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Putting the gym in gymnastics: How it tones muscles

Putting the gym in gymnastics: How it tones muscles

Find out how performing various gymnastics exercises such as handsprings, somersaults, cartwheels and round offs can lead to a fit body.

They are agile, they are muscular, they are flexible. Gymnasts have incredibly fit, toned bodies and it is largely due to the cardiovascular activities, aerobic motions and resistance training exercises required to perform gymnastics movements.

 

Indeed, if you stop and think about what it takes to execute iconic gymnastics exercises such as handsprings, somersaults, cartwheels and round offs, you are likely to gain an appreciation for the level of athleticism required to execute these with finesse.

For decades, the sport of gymnastics has impressed people the world over, especially when certain professional gymnasts received a perfect 10 score at the Olympics. The very first person to achieve this accolade was Romanian Nadia Comaneci, who was the first to win this honour back at the 1976 games (when she was only 14 years old!). 

 

Gymnastics tones muscles

Gymnasts train for strength, balance, coordination, agility and conditioning. In order to reach these goals, they often do interval training, jogging and quick sprints to build their stamina. Having lower body fat levels is a by-product of such high cardio training methods. This also helps them in competitions, as the lighter body weight is easier to balance or push to deliver routines to a high standard. 

 

"The first thing you have to realise is that gymnasts' bodies are a 'side effect' of their training more than an actual goal of the training," said trainer Gina Paulhus in an interview with Livestrong. "The gymnasts' muscles hypertrophy more or less as needed to aid their skill development and routine performance." As Ms Paulhus emphasises, the goal in gymnastics training isn't so much the body, but rather the performance. Having said that, learning the sport is sure to get you on the way to the healthy body of your dreams. Entering in competitions is another level of self-fulfilment, which will not just help you physically but also socially, working out alongside like-minded people. 

 

In terms of weight resistance exercises, gymnasts tend to work out by using their own body as a weight through triceps dips, press-ups, leg raises, pull-ups and chin-ups. These help better balance on the bar, or before thrusting into the air for a back flip or aerial walkover, which is an acrobatic move.  Want to be a gymnast yourself?

 

If you're interested in mastering the art of gymnastics, don't hesitate to stop by one of the SGAC Fitness open days and see the magic of the sport for yourself. We have both recreational gymnastics programs and competitive sessions on offer.

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Friday, 19 January 2018

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