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Typical Practice for a gymnast

Posted by Keith Pettit on

I get asked what do I do with my kids to get stronger or how long do they work on something. You have to realize the kids I coach are in the gym a lot!  They don't move non-stop (there is a lot of down time) but they are in the gym from 5 hours (the 6-8 yr. olds) to 20+ hours (the 13+ yr. olds) a week.  Some gyms practice even more hours - I like to say we are the least psycho of the top gyms in the country.

So we will talk about the older optional gymnasts.  They have practice 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week.  Sometimes I bring them in extra on a Sunday to work problem parts for a couple hours but typically they practice 5 days a week.

Practice starts with a general warm up - they jog for 5 minutes, do some light calisthenics and stretch.  The warm up usually takes about 20-30 minutes.

Next we do basic tumbling. Its a chance to work on shapes, presentation and technique. If you walked into any gym they all pretty much do the same basic tumbling - forward rolls, handstand full pirouettes, handstand walk, back extension rolls (back roll to handstand), all the way up to back tucks. 

Then we move to the events - usually three to four rotations of 30-45 minutes each. Guys gymnastics have 6 events - floor, pommels, rings, vault, parallel bar and highbar (that's the Olympic order too).  So typically Monday we do floor, pommels, rings then Tuesday the next 3.  We try to hit each event 3-4 times a week (except vault).

That leaves about 30 minutes at the end for strength.  Some gyms do strength at the beginning, I like them to do it at the end.  One day we do ring strength, (crosses, presses, handstands, malteses).  Another day we will do strength just working on our planches and presses. (so mostly working shoulders). Another they will do leg strength - which consists of lunge walks, squat jumps or they may do like a WOD that is common in crossfit but using more gymnastics type movements (we just call is circuit strength).

A typical WOD we do for time - 3Rounds

30 Circles on pommel horse

20 Dips

10 swing handstands on parallel bars

5 back tucks.


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