I totally have the same normal gripes with exercise as everyone else. I find it boring, I don’t like going to the gym, it’s hard to make time for it… If you experience these anti-exercise symptoms as well, then see if gymnastics could be for you!
Firstly, you don’t have to have ANY strength or flexibility to go on the apparatus initially. There are very basic skills you can do on each one in order to get a feel for it and see where your strengths and weaknesses are. So don’t be put off by your perception of your fitness levels. Most adult classes cater to complete beginners and are very fun and laid back.
Here are the reasons why I think you should give it a go.
1 You’ll do a workout without even realising.
A couple of hours of swinging on the bars, handstands and running to the vault and you’ll really feel it the next day. It’s way more fun than running on a treadmill or lifting weights and really tests your mental focus as well.
2 You’ll overcome endless fears.
Everything you do will be terrifying. Even skills I did when I was 3 or 4 were scary as an adult. Jumping to catch the high bar, a cartwheel on the beam and launching myself over the vault… Every move and skill overcomes a little fear and makes you feel like you can take on the world.
3 You’ll use every muscle in your body.
Gymnastics uses bodyweight training to build strength and flexibility and every single muscle is worked. You’ll ache in places you didn’t even know existed! Lifting weights focuses on separate muscle groups at a time but here all your muscles will work together; pushing the limits to your overall movement.
4 You’ll gain motivation.
I find that I constantly want to learn new skills and the feeling of nailing a new one is so rewarding. It’ll push you to get stronger, fitter and more flexible as the end result is so much fun; it looks impressive too!
5 Your mental strength will be put to the test.
I think this is one of the things I love most about it. I want to improve my mental focus and when I’m running or previously when I’ve been in the gym, my mind wanders and then I get bored. Gymnastics takes every ounce of concentration and focus; you’ll have to trust yourself and go against what feels natural.
6 You’ll learn a variety of skills.
So, for the uneven bars you need strength, for beam you need poise and balance, for vault you need power and for floor you need rhythm, artistry and performance skills. Phew. You’ll learn and work on improving all these attributes which keeps you on your toes and ensures it stays interesting!
Would you ever give it a go?