Gymnastics: physical preparation

Physical preparation for gymnastics

The majority of gymnasts who wear themselves out improving their technique often, unfortunately, neglect physical preparation. However, a good specific preparation is essential because it allows to train different factors allowing the gymnasts to perform figures and sequences with maximum efficiencywhile avoiding injuries.


physical qualities in gymnastics

As we have already seen, gymnastics, whatever its type, requires many physical qualities that are important to develop in order to master the said discipline.

The power

It is the set of parameters allowing actions to be performed with maximum intensity. Whether it’s strength or speed. Power is therefore particularly sought after on explosive movements or which require a certain momentum when performing certain figures.


It is the set of parameters that allow you to perform a series of movements, figures, for the longest possible duration and without affecting the quality of the production, which must be impeccable and identical, from start to finish. For example, the pommel horse requires power to allow the gymnast to perform circular movements but also endurance, because these movements must be performed long enough.

The agility

It is the ability for the gymnast to perform the movements in the most efficient and appropriate way.


Developing flexibility allows the athlete to perform more elegant movements with greater amplitude. It’s also a great way to guard against injury. induced by the stress that gymnastics can cause.

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The coordination

It is the organization and control of the different segments of the body in order to obtain a harmonious result.


Physical preparation saves time

When you work to improve your physical abilities through specific preparation, you progress. Thomas. L and Rolland Carrasco, both authors of educational books on physical preparation related to gymnastics, specify that an increase in physical capacities is essential before approaching the technique and that approaching the technique without the physical abilities would require ten times more time for the gymnast to master the difficult techniques.


Avoid injuries with physical preparation

The physical preparation program adapted to the practice of gymnastics, and this is also the case in any other sport, aims to strengthen the muscles responsible for the stability of many joints such as shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, hips, ankles and spine. Beyond this work, gymnasts must seek to strengthen their deep muscles. It is the latter, close to the joints and not very bulky, which play an essential role in stability, in maintaining postures and controlling movements. In order to increase the recruitment of deep muscles and thus strengthen them, it is necessary to work on proprioception. The latter refers to the perception, conscious or not, of the different parts of the body and allows very effective prevention work.


Physical preparation for gymnastics

SHOULDERS (with partners / weight)

Lateral arm raise and shoulder rotation (2×5)
Internal and external rotation (2×5)
Pulling and holding the position (10 sec) (2×3)
Circumduction of straight arms (2×3)
Elbows (with weight)
Bending (2×10)
Expansion (2×10)

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WRISTS (with weight)

Bending (2×10)
Expansion (2×10)
Adduction (2×10)
Abduction (2×10)
Finger push up (2×10)

BACK (stretch)

Back extensors (2×10 sec)
Back rotators (2×10 sec)
Middle back (2×10 sec)

KNEES (quadriceps and hamstrings apparatus)

Bending (2×10)
Expansion (2×20)
Landing on the ground (2×25)
Isometric contraction (2×90 sec)
Low reception (with overloads) (2×5)

ANKLES (device and partner)

Flexion (dorsiflexion) (2×10)
Extension (plantar flexion) (2×10)
Inversion (internal flip-flop) (2×10)
Eversion (external flip) (2×10)
Swing board (on one leg) (1×15 sec)
On one leg, heel lift on tiptoe with weight (2×10)
Full squat (with partner straddling shoulders) (2×20 sec)


Preparation for the gym

There are as many physical preparation programs as there are athletes and gymnasts. A program must be personalized and adapted to your physical abilities and your shortcomings in order to help you progress.. On the internet, you will find many programs, including the one you will find earlier in this article. All of them are modifiable so that they correspond as much as possible to your needs. We recommend that you take care to train with the aim of limiting injuries, which are commonplace in this discipline where the stress imposed on the body is very important. Like a kitchen brigade where each individual is important, physical preparation in gymnastics should represent much more, if not ¾ of your training, technique and rest representing the rest.

Sources :

  • Curtain, J. (1991). The physical preparation of young gymnasts. INSEP Translation No. 794
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