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Boys gymnastics training--any different?

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MdGymMom01

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Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
I was just wondering if boys gymnastics training is different than girls when it comes to conditioning or stretching exercises. My 6 yr old ds is taking a beginner/intermediate boys class and wanted to do some light conditioning with him at home (maybe 2 days a week).

What exercises other than push-ups, chin-ups, crunches and mild stretching should he be doing (if any)? I just want something that will supplement his gym classes that are appropriate for a 6 yr old.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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My son is 6 also - he doesn't do gymnastics but we do things with him at home - really just to burn that never ending supply of energy he seems to have. Handstands are great. Hold his feet since they can't usually stay up to long on their own yet. I also hold my son's feet and he does handstand push ups. Sometimes I have him lay on his back with his feet up in the air and I try to push his legs down to the floor and he can't let them touch. He does lots of pull-ups. Whenever he starts getting that wild look in his eyes he either does push ups or goes outside to do pull-ups :p
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
My son is 6 also - he doesn't do gymnastics but we do things with him at home - really just to burn that never ending supply of energy he seems to have. Handstands are great. Hold his feet since they can't usually stay up to long on their own yet. I also hold my son's feet and he does handstand push ups. Sometimes I have him lay on his back with his feet up in the air and I try to push his legs down to the floor and he can't let them touch. He does lots of pull-ups. Whenever he starts getting that wild look in his eyes he either does push ups or goes outside to do pull-ups :p

I totally know what you mean about the endless supply of energy!! My son is non-stop!!! He is very strong so I usually have him do pull-ups or let him roll around on the mat. He has a pretty good cartwheel and his handstands are getting there. He just needs to learn how to use his abs and hold his body tight.

The biggest thing right now for him is trying to get him to listen and pay attention. Yesterday in gymnastics class he got put in "time-out" for not listening. He also needs to learn to speak up and raise his hand if he is not understanding something the coach is trying to explain. I have stressed to him that it is important to pay attention and listen because if you don't you could get hurt doing a skill. I guess a lot of it is his age--I have noticed him getting a little better over the years, so I am hoping that as time goes on he will have a better attention span.
 
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BlairBob

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When it comes to stretching, no it's not or shouldn't be. If they are young enough, we can get them just as flexible in the shoulders and backs as the girls and hips possibly.

Conditioning wise there is a lot more focus on building a strong support and being stronger through the middle and upper body. A good support is necessary to even do the basics of horse and is very challenging on rings. A tap swing on rings requires more strength and develops more strength than one on bars.

Also boys are required to develop a pirouette earlier than girls ( which could be a bad thing ) in the compulsories.

Handstand, handstand, handstand. Since PB and rings require a lot of handstand hold movements and of course they have to go through handstand for tumbling and giants.

Handstand on wall. Handstand on floor. Handstand on parallettes. Handstand presses or their variants.

They also need to develop a lot of lever strength. This can be done by training front levers on a pullup bar and back lever ( starting off with skin the cats ).

And of course with boys at that age, it has to be fun and not work. Boys love challenging themselves and other boys.

Crunches are lame. Start doing leg lifts progressing to hanging leg lifts and V-ups ( starting with tuck first ).

Also boys have to train a lot more static strength positions than girls because of their routines on the events. Lots of L sits, levers, that eventually turns into press to HS on rings, cross, strength to strength holds.
 
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MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Thanks BlairBob! Your post really helps me get a general understanding of what is needed for boys gymnastics. I know what you mean about it having to be fun for boys his age. He LOVES rock climbing at the indoor rock climbing gym near us so I signed him up for the Jr Climbers class starting this month. It's fun for him and he's getting a good challenging workout without even realizing it! Plus, he is a little fearless daredevil that loves adventure!
 
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BlairBob

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With most boys and girls, once it becomes work it isn't fun anymore. I was this way at first when introduced to my first sport, Judo. It seems with boys they have a tolerance for fewer reps than girls because they exist in and out of phase with our current dimension in their own little world. Still, you will get girls that are the same way but I'd bet most girls in gymnastics in rec can last a few more reps or rounds than the boys can of the same stuff.

Eventually, I loved drilling basics ( in other sports ) because this was drilled into me through the training from my teachers and father. A love of the basics to where I almost don't like deviating from it.

Most boys are gonna stop once it becomes too much work. As for the rest that don't, they either perfectionists, slightly OCD or just odd in general workaholics. It's something of a pain to coach boys like this when the rest aren't and it's the same way with any female gymnasts who are workaholics while the rest are more social.
 
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