Hello friends! If you follow me on social media you’ll know that I recently started up an adult gymnastics class. A couple of people have asked me what it’s like/what to expect from a class so I thought I’d collate all my thoughts into one post in case anyone was interested.
I saw a stat recently that said that most people over 25 believe they’re too old to start gymnastics. Honestly I was one of those people too, right up until recently. I’ve always been a big fan of gymnastics, I used to do it when I was younger, it’s always the sport I want to watch when the Olympics are on, and I’m always in awe at the core strength and grace of the gymnasts. At the ripe old age of 29 I thought that starting up gymnastics was just a ridiculous idea. Just as an aside I also have a VERY bad back and knee (I see a Chiropractor twice a month) and suffer with chronic pain but I know my limits and wanted to do something to improve my core strength. So I thought, not a chance… Of course I appreciate that this isn’t for everyone, and of course be safe and know your limits.
Anyway, in the spirit of loving gymnastics I follow Olympic Gymnast Nile Wilson on social media, he also has a YouTube channel and his videos are great (go check them out) and he talks a lot about mindset and he’s so passionate and inspiring. I also find myself watching and thinking ‘I want to do that’. In his videos he showed a few classes of adult gymnastics, and I was like right, OK it’s now or never.
I did some research online and found a class about 30 minutes from me, and they had a 6 week course suitable for beginners so I signed up straight away. I knew I’d made the right decision when the bubble of excitement came as the class got closer. My first class was this past Wednesday and I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences.
What To Wear
I would recommend wearing something comfortable so gym leggings/shorts whatever floats your boat. Also sports bra (if you need it) and a top that you can tuck in (if you’re like me and don’t want to flash your stomach to everyone), as you’ll likely be upside down at some point. Also remove all jewellery/tape it up and if you have long hair I’d recommend tying it back. You will also very likely be barefoot in the class so bear that in mind. I also opted to wear my contacts rather than glasses as I knew they’d likely fall off if I wore them.
What Is The Class Like?
Of course every adult gymnastics class will be different depending on where you go, but my experience of the class was very enjoyable. We started with a small warm up, then did some very basic skills from forward rolls to cartwheels and first steps into being able to do handstands. If I’m honest I’m so unfit this made me be a bit out of breath (I need to go to the gym). We then did some basic stretching to improve our flexibility which for me is still fairly OK but definitely needs some improvement. We were then give free reign to have a play on some of the equipment. There were several stations including mats to practice handstands, beams, high bar (the two bars together), P bars (the two bars on the ground), an inflatable mat to practice tumbling and a box to practice flexibility. For me this was really fun, I loved having a go on all the equipment, and the aim for my class is for you to work on whatever you want to improve on. Whether it’s strength/handstand/crabs/cartwheels etc, you can go at your own pace. The class was about an hour, and the only downside for me at my class is the timing as it doesn’t finish until 8:30 and by the time I get home I’m absolutely done in. However I still want to go back so that’s got to be good!
One thing I did notice was that my wrists HURT, gymnastics is one of the only sports where you support your full weight and I could definitely feel it. So be prepared to ache.
Realising that I can still do a round-off/cartwheel fairly well and my flexibility wasn’t as bad as I thought, but my form was pretty terrible. Also meeting some new people and finding a new enjoyable sport.
Realising that I’m very out of shape and 2 days after the class waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to feel my arms.
Let’s be honest, I know the likelihood of me being in the 2020 Olympics is pretty slim, but my aim for the end of the 6 weeks is to improve my core strength, be able to be at least close to doing a handstand unsupported and just get generally fitter.
I’ll be documenting my adult gymnastics journey over the next 6 weeks, so watch this space! If you have any questions about it, please do message me I’d be happy to answer them!