photo of young children in gymnastics class with the header, Gymnastics offers a multitude of benefits!

1 Dozen Benefits of Gymnastics

Participating in recreational or competitive gymnastics provides children with physical, cognitive, and social and emotional benefits that carry over to other sports, school and life in general.

Physical Benefits

1) Balance
Gymnastics enhances balance which is a fundamental element of every sport or athletic activity of childhood including organized sports, bike riding, and daily play.
2) Flexibility
Gymnastics classes include activities and skills that increase a child’s flexibility. This increase in flexibility helps increase performance in other sports and protect athletes from injury.
3) Coordination
Most sports require children to develop some level of coordination and gymnastics takes this development to a whole new level. Even beginner gymnasts quickly develop the mind-muscle connection which helps them learn to control their body in a more coordinated way.
4) Strength
Learning gymnastics builds full-body strength. As gymnasts learn skills on various apparatus, they’re required to support their body weight in a variety of positions and movements. This helps develop both minor and major muscle groups.
5) Posture
This increased strength from gymnastics leads to full-body strength development. As a result, children are more likely to have the strength to naturally exhibit good posture. This can make sitting at a school desk for long periods and simple daily activities like running and playing safer.
6) Health
Introducing children to gymnastics, thus enhancing coordination, balance, and strength, makes them more likely to join in other sports and physical activities. This in turn increases cardiovascular health, muscular strength, bone health, and immunity to disease.

Cognitive Benefits

7) Studies have repeatedly shown that participating in gymnastics at any level has a positive impact on cognitive function. This is attributed to the fact that different parts of the brain are influenced by physical activity. Тhе сеrеbеllum сооrdіnаtеѕ рrореr рhуѕісаl mоvеmеnt and thе рrеfrоntаl соrtех hеlрѕ control action tо аvоіd іnјurіеѕ аnd еrrоrѕ. Using these portions of the brain during gymnastics also enhances the following skills that carry over to the classroom:

  • Deductive and inductive reasoning
  • Verbal communication
  • Spatial intelligence

Social and Emotional Benefits

8) Work Ethic

Gymnastics involves hard work and determination to master skills as a student advances from one level to the next. Personal growth occurs when a gymnast struggles to master a new skill. In the process, they learn how to set a goal and work to achieve success.

9) Self-esteem

Working toward and achieving a goal, as mentioned above, leads to increased self-esteem. Another self-confidence boost from gymnastics is learning how to be comfortable with receiving and implementing constructive criticism in order to learn and grow.

10) Social Skills

The process of goal setting and achievement requires a gymnast to sharpen their social skills. When things aren’t going as planned, they learn to ask questions about how to improve. As mentioned above, they learn to seek out constructive criticism, listen closely to that advice and implement the changes.

11) Friendship

One of the great benefits of gymnastics is the friendship gymnasts can build. Young gymnasts naturally learn to encourage each other as they learn new skills and, in doing so, they get to know each other and form bonds of friendship. Whether just starting recreational gymnastics, or training on a team, the bonds formed can last a lifetime.

12) Fun!

Exercise needs to be enjoyable and what could be more fun than flipping, leaping, and soaring in a gymnastics class? Learning new skills and achieving goals with friends makes it fun to stay active with gymnastics!

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