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Casey Williams 10-05-2007 02:39 PM

Adult gymnastics
 
I have been looking into adult gymnastics classes. I am a 27yr male. I was curious what peoples experiences are for those who are taking them now. Also i was curious as to what i should look for. I would like to take classes that have more of an agenda. I have played sports my whole life and am still very active. I would like to learn how to train and condition like gymnast do, learn some of the apparatuses, and some simple tumbling. Even though i have no desire to compete or anything i still would like to move through the progressions as a real gymnast would not just learn random things. Any and all feedback would be great as to experiences and what to look for.
thanks,
Casey

Daniel Myers 10-05-2007 07:18 PM

I took a few weeks of classes at a local school that has a good school-age program. Overall, it was not a good experience. The classes were run more as an "open gym." People just showed up and trained whatever they wanted. Nominally, one of the coaches was there to offer advice and help you, but in practice I never got a lot of actual coaching beyond generalities that I figured out for myself.

Almost all of the people at the adult classes trained tumbling, including a group from a local wushu school. I was mainly interested in handbalancing and rings, so I didn't have anyone to partner with. After a few sessions, my training was mostly handstand practice -- which I can do at my regular gym without paying $10 a session -- and basic conditioning on the rings and bars, which has some benefits, but not enough to justify the cost. If I was really serious about ring training, I could just buy a set and start working on muscle-ups and cross pullouts in the comfort of my own home.

If you choose to do it, I'd pick just one or two skills to train at a time. Don't try to train every apparatus. I'm sure I would have built some proficiency if I had stayed with it, but only one or two sessions per week makes it hard to learn a bunch of skills simultaneously.

Also, the first few sessions made my forearms and biceps very sore. Take it easy and don't push to your limit until you've adapted to the training.

Even though this was a pretty negative post, I don't want to dissuade you from doing it. I haven't practiced handbalancing much since I quit -- if anything, blocking out a dedicated gymnastics session forced me to train those skills. I have other commitments that keep from going back now, but I'm moderately interested in returning and focusing only on tumbling.

Just take into account the real amount of coaching you'll be getting, the general interests of the other students, and the skills you actually want to learn.

Derek Simonds 10-06-2007 03:45 AM

Daniel hit on a key point there is a huge difference between class and open gym. My wife and I go to adult gymnastics once in a while at a gym in town and it is is mainly just open gym. One of the coaches is always willing to work with you but there is no scheduled progression.

Definitely give it a go. Open gym is really fun, just getting out on the spring floor and tumbling or playing on the high bar is well worth it.

Garrett Smith 10-07-2007 01:59 PM

My advice is not to let the instructors (if one can call many of them that) push you into doing advanced (for you) tricks too early.

I've never done gymnastics and my guy wanted me doing back handsprings my first time there. Didn't happen--I didn't even go there. No way. I may look like a "big" gymnast, but I sure ain't stupid enough to think I can do that stuff right off the bat.

Due to a lack of teaching progressions, I injured my big toe (hyperflexion to the MTP joint) that has taken several months to almost become symptom-free (even with my access to laser treatments and joint mobility training). I still have not gone back, even with my three prepaid sessions remaining.

I'm going to look into creating an adult gymnastics class with other CFers in Tucson where the instructor is there to teach us what we want to learn, nothing else. Personally I find most tumbling to be a lot of risk for little benefit (as compared to gymnastics strength training).

R. Alan Hester 10-07-2007 05:59 PM

be careful. I went with my wife to an open gym type of class. Cluster F>?% is all it was. I went form remedial cartwheels to a back tuck within 45 min. Too fast for my comfort, but i thought, "he is the coach". Long story short, I allowed myself to be pushed too fast, and on my first back tuck into the soft pit area, I came close to knocking myself out with my knee when I landed.

be careful


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