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Oct 5, 2008
I'm an 18 year old gymnast and i really need help with strength stuff =/
It's weird - i'm really muscly, and i can do LOADS of chinups/pressups/rope climbs without using my legs, etc. and people including my coach are always saying how strong i am.
BUT i'm not because i can't do anything like press handstands etc... admittedly my flexibility isn't so great at the moment but i can't even do a press handstand from standing! Not even against a wall! I can't get my kip either - i'm so close (it's holding me back cause i can do flyaways, etc. just not a kip!)
I can do loads of conditioning but when it comes to applying it to gymnastics i'm really not that strong, even though i appear to be!!

Can anyone tell me some workouts and exercises to really help my strength?
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New Member
Jun 16, 2009
For your kip look on you tube for drills, I have found lots of good drills that are helping my gymnasts get their kips, it is probably not a strength thing holding you back, maybe a timing issue.

As for your press, I never got a press and was in shape and strong so I cant help you there sorry:)


Sep 21, 2008
I can't tell you how many times I would get into "debates" over who was stronger - a gymnast or a wrestler or football player... Etc.. You are blessed with natural raw power. What you need to do is learn to use it. That is what conditioning is all about. Keep working those presses against a wall. If they are hard, raise your hips by starting with your feet on something higher than your hands on the floor. Otherwise, you can do an upside down press by hanging on a highbar and feeling out the motion.

What strikes me as the most important thing you wrote is that you lack flexibility. If you would dedicate time every day to getting a little more range of motion in your legs, hips, and shoulders, you will find a lot of skills come far far easier.

Keep at it. Good luck!



Active Member
Former Gymnast
Jan 18, 2009
Sometimes hip flexibility (or lack thereof) can keep you from getting a press from the ground up. That could be hindering your ability to do them from standing as well, especially if you really lack flexibility in your hip flexors. I never learned a press handstand from the ground either. Possibly because my first 2 gyms didn't work them and by the time I got to the last I was 15 and pretty hopeless ;).
You could have a coach spot you to get the body positions and timing correct, sometimes that keeps even strong kids from learning a press. They just can't get everything where it needs to be at the right time. You can try working straddle presses on a set of low to the ground parallel bars and lift up as high as you can. Or just plain presses altogether and hold as long as you can (try for at least 30 seconds). For girls who couldn't do presses even with those steps they had to do rope climbs- 3 in a row with legs or 2 total without legs. But it sounds like you have those down pretty well. Presses are a tough skill to learn and some people never get them.


I think a lot of your struggling is due to the fact that no matter how good the conditioning is, it generally cannot mimic the same movements and strengths we need in gymnastics. After I retired from competitive gymnastics, I really started pursuing martial arts, and in martial arts, my teacher always warms us up with about 20 mins of yoga. It tends to be closer to the movements we do and builds up strength in the places that we need for MA, and it seems to me like gymnastics as well.

Maybe looking into some sort of conditioning like yoga (or maybe that other one that slips my mind right now) would be helpful. Otherwise, all I can say is to work a lot on your flexibility, it really does help! And to just keep practising the skills you are working on, and have your coach show you drills you can do for those particular skills. It sounds to me like you need flexibility and core strength (stomach muscles, etc.), but talk to your coach about it rather than trusting some random person online (me), lol. :D

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