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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Is gymnastics really that good as an activity and fitness vehicle?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) June 15th, 2011

Based on earlier question about the logic of kiddie pole dance class. However, as an activity and physical fitness vehicle is gymnastics really as good as it seem? When you look at the potential injuries especially for girls who seem to start younger and compete younger also, dose it really have the upper hand over pole dancing? Spills #6, #3, and #1
were extremely wicked, not that many of the others were better, I can see landing on your head or careening off apparatuses creating concussions or for the very unlucky a broken neck or back. Is it no one really focus on that because gymnastics are more popular and profitable as an industry?

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18 Answers

Hibernate's avatar

Yeah because it stimulates your body , muscles [ a lot ]

BarnacleBill's avatar

I’m not so sure that it is. In order for women to be good at gymnastics, you have to be artificially thin. Female gymnasts often have eating disorders. Additionally, gymnasts, male or female, need a certain body size ratio, or else they become awkward and unbalanced, risking injury.

ucme's avatar

If you happen to have bones made from rubber & your intestines are the same consistency as innertubes, then yes, bendy pastimes do seem appropriate.

creative1's avatar

I have my 3 year old in Gymnastics and she has been in since 2½ she loves it. There are mats down all over the gymnasium where the kids work and they are spotted. I have noticed she is more focused in her day to day activities because she is able to use up alot of that excess energy kids have. She also was terrified of the bars even just touching them at first and now she is climbing on them and swinging on them. She is now able to walk across the balance beam unassisted, she is jumping off the horse by herself and holds and swings on the rings. She has never once gotten hurt at gymnastics, they do stretches before they begin each class and in a way toddlers understand.

Things I have noticed she is teaching the other kids at preschool her stretches and how to do the candle stick and table and different floor type activities and the kids love the things she is showing them.

My daughter just started dance once per week this past month and she does talk about it like she does gymnastics, she doesn’t show me on a daily basis or practice at home her different moves from dance like she does with gymnastics. She will walk along the edge of the carpet and tell me she is practicing her balance beam.

Now with all this said you are still the parent and you still control if you want them competing or not, but its like any other sport you as a parent need to know your childs limits and not let them go past them. I think if you are one of those parents that are going to push your child past their limits instead of keeping them in them then you are going to have the injuries and everything else just like any other sport. Think of the injuries involved in football…..

AshLeigh's avatar

I did gymnastics for a while.
I think it’s good for you, if you don’t overdo it. Although most gymnasts do…

JLeslie's avatar

Gymnastics when you are little is tumbling and cartwheels, walking across a balance beam, swinging on some bars. It builds strength and flexibility. It is fine for children. The kids who move on to want to compete are the ones who are more extreme, which is true for skating and dance and everything. Most children in any sport are not dieting to extremes or doing many dare devil risky moves. All sports have some risks, true some more than others.

Facade's avatar

I did gymnastics for nine years and competed for six of them. It’s an excellent workout, but of course it’s dangerous. Good coaching and natural talent can help prevent injuries, but the sport isn’t for everyone.
My body’s still fucked from all the training. I’d suggest only taking classes once or twice a week unless the child is serious about it.

Coloma's avatar

My ex sister-in-law was a competitive gymnast for years, starting round 7 and well into her late teens. Her joints are a mess, especially her knees. Any high impact exercise such as gymnastics, running, etc. kept up for years will leave one with joint damage.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Gymnastics is a great activity! I don’t see any more people getting injured during gymnastics than I do any other active sport. Both my daughters love gymnastics, and despite a comment above about being artificially thin, there are girls in the classes that are quite “fluffy” and still manage to do well.

The funny thing is that both my girls have actually gained weight since they started classes, even if it is mostly muscle weight, and they both desperately needed to gain some weight. They’ve also both gained a lot of confidence in themselves.

I’ll also mention that having never been hurt in class (for almost 2 years), my little one received a nasty head injury at home. Accidents happen, no matter where you are.

creative1's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I agree with you, I have seen the girls you are referring to that are fluffly in class. My daughter is naturally tiny but hoping she builds some muscle weight from her class.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Any physical activity can lead to injury.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I once hit my head really hard during sex… just sayin’. =0)

wundayatta's avatar

My son did gymnastics for a year or so. He actually trained with the program at one of the few universities that still supports a men’s gymnastics team. That was pretty hard core and took more parental involvement than we wanted to give. He has switched over to karate now.

The workouts made him much stronger. The skills improved his agility and coordination, I think. He had a natural talent, though. His great grandfather had competed in gymnastics.

But I would recommend it for anyone, as long as you don’t take it too seriously. If you start competing seriously, I think it’s generally too much.

Aethelwine's avatar

Gymnastics is a great way to develop coordination, flexibility, strength and power. It’s also good for self-esteem and social interaction. Many ice skaters also take gymnastics to help with coordination and flexibility.

My daughter started gymnastics when she was 3. It was great exercise for her. There is also a lot of running and jumping involved. You can’t run and jump in poll dancing class, can you?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Gymnastics worked great for people of particular body types. For me it was awkward and I had several injuries before my family let me give it up. The stress that kids are put under in Gymnastics is horrible, I’d never put my own kid through that unless they had a natural take to it.

My kid would not get pole dancing lessons unless they flunked out of school and had no ambition for vocational training.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond Poll dancing is more like the rings in men’s gymnastics, or the parallel even bars. It takes an incredible amount of strength and control. Not the poll dancing in a topless bar, but the poll dancing that is more of a sport.

creative1's avatar

With any sport you should just let your child try a number of different sports and then choose what they want to be in, it could be one or a couple different sports depending on the child and the times of year they run. I know gymnastics will not be the only sport my daughter will be doing before she chooses what she likes. She is also taking a dance class and this summer I am signing her up for tennis to try, you never know what the will like unless they try it and sports should be the childs choice not the parents as to what they want to play.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good gosh yes! My daughter was in gymnastics for 5 years, from 7 to 12. I kind of regret it now, though, because of what it did to her developing feet. She has problems now. I didn’t know.

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