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Gymnastics as the Ultimate Cross-Training Sport

Gymnastics is frequently overlooked as one of the best total-body strength training sports. It promotes flexibility, balance and core strength - three physical characteristics of any great athlete.

By Byron Knox, Gymnastics Director, Chelsea Piers CT

With the opening of the Olympic Games children will start dreaming big; wondering what they can achieve.  The Olympic Gymnastics team is in the position of only having only six members on the team once every four years.  This may make some people dismiss this sport because of this elite nature of the team.

However, what is frequently overlooked is how useful gymnastics is as a cross-training tool for so many sports.  The strength, balance and agility that athletes achieve in gymnastics are unparalleled in getting to the next level in any sport. 

I have trained many swimmers, divers, football, baseball and basketball players who use gymnastics as an addition to their training.  Handstands, cartwheels, and the use of trampoline will all help attain the strength and balance needed to excel in any sport. To perform simple movements in gymnastics you must engage your core, arms, shoulders, back, and legs. This requires a total body effort which all top level athletes strive to acquire.

So if your family of soccer players, swimmers, runners, and lacrosse players are watching the Games and dreaming of tumbling, don’t underestimate its value.  Head to the gymnastics area – you’ll feel the results the next morning… And the benefits in years to come!


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