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mowens's avatar

How hard is it for an adult to take up gymnastics?

Asked by mowens (8392points) March 8th, 2011

I’m 27. I work out all the time, but I hate lifting weights. I think that gymnastics would be great exercise, and more fun. My question is this: How difficult will it be for me to start up? I have terrible balance and terrible coordination, but I believe it is all related to the fact that I have a weak core. What better way to build core strength than gymnastics? How hard will it be to find someone who will teach me? I am pretty flexible. I bend in ways normal people don’t. However, I am not gymnast flexible, I am double jointed flexible. Oh and I am a male.

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15 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Jeez. If I were you, I would start with some yoga and see just how flexible I am.

There are also many simple balance exercises…stand on one foot and hold on to back of chair. Let go of the chair. Switch legs. Do daily.

Gymnasts start when they are very young and peak at about 15.

Facade's avatar

I competed in gymnastics for years, and recently went back to it for a while. On my first day I screwed up some of the small muscles in my foot just by doing a round-off…
Honestly, you can try it if you’d like, but be careful. 27 is old for some to get back into gymnastics, let alone a beginner. It’s very involved. Make sure you tell whomever is coaching you exactly what your experience is and what your fitness level is. They should know how to coach you if they have that information. Good luck =)

Also, finding a coach may be difficult, depending on the number of people in your area who actually coach adults.

picante's avatar

You might want to consider Pilates to strengthen your core. Gymnastics sounds a bit ambitious and possibly dangerous.

Itsaboutme's avatar

I agree with @picante. Pilates is great for core strenghth. I started doing pilates a few years ago and it had made a huge difference in my balance. And you won’t get bulky like you would with weights.

There are several very good DVDs that are available. Also if you have a feature such as On Demand from your cable provider you  can find a ton of 30min exercises that will help also.

john65pennington's avatar

You are a brave soul. Age 27 is not age 17 and a lot has changed in your body chemistry, since then.

At age 58, I went through my police academy’s entire rookie training class for a second time. I must tell you I prayed for death. Everything in my 58 year old body screamed for mercy, even my ears hurt.

You can do as you please, but gymnastics is for the young in body and heart.

You might suffer, be prepared!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Male. 27. Terrible coordination. Terrible Balance. Wants to take up gymnastics but never has done it before.

This is a recipe for failure and injury.

If you don’t like lifting weights, but want to gain strength, balance and coordination then my suggestion is yoga. You can do it in the privacy of your home, in a studio for a private or a group lesson.

If you want to give it a try at home might I suggest this DVD Otherwise, anything Rodney Yea or Shiva Rea from your local library DVD department or Netflix is a good place to start.

mowens's avatar

Sad face. :(

Anemone's avatar

If you can find an experienced trainer/coach to help train you, it should be possible to do it without much danger. You probably won’t have the same abilities as someone who started younger (or at least as easily/quickly), but it could still be an interesting, fun, and challenging form of exercise.

mowens's avatar

@Anemone Thats what I am looking for. Exercise. Something different,

Honestly, Yoga looks boring to me. haha

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yoga is anything but boring. To top it off, I’ve never been injured doing it.

noonparader's avatar

How discouraging. I was hurt in an under-equipped and unqualified instructional setting in grade 6 phys ed gymnastics. From then on I was petrified of gym throughout the successive school years, each with a gymnastic unit within the phys ed program. I played hockey until I reached 18 as a fourth line bench-sitter. Overall, I was lanky and far from naturally athletic. At about the age of 18 or 19 I got into running and weight training and actually did okay at both. Then one morning fighting a flu I turned on The Sports Network and saw a bio on Nadia Comaneci (sp) and was instantly inspired. What a great outlet for my current fitness ability. That looked to me like “the next progression” and waayyy more stimulating than weights and running, which frankly could wait until my 60’s if they had to. As luck would have it, there was a local gymnastics centre AND they rather randomly advertised an upcoming adult beginner gymnastics/trampoline class. I called and they said that if I actually showed up, I would be their first such student in this new class. I dragged a 31 year old roommate along who at about the one year mark tweaked his back on trampoline when he didn’t tighten up on a couple of landings to keep the spine stable (lesson there for us all), he soon after gave it up. I carried on, eventually helped teach some kindergym classes (the same basics I had learned), which led to the club CYA’ing and paying my was into a Level 1 artistic gymnastics coaching program (taught by Cirque du Soleil’s current ‘head-coach international’ on his last course before going on to start as one of CDS’ frontline coaches), then Level 1 trampoline coaching. I filled in more and more often as a casual until the club’s head coach approached me to offer me an actual coaching job teaching Provincial and National Novice trampoline and power tumbling under his close supervision. I still marvel at that offer. I took the job, tried to do all conditioning exercises I demanded on my kids and eventually was sent to Level 2 Gymnastics and Level 2 Trampoline coaching courses. In the meantime I, at 6’2” and 190 lbw, largely self-taught a full twisting back layout on trampoline and standing back handsprings on floor at the age of 24. Meanwhile, my Provincial kids dominated the podiums at Provincial Champs. One of my Novice kids went on to be first Canadian to do a triple back in power tumbling. He and one other of my kids went on to successful stints with Cirque du Soleil (Alegria and Saltimbanco respectively). There you go. Go for it. You don’t have to do triple backs. Pick your favourite attainable skills amidst the million possible, build a couple of training aids and take it where it takes you.

mowens's avatar

@noonparader My main reason is exersize. I want the gymnast body. :)

SpatzieLover's avatar

@mowens Have you tried

They have some great 100% free info on their site for getting your muscle on! :)

tanya8450's avatar

Here at our facility, we have an adults class. Like most things in life, you are never too old. Just because you are not 16 years old, it does not mean you should avoid it. Secondly, any respectable gymnastics school will put safety first and will not be out to do you harm or cause you pain. Obviously, you will not be competing in the next Olympics. I say you should give it a try if you have the interest. Feel free to write back if you have any more specific questions!

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