WHY YOU SHOULD DO GYMNASTICS AS AN ADULT

If your answer is not since you were six years old, I can relate.

I did gymnastics up until I was probably in first grade, at which point I decided they were too “girly” and promptly stopped going (it probably didn’t help that even back then, it was obvious that I didn’t have a gymnast’s build). But until that time when I decided I was too cool for it (a decision I very much regret), I thought gymnastics were awesome.

All that flipping, and being upside down, and the jumping around, and the foam pit—what could be more fun than that?

Fast forward to a few months ago, and I decided it was time to try it all over again.

1. IT WILL GET YOU CRAZY STRONG

You might not have guessed it, but gymnasts are the strongest, pound for pound, of all the Olympic athletes.
Holding yourself upside down for long periods of time, flipping through the air, using rings and bars and all the other amazing stuff involved in gymnastics will get you seriously strong. Gymnasts have a level of strength that most normal people would consider near superhuman strength—but even training in gymnastics as an amateur will get you upper body strength, core strength and power like no other workout can do.

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2. YOU’LL IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS

This probably isn’t a good reason to do gymnastics if you have no other interest in it (ok, it’s a really bad reason), but even doing a backflip, a freestanding handstand push up or a cartwheel into a handstand forward roll will get you a “wow” response from your friends every time.

Just think of how many cool party tricks you’ll be able to pull off!

3. YOU’LL INCREASE YOUR FLEXIBILITY TENFOLD.

Or twentyfold. Or whatever. The point is, I don’t care how inflexible you currently are—training in gymnastics will make you a more flexible person.

Working on backbends and pikes require more flexibility than the average workout. And yes, you may even be able to do the splits one day.

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4. YOU’LL BECOME MORE COORDINATED

If you’ve ever thought you were an uncoordinated human being, I can certainly relate. As I mentioned above, I am the opposite of graceful, and more and more understand why my brother’s nickname for me used to be “spaghetti arms:” I’m just not very coordinated.

Taking part in gymnastics, however, will increase your coordination by helping you gain more control over your body. I’ve noticed I’ve become more coordinated and less “floppy” after only six classes, so you can get there too.

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5. IT WILL HELP YOU OVERCOME FEAR

That first time you go to do a handstand into a roll, or a backbend all the way to the floor, or a backflip, front flip, or even a cartwheel, there’s no way around it—it’s going to be terrifying. Even if there’s an experienced teacher nearby, unless you’re crazy and completely devoid of fear, you’re going to be nervous, even scared.

But when you do it—when you actually do what you’d previously thought to be impossible—it opens up a whole new world. Not only does it make you become less fearful and more confident in athletics, it can also translate to other areas of your life, even positively impaction your career, your relationships, and your dreams.

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