it certainly helped her with strength but she says that working hard on flexibility is even more important if you are going to weight train, and that she stops with the weights about a month before competition season.
Im into gymnastics for 11 years now with my best friend.
We have visible muscles since we were 6 or 7 years i think, abs biceps legs etc.
but my lil sis is 7 and does gymnastics since 5 years and she has the best six pack ive ever seen we were so proud of her :D
I think it's just part of being a gymnast, and some people build muscle more than others. I had a 6 pack when i was like 10, then quit gym and my muscles pretty much went, but when i came back to gym, i gained far more muscle than i ever did when i was younger, within a few months :| Loads of people comment on my arm and stomach muscles. I don't mind though - it shows how hard i work!
We all do the same amount of conditioning (though sometimes i do extra at home but not much) and there are some girls who have absolutely no muscle atal, but i do conditioning and gain loads of muscle. >_<
I think it depends on the gymnast. Look at the difference between Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson!
It'll help with her gymnastics, and she wont be a gymnast forever so when she quits (i mean when she's like 18 or whatever) it'll tone down :)
Hi Daytek,

As you can see, it's somewhat normal for young athletes to be lean, and very muscular. It's one the toughest sports in the world. Personally, I'd like to see more conditioning. In our own gym, conditioning is a small part of the routine, making up about 10-15%. Other gyms are larger percentages. Being only "a dad", I don't question the coaches reasons but I do keep a watchful eye.

Now, there is something you said that does have me a bit concerned. You say your daughter is 3-4% bodyfat?? Is this a just a guess? How was her bodyfat calculated?

I don't want to be an alarmist, but if she is in fact 3-4%, she is ANYTHING but healthy.

Based on everything I've read by professional athletic conditioners, and sports doctors, 12% bodyfat is the low-end of the goal for woman and still be considered athletically healthy. Under this percentage, IS NOT healthy and is strongly discouraged. In fact, there is little evidence of ANY benefits for female athletes dropping below 12% total body fat.

If your dd's gym keeps track of weight at all, YOU need to be very watchful. I believe it was a 2004 study of 1000 female gymnasts in the higher levels of the sport concluded that 65% were clinically anorexic. That's a HUGE number!

11 yr olds don't know or care what's good fat and what's bad fat. They only see an undependable number on the bathroom scale and they want to please the coach. This type if unhealthy training metric has led to countless eating disorders in young athletes. The medical complications of having excessively low bodyfat involve almost every body function and include the cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive, skeletal, gastrointestinal, renal, and central nervous systems.

That said, I truly hope you were only speculating when you posted those numbers. ANd best of luck do your daughter. It sounds like she's doing great!
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Our gym probably spends approximately 1 hour (maybe a little more) at each practice conditioning. Weight is not an issue at our gym. I mean we have some girls that are heavier than others, but as long as they can do what they need to, it's all good! I hope your coach does not have "weight issues" with the girls, because that can do alot of damage. That being said, my daughter is 10, she weighs 67lbs and is 4'6". Most of that is muscle! Every coach she has had is amazed with the amount of muscle that shows on her. She does nothing different than anyone else, it just shows more because she has very little body fat. Boys at school call her Lady Hercules - - she loves it:cool:!

Also as a note to the conditioning, we do not use weights, except sometimes the small ones that strap on the ankle during leg lifts. Otherwise they pretty much use their own bodies as resistance.

I don't know if this helps any, but I thought it may help to know what some other gyms are doing:)!
Hi Daytek,

Cheerleaders can be the same way...even for the little ones. LOL--take a look at my album and you can see with the cheerleading pics I have posted...and she was 8 going on 9 years old at the time. Here's one...


She is not "as ripped" as a gymnast (only trained about 6 -8 hrs a week for cheer). I think it is very normal especially when they are doing a lot of conditioning. Plus, genetics does have something to do with the lean body mass also.
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I have no idea how low of bodyfat a pre pubescent child or girl can go and still be healthy. More than likely, they can dip below 12% BF.

Most male athletes are at health risk at 3-4% BF. A lot of care must be taken to keep them healthy at that point.

Nina, is that picture of a girl or boy? Girl, right?

Before people speculate at what they think a bodyfat number is, they really should have a test taken, preferably by BodPod or DEXA or a trained professional using calipers. Especially, if they think their child is at a health risk. They might simply not be hitting their nutritional needs.
The pic is from my lil sister shes 11.
We train at same gym but im some levles higher.
9 from 10 girls at our gym got ripped muscles, we do much conditoning our coach mrs wester said strength is 65 percent of gymnastics.

We older girls at 14 and older do one day a week rings and pommel horse conditioning for strength.
Some of my class member were able to do iron cross, but only 3 or 4, and remember were girls :D

you dont must fear we have many girls with really muscular bodys, no normal boy at our age have those muscularity hehe
As others have said, lean, trim and muscular bodies are quite the norm for our little gymmies, especially if they haven't gone through puberty yet.

I am all for conditioning, using resistance training and I will let dd wear half pound weights for leaps and other jumps, but I am totally against any weight lifting for her. She has not gone through puberty yet and her growth plates are wide open, I would never let her lift weights until those growth plates close.
Im into gymnastics for 11 years now with my best friend.
We have visible muscles since we were 6 or 7 years i think, abs biceps legs etc.
but my lil sis is 7 and does gymnastics since 5 years and she has the best six pack ive ever seen we were so proud of her :D

ok, is this common for a gymnast? I am kinda a beginner at gymnastics and will never be great because I started older, but no one at my gym is like this.

Do the girls who get this way from hard core gymnatics just have stomachs like this? or do some of them get arms you can notice too?

I don't get how they get this way.
all the girls in our gym have visible muscles. I don't think low body fat and a well toned body can ever be said to be unhealthy. I think sooooo many kids today aren't tone at all and when you compare them to the couchpotatos and video drones of course there is going to be a huge difference. As for other gyms I think all the ones I see are just as muscular - it can be hard to see the stomach muscles with some of the competition leos though.
i think it really depends on the kid wheather its healthy becuase when i was about 4/5 i had a 6 pack because i had such low body fat and at that time i didnt even do gymnastics and i currently only do 2 hours a week and i have a 4 pack so she may just build muscle really easily
Hi Daytek,

Now, there is something you said that does have me a bit concerned. You say your daughter is 3-4% bodyfat?? Is this a just a guess? How was her bodyfat calculated?

I don't want to be an alarmist, but if she is in fact 3-4%, she is ANYTHING but healthy.

I would like to point out that his daughter has not yet completed (or perhaps even started) puberty, so it might be okay for her to have a very low percentage of body fat. 12% is the "very low" number for women, but this is because grown women have lots of natural fat. It is the way our bodies are designed. However, young girls really aren't structurally different from young boys (in terms of the skeletal system and body fat/muscle) so 4% could be a low-but-healthy number.

Myself, I'm in the "done with puberty" category, and I started strength training after puberty, so I don't think I'll every really get ripped. As a woman, my body fat percentage will never be safely low enough. Although my body is naturally strong and builds strength well, it doesn't show much.

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