Gymnastics strength and conditioning is changing faster than ever before, which is amazing to see.
Cultural barriers around gymnasts lifting weights, using mixed models of gymnastics specific and general strength work, and more science based practices are finally making their way into mainstream gymnastics.
I firmly believe that this will be the biggest change we see in gymnastics during the next 5 years.
I believe more and more club, NCAA, and elite gymnasts will adopt the use of weight lifting and periodization for their programs.
So many of the coaches and athlets I consult with at this level are now jumping head first into using this ‘new school’ methods with very good results.
Ann Marie Alf is a Sports Physical Therapist and Athletic Trainer who has done some amazing working in this space, most notably having worked with the Chinse Women’s National Team for 8 years.
She was contracted to consult with them, and since then has overhauled a lot of their thoughts on gymnasts lifting weights. She has slowly integrated more and more science based strength training and periodization concepts with great results.
I was lucky to have her on the podcast this week, and the discussion was fantastic. We chatted about
- Her background and how she got involved with the Chinese National team
- Why gymnasts should lift weights and do cross training
- How to think about plannign strength and conditioning sessions
- Her favorite exercises and drills for gymnasts to use
- The common injuries she sees and why she thinks they occur
- Tips for managing common injuries
- How to get started in weight training/srength training for gymnasts outside the traditional body weight model
You can check it out below on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify