Gymnastics is a fantastic, fun activity that teaches a lot of valuable skills. You can gain lots of benefits from doing gymnastics, such as improved flexibility, increased strength and so much more!
In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about gymnastics for teenagers, from the benefits to what to wear and how to get started!
Why is Gymnastics Good for Teenagers?
Joining a teen gymnastics class is an excellent way for adolescents to socialise with people their age, out of a school setting.
Teen classes are often separate from the younger children, so clubs often run classes for children in secondary school for up to 18 years old. These sessions are often a lot more relaxed, allowing the children to socialise whilst ensuring they are working and encouraging them to have input into what they would like to learn.
Though gymnastics competes as an independent sport, training still includes a lot of socialisation and team-building activities. The sport encourages teenagers to work with their peers as well as aiding in new friendships!
Strength and Flexibility
Gymnastics is a sport that works the whole body, often through a lot of bodyweight exercise.
When children reach puberty age they often go through changes and some of these can affect their strength and flexibility due to heigh changes and other factors. Training in gymnastics works all the muscle groups and includes exercises that work on the gymnast’s flexibility, without pushing them past their limits.
Taking part in gymnastics can allow the body to become more flexible, this can help make a lot of other sports easier that may not train flexibility as much as gymnastics does.
Children can often suffer from growing pains when they enter their teenage years, gymnastics can help with this by gently stretching out the muscles and gives the gymnasts techniques to do at home if they are aching.
When children enter the teenage years and begin to hit puberty some often have a preference of staying at home watching TV than doing any activity!
Though this doesn’t go for all teenagers, it’s important to get those that prefer to sit at home into a hobby, and gymnastics is one that is not only enjoyable but has so many social and physical benefits to it as well!
Confidence and Self Esteem
Gymnastics is excellent in improving confidence in all ages of gymnasts. When it comes to teenagers, as mentioned before in non-elite teen gymnastics coaches often get the young adults more involved in the lesson plan, getting them involved in ideas and opinions.
This includes the teens taking charge of the warm up, or conditioning and also having input on some things they may want to do in training, which coaches will take on board for sessions. Encouraging the teens to have input can really help bring anyone shy out of their shell and can really help to boost self-confidence.
Gymnastics is also brilliant for self-esteem as during the sport it’s very likely you will get that self accomplished feeling when you master a skill or learn something new quickly! Gymnastics includes new obstacles and challenges each session which is brilliant to give teens something to work towards and have them set themselves goals.
Is 15 Too Old To Start Gymnastics?
There is no age in my opinion that is too old to do gymnastics. In fact, 15 is not an uncommon age to start at all. Around this age children that have grown out of a sport may decide to switch to another one, which is often around the teenage years so where some may leave gymnastics around this age, others will start.
Starting teen gymnastics does not have to be something you go into from when you are little and work your way up. Many clubs will have a separate session for teens that suit beginners up to advanced gymnasts no matter what your experience.
What Should I Wear To a Teen Gymnastics Class?
Depending on your level of gymnastics and what type of class you train in will depend on the clothing criteria. Elite gymnasts will still be required to wear leotards for training with optional shorts.
In a regular teen gymnastics class for non-elite, clubs are a lot more flexible on what you can wear. As long as it’s suitable to move around in and not too restricting it’s acceptable to wear shorts and a t-shirt. Leggings are joggers are usually allowed but id go for short-sleeved clothing to avoid getting too hot!
Leotards are of course still available for teen classes, though not necessarily compulsory a lot of older children would still prefer to be in a leotard and shorts, these can be found online or your club may supply them themselves.
It is highly recommended to avoid any jewellery in gymnastics, though some clubs may be more relaxed with their policies it is really important that you keep yourself safe from any injuries that can be avoided.
Any bracelets, necklaces, or watches must be removed. Though many teens and older children own a fit bit that they are keen to keep on during their session to track fitness, id recommend leaving at home as there’s a risk it could catch, and possibly break too!
Most clubs will tell any gymnasts to take off their jewellery before they start anyway, so it’s good to do it beforehand and leave it at home to avoid losing anything!
Hair is another thing that must be appropriate for a gymnastics session. Anyone attending a gymnastics class must ensure that their hair is tied back if it is long enough to do so. For hair that isn’t long enough to tie back, I would recommend getting an elastic headband to keep hair out of the face!
It’s so important that hair is tied back and it is all for the gymnast’s safety. Free-flowing hair can very easily get caught in the gymnastics equipment which can resolve in pain and injury and it can also obstruct their view when tumbling, so the best thing to do is get it out of your way in a ponytail or preferably a bun!
What is TeamGym?
TeamGym is a separate gymnastics class where a group of gymnasts take part in a competition as a team. The gymnasts compete as a group on floor, trampette, and tumble track. Here they perform a routine or a series of tumble skills that work together to create a dynamic performance.
This type of session is a great alternative for elite gymnastics as the gymnasts get to work in a team and it is a lot more laid back than competitive artistic gymnastics, so is a good option for teens who want to stay in gymnastics, but would prefer to steer away from competing in artistic competitions.
Not all gymnastics clubs have a TeamGym program so if you are interested in this type of gymnastics session, have a research of what your local clubs have to offer for teens!
Why Choose Teen Gymnastics as a Sport for you?
Overall, gymnastics is a no-brainer sport for teens. Whether they have gymnastics experience or are a complete beginner, gymnastics clubs cater to all needs and aren’t all about excelling in the sport.
Teen gymnastics sessions are all about having an input in learning, and beginning to take charge in a group, for example taking a warm up or giving suggestions for new exercises and skills. This of course comes along with all of the physical benefits of the sport, the teens progress in strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness, all whilst having fun at the same time.