June 01, 2005
Competitive Gymnastics in the Media
When the term "gymnastics" is used in the United States, most people immediately visualize only what is available on television. TV coverage of gymnastics is generally limited to the World Championships, the Olympics, or some other international meet showing the general public the true elites of the sport. These elite, however, include a staggeringly small portion of the individuals involved in some form of gymnastics. Most athletes in the sport never compete at all, much less at the level that is seen by the general public. So why participate in gymnastics if not to compete?
Gymnastics as Foundational Fitness
Gymnastics training is tremendously effective as a foundational fitness program for any physical activity. This specific training develops strength, flexibility, body awareness, and agility that cross over extremely well to other physical activities. The degree of control and body awareness cultivated in gymnastics training is unrivaled. Gymnastics develops functional movements that are often otherwise neglected but are extremely useful in other sports and in everyday activities. The kids in any schoolyard that consistently outperform their peers in fitness tests (frequently by large margins) are usually gymnasts.