Gymnastics is a sport that needs to be practiced almost every day in order to keep up the skills. But there does need to be a balance because you don’t want to overdo it and you definitely don’t want to underdo it.
How Much A Gymnast Should Practice
Gymnastics should always be a fun sport, so if your gymnast is starting to not have fun anymore, it could be because of how much they are practicing.
Your gymnast should practice a certain amount of hours based off of the level that they are. If your gymnast is a compulsory gymnast (including pre-team, levels 2-5), then there are a certain amount of hours they should working out per week. Each level will need their own amount of workout times because it is based on their skill level and most of the time age.
If your gymnast is a level 2 then it is most likely their first time on a team and their first time competing. Usually, the kids on level 2 are of ages 5-6. Level 2 gymnast should only come about 4-5 hours per week. Now, that may not seem like enough practice, but it is a good start for these young kids. Girls in level 2 are just beginning to really learn what the sport of gymnastics is and level 2 is the start to the competitive lifestyle of a gymnast.
Level 3 gymnasts should come to the gym 3-4 days a week and should not practice more than 10 hours a week. Level 3 gymnasts have a little more experience than level 2 and they are starting to understand what it takes to improve and move up levels in the sport. Because of that, they will need a little more practice time than the levels 2s needed.
Level 4 gymnast should come to the gym about 4-5 days a week. The average amount of hours your gymnast should workout as a level 4 is about 15 hours. That is usually broken up to 3 hours a day during the week. Level 4 is a more serious stage in gymnastics. The commitment definitely rises once your gymnast becomes a level 4.
Level 5s should come the same amount of time as level 4s. This is because level 4 is almost like level 5. The routines are almost the same, the skills are just a bit harder. This is the level before optionals, therefore, it is very important to attend as many practices as possible.
Now, for the optional levels.
Level 6-7s should come to the gym about 18 hours a week. This is the beginning of the optional levels. It definitely requires more commitment because the intensity will rise. It becomes harder and your gymnast will have to commit more so they can keep up with their skills and keep progressing in their gymnastics.
Being a level 8, 9 or 10 requires a huge amount of commitment. If your gymnast has the dreams of being a college gymnast than they will need to get to level 10 (or elite, to be discussed later). Your gymnast will need to be in the gym about 20 hours a week in order to become a level 10 or remain one. Being a level 10 gymnast requires 100% commitment because it is dangerous for a gymnast to not practice their skills.
Being an elite gymnast is a different story. Elite gymnasts are the top of the top gymnasts. They are the ones who compete for their country and usually end up as college gymnasts. Elite gymnasts are homeschooled most of the time. So usually elite gymnast train in the morning, do school during the day then train again at night. Being an elite requires a full commitment in order to stay at the elite level.
Now there are certain signs that will show if the commitment is too much for your gymnast. If your gymnast is struggling in the gym and is complaining about being tired constantly, then it might be time to give them a break. Now, when I say break, I don’t mean to stop gymnastics. I simply mean to let your gymnast have a day off and just to let them relax some.
Overdoing it and practicing too much can lead to multiple problems. Your gymnast could get hurt, which is something no one ever wants. The body needs to rest sometimes in order to stay healthy. If your gymnast is wanting to quit because it is too much then they are burning out with the sport. In order for your gymnast to not give up on their sport, a small break may be needed.
If your gymnast is practicing less than what is suggested above then there might be a problem. Gymnasts need to practice in order to keep up their skills and to keep improving. Gymnasts need to stretch, condition and practice every day in order to move up to the next level. Too little practice could end up holding your gymnast back from the level they want to be.
If you think your gymnast is practicing too much or too little then it will be good to talk to their coach. The coaches will know what is best for the gymnast because coaches know how much a gymnast should practice. Also, don’t take the times I wrote as what is has to be. Every gym will be a little bit different. Just know that they need enough practice, but not too much.