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Building Explosive Power in Gymnasts with Hybrid Strength Programs (Part 1)

Today on the podcast I was asked by the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association, to give lectures to all of the NCAA coaches on strength and conditioning for gymnasts.

A blended model, which is gymnastic specific, rope climbs and handstands, balanced with weight training and proper exercises is the most effective way to build explosive power in gymnasts.

After my previous 3 lectures on Achilles tears, workloads, and landing mechanics, which they found very beneficial, they asked me to come back and go deeper on these topics of conversations and specifically talk about reducing injury risk and increasing performance which is: strength and conditioning. 

This is part one of two, in this first lecture I cover the basic background information on what is a hybrid model? What are the misunderstandings and the myths about gymnasts lifting weights? 

I then talk about the competitive year, how to break down the preseason versus the off-season versus the NCAA in-season, and how to get the most out of routines, and competitive year performance. 

We discuss: What is power and how do we increase force?

How does the hybrid model increase athlete performance and reduce injury risk?

Examples of what movement patterns gymnastics skills use and exercise that replicate them and can be trained and improved outside the gym.

But doesn’t lifting weights make gymnasts bulky?

How to avoid losing flexibility doing weight training.

Understanding periodization, dosing athletes correctly, and examples of yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily programs for athletes.

Where should you place your weight training during the week in order to get the most out of it without sacrificing the effectiveness of technical gymnastic practice due to soreness and fatigue? 

A substitute for rope climbs.


Will gymnastics ever be able to use objective external metrics to monitor athlete workloads?

I hope you guys enjoy the lecture, part two next week is going to be a very in-depth breakdown of what exercises I do when I do them, how many sets, how many reps, and what cardio routines I like to do to get somebody ready for floor routines.


Building Explosive Power in Gymnasts with Hybrid Strength Programs (Part 1)

All the articles, research papers, and books mentioned can be found here:



Also, a reminder that early bird pricing for the 2022 Shift Symposium is ending soon!  From June 10 to June 12 learn everything you need to know about Gymnastics Medical Care, Gymnastics Coaching, and Gymnastic Strength and Conditioning. The lineup of 30 speakers is ridiculous, giving incredible lectures over three days, so do not miss out on early bird tickets. Head over to:


to find out more. 



Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science