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Gymnasts vs Covid Closures

3 Tips for dealing with unexpected breaks from the gym.

Almost all gymnasts in the US had an unexpected break from the gym last spring. But the truth is, for many of them those breaks are recurring, though in shorter doses due to local government orders, Covid exposures, etc. This can be hard on the gymnasts both mentally and physically so I wanted to share 3 tips for dealing with this situation.


Now, on first look this may sound impossible. Many competitive gymnasts train 15+ hours per week flipping and swinging and more. So how can we recreate this at home? Well, we can't, but that doesn't mean we can't improvise. It can be helpful for gymnasts to continue to workout on their workout days, and rest on their rest days. Although they may usually practice for 3, 4 or 5 hours, think about how much of that time is actually spent practicing. There is likely some break time, waiting your turn time, debriefing with the coach time, etc. Shoot to work out 30-50% of your usual practice time, and follow any schedule that is usually followed in the gym i.e. light and heavy days, arms and legs days, etc.


Part of your workout each day should be mentally practicing whatever skills/progressions you would likely be doing in the gym at that time. If is is offseason, uptraieing skills, etc. If it is inseason, routines. Mental practice can go a long way in keeping skills sharp when the gym opens again.


Focus on yourself, and doing the best with what you have. As much as I have come to dislike the phrase "In these unprecedented times," the times really are unprecedented. Some states are allowed to be open, while others aren't. Some gyms need to close. Some gymnasts are training despite government restrictions. You can't control that, so don't try. For many gymnasts, college gymnastics is the goal and college coaches and recruiters are aware of these facts and they will be taken into consideration. They understand that some gymnasts may not be able to attend regionals or nationals and some will be attending with very little training. Keep your focus on the long goal, keep your body strong and healthy and be mentally ready to train when you are able.

Enjoyed reading this? Click here for access to 7 more tips to be the best athlete you can be, even if you can't train as usual!

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