Need some tips, suggestions for my brand new gymnast please

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My daughter started gymnastics in June. She has been going twice a week since then and is still in the beginner class. Her main problem is lack of any muscle strength. She still cannot hold a chin-up for 5 seconds and isn't even close to a pull over. Her flexibility is atrocious. She is a little big for a six year old and hippy. Unfortunately she has her mother's body. I love gymnastics and competed all through high school but was never very good. She wants so bad to be on team but unless a miracle happens in the next few months I think we will still be in beginner. All the other kids seem to get the skills and move up. What can I do at home to help strengthen her? She has a problem with giving up if things might be too hard and I don't want her to give up before she even has a chance. Please give me some fun exercises we can do together at home.

I know her brother frustrates her a little also. He is 8 and very tiny and so darn flexible it hurts me. He was moved from beginner to advance in a month. She sees herself struggle with a pull over and sees him do a pull over from a dead swing on the high bar all by himself last week. He's never been asked to do one and did it without blinking an eye. So anything you can suggest and we will have fun at home working so she can acquire some of these skills. Thanks!
 
I have an extremely tall 7 year old so I kinda know what you are going through. Let's put it this way, we have a very new team (just levels 4-6 right now) and my daughter is the tallest of the group. Gymnastics is very much a struggle for her every day, but we have talked about how because she is taller that she she has more body mass to move so she has to work that much harder. My daughter earned her position on team because of her work ethic, not because she was the most talented in her group.

Honestly, if your daughter just started in June, it hasn't been that long. The lessons twice a week will help. When my daughter started, we did the same thing. It really helped her confidence to be introduced to the skills at the beginning of the week and then be able to work on cleaning it the second class of the week. Something we have done recently to help with her strength is that we installed a chin-up bar in her closet doorway. She tries to do 20 chin-ups/pull-ups and 20 leg lifts a day. I think my husband installed it about 3 weeks ago and we are already seeing a ton of improvement.

The brother issue is a hard one. My 5yo son picks everything up so much quicker than my daughter does. Our gym owners have explained it to us and her that boys and girls develop differently and that especially at the beginning, girls have to work harder, boys can get away with just chucking it.

Just keep encouraging her. She will do great!
 
My daughter started gymnastics in June. She has been going twice a week since then and is still in the beginner class. Her main problem is lack of any muscle strength. She still cannot hold a chin-up for 5 seconds and isn't even close to a pull over. Her flexibility is atrocious. She is a little big for a six year old and hippy. Unfortunately she has her mother's body. I love gymnastics and competed all through high school but was never very good. She wants so bad to be on team but unless a miracle happens in the next few months I think we will still be in beginner. All the other kids seem to get the skills and move up. What can I do at home to help strengthen her? She has a problem with giving up if things might be too hard and I don't want her to give up before she even has a chance. Please give me some fun exercises we can do together at home.

I know her brother frustrates her a little also. He is 8 and very tiny and so darn flexible it hurts me. He was moved from beginner to advance in a month. She sees herself struggle with a pull over and sees him do a pull over from a dead swing on the high bar all by himself last week. He's never been asked to do one and did it without blinking an eye. So anything you can suggest and we will have fun at home working so she can acquire some of these skills. Thanks!

okay...so at this time the brother is a smitch better than the sister. ALL TOLD they have been in gymnastics for 3 months. you've got about 2 more years before any of this matters.:)
 
Some of those harder skills do take time. My dd is currently on level 3 team and I would say that when she started the pull over was one of the hardest things she had to learn. It took her longer than 3 months and she was actually moved to our level 2 team without it. We always tried to focus on other things she was accomplishing...such as how good her handstand was getting etc.

However, some things we did at home are wheelbarrow races and playing on the monkey bars. She still likes the wheelbarrow races and asks to do them all the time. As for the monkey bars, we would go after school or on Saturdays to the park and just let her play. A natural way to build up her strength.

Good luck!
 
Welcome to CB and gymnastics. Ok first take a deep breath in and relax. Your DD only started in June. Up until then not one of her muscles had been conditioned for gymnastics so to expect big improvements in 3 months is unrealistic. Yes it's hard when you have a sibling that is excelling but every kid is different and the muscles in the girls develop differently than those in boys at different rates as well.

Gymnastics is a sport that goes VERY SLOWLY (yes there are a few that speed through some skills). Nothing is accomplished overnight and it can take YEARS to gain the skills a

At 6yo my now L7 gymnast was just starting L4 couldn't even do 5 chin ups and she could only hold them for about 3 sec. But the coaches saw a coachable kid, with desire and some talent. Muscles can be developed, bodies can be conditioned but having a coachable kid is hard to "fix".

Gymnastics you have to be patient it truely is a Marathon and not a sprint to get the skills needed. There is no rushing things. With that said have a meeting with the coach. Let them know you want honest answers and not sugar coated ones to make you feel good. Ask them for an honest evaluation of your DD's chances for making team and what is missing that you could help her with. Maybe they could suggest an "at home" conditioning routine" that takes only 20 min or so to help build up those muscles and get her body stronger. keep an eye on diet too - Nothing like a weight loss diet but more of a healthy diet. Try to cut out the sugary snacks, the McFoods, and other junky stuff kids like. They don't help with stamina, muscle development or contribute to the goals of team.


A chin up bar at home wouldn't hurt at all and she could practice those chinups in her spare time. At 6yo my DD used it all the time because she was a gym nut now at 14 when she isn't at the gym she wants a break from the practice but does use the chin up bar on non practice days. We have one of those "as seen on tv - Iron Gym" bars. It is temp in the door frame and can be used in many ways to develop different muscles. It can be used for more than just chin ups. It can be used for sit ups, push ups, many different types of chin ups etc. Well worth the cost. My son still uses it.



just remind DD everyone is different and everyone gets skills at different times. It's hard when they want it so badly to have it now but gymnastics is definitly a sports where paticence is a MUST. If she can't master that skill then this isn't the sport for her.
because that is the one skill they have to use everyday. Look for the skills she has mastered and others might not have very well yet and focus on praising those help her see there are skills she does have and these ones she is still working on take time and she will have them too. Keep her focused on what she does well so she doesn't get discouraged. Give her at least until Dec to evaluate if she has her chin up or not. By then I bet she will be able to hold for 10 sec espceially if she practices that at home but don't force the practice.

Good Luck
 
Given that she is 6, you don't want to force anything, just model healthy habits. Make sure she is getting enough protein and eating her fruit and vegetables. Let her play on a playground and climb trees. This is how kids build strength naturally. If she expresses interest in a pull up bar for home, they are cheap and good for the whole family, but making her do conditioning at home will just backfire. Put in a yoga DVD and do some yoga yourself. Maybe she will want to join. If she does, try a parent/child yoga class (for flexibility and balance). Make a family outing to the rock gym. The strength will come, the flexibility will improve, what you want to do is implement a love of physical activity.
 
Ok, gymnastics are for the gym. Home is home and not an extra place to train gymnastics. Since you have 2 children close in age, there will always be comparisons--he or she can do this better or learned it faster than the other.
As others have said she's only been at this for 3 months total?? She is just at a point where she's even beginning to understand the basics. How does your dd seem after a class?? If she's happy and enjoying it then things are good.
 
Thank you for the great responses! She has also done Tae-Kwon-Do since she was 4 and does not have much coordination there either. She doesn't try very hard. I am really trying to find something she loves, but something I can get her to since I also work full time. She came home tonight and ran outside to practice a chin up on the playground and handstands. She loves handstands. We have a chin up bar so I will get dad to put it up this weekend. Dad bought it for himself months ago . . . but it hasn't gotten any use yet. She knows she has gym tomorrow and has talked about it all night! As long as she loves it I will support her all the way! Thank you!
 
If she takes the lead and wants to go practice her handstands or whatever--that's fine. Don't try making her do any conditioning or extra training at home. You then become a coach and the house is part of the gym---you need to stay mom.
 

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