You are here:

Gymnastics/Skill Reps

Advertisement


Question
I was wondering if "the more to better" applies to gymnastics skills?
I know that when you do strength training you need to give your body some rest to recover and adapt to the new stress - but what about skills? Like standing tucks, round off back handsprings, full twists, kips, free hip handstands etc.

Is there a recommended number of repetitions of a skill that should be done per day to learn fastest? Can it be overdone?

I am a L7 and I train 4 hours a day for 6 days a week. First 40minutes is warm-up, followed by 2 hours of skill training and end with 45 minutes of either conditioning or dance.
During skill training, we are usually asked to do "10 of the each." Which means 10 RO BH BT and 10 RO BH BL, 10 running Front Tucks, 10 FH Front Tucks on floor, 10 standing Back Tucks, 10 standing BHs on beam, 10 Kips, 10 Cast Handstands, 10 Kip Cast Handstands etc.
Would we make faster progress if we would double the numbers, train twice a day (like morning and evening) or spend the whole day at a gym tumbling like during a camp?
Or can there be overload? Do you also need a certain time span to get used to a skill not only reps?
Would the body be too tired if this was done twice a day?

I need to say I am talking about L4-L7/8 gymnasts. Beyond that is maybe a different story - much more skills and they shouldn't be in need to practice the basics as much!

Hope you get my point! Thank You!!

Answer
Hi Alex,
That is an interesting question and I think there are many misconceptions about this issue.  I can tell you from experience that there is a sweet spot for skill repetitions, just like there is for strength training.  When you are practicing basic skills, I would only recommend doing them as long as you can do them well.  If you get tired and the skills become sloppy or not as good (lower height in tumbling, etc.) it is counterproductive to continue doing them because you are training your body to do them poorly.

Another issue is boredom.  It is important to enjoy training, and variety is helpful to keep people engaged.  In a camp situation there are many different activities that people might not have done a certain way before, but otherwise spending all day in the gym (or even twice a day, unless the focus is different each time) could definitely lead to boredom and/or burnout.

I hope that helps.  Oh, and successful elite gymnasts work on basic skills too, probably more so than lower level gymnasts. During the year leading up to my latest competition (see www.lifetimegymnast.com/when-its-useful-to-have-a-coach/ for videos) I spent the first 11 months working primarily on basic swings and circles and just the last month putting together routines, and I performed as well or better than ever at the competition.
Regards,
Robert

Gymnastics

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Robert Davis

Expertise

I can answer questions about technique, strength and endurance training, healing from injuries, and competitions. I can also answer questions from parents of gymnasts, as I have six children of my own now. I plan to write a freely downloadable ebook or guide soon, go to www.LifeTimeGymnast.com to tell me what you want help with!

Experience

I competed in gymnastics for 16 years, from age 8 to 24, the last six of those years on the Arizona State Men's Gymnastics Team (www.sundevilgymnastics.com). After almost a 10 year hiatus I've returned to competition, see www.lifetimegymnast.com.

Publications
http://www.lifetimegymnast.com
http://www.goodfeelingplace.com
http://www.wilycode.com

Education/Credentials
I have a BSE and MS in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. During those 6 years I was a member of the Arizona State Men's Gymnastics Team as well.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.