Welcome to our Gymnastics Discussion Community
554,231 messages... 44,365 topics... and 6,612 members
Join for FREE!
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts!

For Coaches increasing strength?

Not open for further replies.


Oct 22, 2007
United Kingdom
I have a girl in my squad who I have coached for going on 3 years now (plus she did 6mos to a year of rec before that).

anyway.... she is mostly fine on all apparatus (although some increased active flexibility would be nice!:p) but she is absolutely terrible on bars.
she can still not do a pullover, can barely cast to 45 below horizontal and cannot do a consistent back hip circle or a propper glide swing. And believe me this is not for lack of trying on either of our behalves!! I am getting pretty frustrated with this as I have done every drill and progression I can think of and spotted heaps etc and I think she is getting pretty discouraged with bars.

I know all of these problems are caused by a lack of strength. leg strength is fine, she has a great vault etc but when it comes to upper body and abdominal/core strength we have real problems. she cannot hold a dish/hollow shape, cannot even get a leg lift to horizontal (and when she tries she is very arched... using back muscles to make up for lack of ab strength??) and cannot even manage one chin up.

she does the same strength as all the others in the group but it does not seem to make any difference to her.

so my question is does anyone have suggestions of the best way to help her increase her strength??

any help would be sooo much appreciated :)


Mar 6, 2009
Florida Panhandle
As a gymnast, I was similar to your girl. I struggled SO much on bars, yet it seemed that I could never get my stomach muscles strong enough. I had to go back to doing some of the more simple ab work -- things that I couldn't compensate with other muscles. Tons of your basic crunches and tuck ups. Once those started showing improvement, then I moved to V-ups and straddle ups. When it was clear that I could do those V-ups without using momentum or pumping my arms (arms had to stay on my tummy), then I went back to leg lifts.

For arm strength, push-up of course. Also rolling a weight. With palms facing up, elbows bent 90 degrees and weight in hand, roll hand towards forearm, then out flat. I hope that makes sense. Also using straight arms, sitting on knees (so less ability to use back compensation) lift the dumbbell straight up over head going both forwards and to the side. In order to do this one without using back, tummy has to stay tight (it will need some one-on-one attention at first), so it also helps a bit with tummy.

That's all I can remember doing now. If I think of more I'll come back, but basically you want to take her back to basic conditioning that isolates the necessary muscles and do not offer the opportunity to use other muscles instead.

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
Perhaps it's a nutrition issue? If a kid isn't getting enough protein, they will likely have a very hard time building strength
Not open for further replies.