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Hello!

I really hope you can help me, because I would appreciate the opinion of a really experienced person!

How important is it that you change up your strength routine in gymnastics?

When you watch gymnasts train, they have a ton of different exercises they do and conditioning varies each training. Some gyms even have those weekly cycles with tons of different exercises!
I am 21 years old and just started gymnastics again after having quit at age 10 due to injury and tough school work (I was only Level4). I now want to get to Level 7 in about 3 years!
I am in training 3 times a week for 2 hours each session. We spend very little time on conditioning and I want to condition at home!
So I need a simple plan I could follow 3 times a week for an hour to get stronger! I don’t have the time to do so many different exercises like gymnasts who train 15+ hours do, but I want to get as strong as a good L7 gymnast!
So I put myself together a plan and I want to work on it 3 times a week on training free days!
10-15 minutes warm-up
stretch
wrist+ shoulder preperation
5x10 secs of V-Sits as long as possible

5 press handstands
5 standing pike presses
10 L to V leg lifts on stall bars
20 Full Hanging Leg Raises on stall bars
5 Windshield wipers on stall bars

20 tuck ups on stall bars

5x20 sets of push ups (elbow closest to the body!)

5 minute plank+hollow body rocks until it really burns

3 sets of 50 calf raises+toe raises
3 sets of 15 lunges each leg
2 minute superman hold with some leg and arm flatters


Here are my questions:

1.) Is this plan working on all the muscles I need to be a good L7 gymnast?
Did I forget anything? Once I can do all the numbers of sets+reps – will this also enable me to do chin-levers, chin-up pullovers etc although I have never trained it?
2.) How strong is a good L7 gymnast? Are the numbers of sets+reps appropriate for a L7?

I hope you can help me!

Answer
Hello Katlyn,
         I am very glad to help you.  I will help you with comments after your questions. :)

        
10-15 minutes warm-up stretch.  Don’t forget Achilles, split work & stomach stretch.
wrist+ shoulder preparation

5x10 secs of V-Sits as long as possible
5 press handstands:  Include handstand shoulder touches against the wall.  FYI, simply(while in a hdstd….push away from one shoulder…..then the other (alternating).  This is great for pushing away in your tumbling, bars, beam etc.  I suggest 3x35
5 standing pike presses:  What about straddle L press or stand in a straddle and press.
10 L to V leg lifts on stall bars:  
20 Full Hanging Leg Raises on stall bars:  Try 9x8
5 Windshield wipers on stall bars:  What trick does that imitate?  Try to do strength elements that directly help you for the skills you wish to learn.

20 tuck ups on stall bars:  You did enough stall bars - :)

5x20 sets of push ups (elbow closest to the body!):  Try them on a set of mini pbars…..hard but a very good exercise.

5 minute plank+hollow body rocks until it really burns:  How about hollow rocker turnovers?!  And do 53 over back.

3 sets of 50 calf raises+toe raises:  Use a back pack with weights (25lbs) and do 8X22
3 sets of 15 lunges each leg:  good
2 minute superman hold with some leg and arm flatters:  okay


Here are my questions:

1.) Is this plan working on all the muscles I need to be a good L7 gymnast?
Did I forget anything? Once I can do all the numbers of sets+reps – will this also enable me to do chin-levers, chin-up pullovers etc although I have never trained it?  What about pull overs with ankle weights?!
2.) How strong is a good L7 gymnast? Are the numbers of sets+reps appropriate for a L7?
A good coach will never tell you …..you are strong enough…..or tell you….you jump too high.  Remember you are working for the future and you want to be stronger than your day demands of you.  Oh, I would also highly suggest plyometrics.  This improves your explosive leg power for vault and FX and of course mounts.  Finally, try to keep a journal to validate all you hard work and keep you motivated.  I wish you the very best and take care – Jack Leonard

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Jack Leonard

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Former 5 time Natl. Tumbling Champ, 3 time Natl. Vaulting Champ, Natl. Floor Exercise Champ; Ass`t coach of Dominique Dawes for 6 years; Owner/Director/Head coach of Kauai Gymnastics Academy on the island of Kauai in Hawaii; Retired Physical Ed teacher; Childrens Fitness Expert; Expert Consultant for gymnastics litigation; Retired Mens & Womens HS Gymnastics coach for 32 years. National coaching honors for Men in 1981 & Women in 2001.

Experience

I value the following awards because they were given by acknowlegement through my peers: The Nissen/Grissold Award given to the outstanding Tumbling and Tramp Athlete(1972), National High School coach of the year in 1981 for men and 2001 for women, 10 time County Coach of the Year. Medal Award given at the first World Tumbling Championships in London, England for dedication to the sport. Lastly, having the opportunity to coach Wes Suter(1988 Olympian)in his intermediate years and Dominique Dawes(1992 & 1996)

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