View Full Version : Gymnastics bad for you?

Ron Nelson
06-01-2005, 09:40 AM
OK, not my opinion, but this is one of the latest articles from Dragon Door. I'd be interested in seeing what Roger and other gymnasts think as they don't seem to report these type of injuries.

Ben Kaminski
06-01-2005, 10:10 AM
While the article pointed out some valid problems, I believe the severity was overstated and the author sounds just a little bitter. In my opinion, gymnastics does a better job of overall-strengthening than any other sport.

John Walsh
06-01-2005, 10:27 AM
I can't really argue with his solution: All around conditioning for injury prevention. The same can be said for virtually any sport. Of course any time I see "RKC" my eyes roll back into my head. Enough already.:lame:

Stephen Troy
06-01-2005, 11:12 AM
Note the author was a Big Ten gymnast competing at an elite level. You're going to see serious injuries there, and many of those folks are nursing chronic injuries. Tough sport and lots of knuckleheads coaching.

Obviously for the recreational athlete, it's great, and it looked like his criticism was the lack of other conditioning outside of the gymnastics room (no squats, O-lifts, DLs). That strikes me as very much in line with the CF philosophy.

Ron Nelson
06-01-2005, 01:46 PM
This is what I thought as I read the article. I also realize that most gymnastic coaches around here advocate total body conditioning.
One good point he had was the emphasis on sticking the landings and the effect on the spine. As said, this is elite level gymnastics; not recreational, like most of us.

Graham Hayes
06-01-2005, 03:08 PM
I think articles like this are interesting and have use...but could lead to some people shunning gymnastics training because they don't want the injuries this article seems to be guaranteeing. Also not one sentence mentions the benifits of gymnastic training...as if it's some pursuit that practice in would only lead to better gymnastics.

I expect his point is valid for some coaches, but alarmist articles like this posted in a community of GPP/KB'ers would do more damage to physical development than repair problems in high level gymnastics training.

Tyler Hass
06-01-2005, 04:31 PM
I'm not sure if I agree with the "public service announcement" in that article that gymnastics is bad for you. Much of what he talks about seems outdated and perhaps wrong. He says that kids jump into skills before they are physically prepared. This might still occur in some training programs, but all of the coaches I know place a strong emphasis on physical preparation. Coach Sommer is a great example. He seems to make a conscious effort to ensure that his athletes' physical preparation exceeds their skill/technical preparation. He has said in the past that his gym has a very low injury rate. And even once this physical prep is in place, most coaches are very careful and progressive in how they introduce new skills. You don't just go out and "chuck it". They have careful and incremental progressions designed to move you from skill to skill in an errorless fashion.
But I do agree that some form of posterior chain training would be very beneficial to gymnasts and many are doing it already.
Be sure to read Roger Harrel's excellent article in this month's CrossFit Journal. It deals with the benefits of adding gymnastics training, without it becoming the driving force of your life. Too much of anything can be bad. I know busted up athletes from every sport imaginable. Did anyone see the kid that fainted during the national spelling bee last year? He could have gotten messed up if he had fallen off the stage or hit his head. Even high level spelling bees can be dangerous! Maligning gymnastics on such an obvious point is somewhat counterproductive in my opinion.
I'm not trying to bash Mark Reifkind, though. I think he is definitely a good guy. He has reached high levels in gymnastics, weightlifting, marathon running, bodybuilding and powerlifting. Now he is big on kettlebell lifting. Maybe when he burns out on that he will discover a moderate, combined approach. By nature, KB training is more moderate, so he is getting closer.