Gymnastics is a very competitive sport that involves a lot of dedication and commitment. Typically if your child is on a gymnastics team then you would know that there is no time for anything else!
Gymnasts train and work hard anywhere from four to six days a week. Gymnasts practice this much because it helps them prepare for meets and gives them the confidence to get skills down pat so they are comfortable while competing.
As we all know, gymnastics is a sport that uses all of the muscles in your body including your brain! Gymnastics does not specifically work the body, but it works the mind as well. Gymnastics can also be a risk of injury. I say this because gymnasts fall, land on the mat wrong, twist an ankle, etc.
Sometimes gymnastics can be too much for your child (or yourself) and that is okay! Maybe your child needs a break from working all of his/her muscles or maybe your child just wants to try different things.
Regardless of the situation, I hope you find this article helpful when it comes to a handful of alternatives to gymnastics.
Cheerleading is a great alternative for your gymnast if he/she wants to be involved with either his/her school. Cheerleading, like gymnastics, involves a lot of tumbling, therefore, your gymnast will be able to continue using his/her tumbling skills.
Cheerleading competitions are pretty fast pace and you compete as a team whereas gymnastics is more individual. The tumbling in cheerleading is not as intense as the tumbling in gymnastics, but it is one of the closest sports to gymnastics that consist of it so you or your gymnast will not have to worry about “losing” the tumbling skills.
Figure skating is another sport that involves a lot of elegance, spins, twists, turns, and more crazy skills. Your gymnast already knows how to use his/her strength within his/her upper body and lower body, so it is the fact of learning how to actually ice skate.
Gymnasts have incredible balance so it should not take long before your gymnast gets the hang of it. Figure skating competitions involve either an individual or a couple so your gymnast will be used to the attention being only on him/her and him/her owning the floor.
Another thing to add is that figure skaters have beautiful “leos” as well just like gymnasts do for their meets!
Gymnasts learn how to leap, jump, and run, and I mean run FAST. Track or cross country would be a perfect alternative for those who are fast and can do a high leap or jump.
Your child’s school most likely has a track or cross country team, so this would be a great opportunity for your child to be involved with school friends as well as a school activity. The crowd will be amazed that your child will be the highest leaper at the track meets!
To be honest, I know a lot of gymnasts that are dancers! Dancing seems to be the thing gymnasts do after they leave gymnasts.
Dance is a sport that will definitely improve your flexibility and work all of your muscles as well. Dance is more “flowy”, meaning that you do not have to keep your body stiff while participating in it. During dance competitions, dancers tumble, dancers twist, they turn, they jump, they do splits, they do A LOT.
Of course, dancers will not be performing on bars, but dancers will be able to rock it on the floor. A lot of the skills that gymnasts learn will definitely be used in dance one way or another.
Have you ever watched the Olympics and see the divers? They are incredible! It is so awesome to see the divers twist, flip, spin and fly! It takes years of practice to be able to train your body on how to do those things, and gymnasts are perfect for that!
Gymnasts spend many hours, days, weeks, and years to get to where they need to be. Diving is definitely not as hardcore as gymnastics is, but it will include tumbling and flexibility skills. If your gymnast is not afraid of heights and/or water than this would be perfect for them!
Swimming is great too because it calls for speed and strength. Swimming is a great sport to build up your muscles because you need the strength to power through the laps; because your child will be in water, he/she is going to have to work twice as hard to win a race and having the strength from gymnastics will definitely benefit him/her.
This too is an opportunity to be involved with the community or your child’s school. Many schools have swim teams, and if your child’s school does not then you can always rely on your district.
Karate, kickboxing, boxing, you name it! Martial arts is great for the body and the mind just like gymnastics is.
Martial arts calls for muscles and training of the mind…exactly what gymnastics does! Those who are involved with martial arts build a lot of strength, confidence, fast reflexes, and flexibility. Your gymnasts are ninjas! They are capable of doing incredible things that blow your mind.
Martial arts will help your child keep up with his/her skills while also learning how to defend himself/herself, which is a plus!
Gymnasts are used to twisting their bodies and using their lower body muscles. Snowboarding and skiing are mostly done by using your legs, core, and hips.
Have you ever gone snowboarding or skiing and not be able to walk the next day? I sure as heck have, but the gymnast that I support was perfectly fine! That is because she is used to the tension on her body, therefore, she was not feeling the muscle pains in her legs or butt.
Snowboarding and skiing also have to be done with balance. It is very easy to fall if you can not catch your balance, but gymnasts are professionals when it comes to balance so this would be a fun activity for he/she to try if he/she is good at having control.
Please feel free to comment below to give any advice, feedback, or suggestions that we may have missed when it comes to finding alternatives to gymnastics!
My 11 yr daughter is a level 3 gymnast and about to start her first competition season. She loves gymnastics but I am finding out it is incredibly expensive! When she made preterm I asked the coach for a rundown of the expenses. I was told approx. $2,000 a year bit based on all the costs that are coming in including travel expenses it’s going to be close to or more than $5,000 a year. They keep adding in surprises like emailing us and saying hey need a special team workout leotard to wear to boost their spirit and very expensive warm-up clothes. They did mention that we could break up meet payments but then add interest if we do. Basically we have to pay the meet costs, coaches fees, and uniform cost all at once. I explained to them this would be a hardship and couldn’t we break up the costs and they just said ‘ sorry we know it’s a lot but that’s what it costs. Maybe you should think about if this maybe isn’t for you free the season is over’. My daughter would be heartbroken if she’s can’t do gymnastics but honestly, we can’t afford it. We’re not well to do like the other families. What re the alternatives for her to continue in gymnastics for enjoyment at least?
Can the former gymnasts tryout the ball sports like volleyball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, or softball? They are the best alternatives to gymnastics, besides cheerleading and swimming.
Also, will the martial arts help teach former gymnasts how to defend them selves from bullies and sexual abusers? Martial arts is not only a sport, but a source of self-defense.
Are there any other sports the former gymnasts can sign up for, besides cheerleading, swimming, and martial arts? Like basketball, softball, lacrosse, field hockey, or soccer?
Hi Gianna, this is a difficult dilemma, but as a 13 year old gymnast who only started 2 years ago, then I think that if there is any way at all to keep your daughter in gymnastics, then you should. This is because as I found my passion for gymnastics so late, I have missed out on the chance to go to the Olympics or big meets and competitions, and I am heartbroken. If you take her out of gymnastics this might also cause a rift between you both if your daughter really and truly loved gymnastics.
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I had a similar issue. I only did gymnastics for one year as a level 4. We lived in a small town and it wasn’t available. I tried several other sports. In high school I settled on track and cheerleading.( I hated the cheers and dances but loved tumbling and stunts) I also loved triple jump and got to state my senior year! When I started collage I moved to a larger town and called a gym to see if I could take a class. The owner told me his insurance did not cover over 18 however, he was in desperate need of coaches. He said he would teach me to coach and after my classes I could workout. It was a perfect collage job and I absolutely loved it. I would say if you can give her a year do it, you never know it may become a job in the future.