Gymnastics and Strength Training. Combine them in your workout plan like Lucka Mikušová
The combination of gymnastics and strength training might sound unusual at first glance. But what if we told you that this combination could be the key to achieving your fitness goals? Overcome myths such as gymnastics not being suitable for fitness enthusiasts and discover the true value of balancing flexibility and strength.
Differences Between Gymnastics and Strength Training
Gymnastics is the art of movement where the beauty and flexibility of the body merge with technical skill. It's about controlling your body in the air and performing elegant movements. Gymnastics can improve your flexibility and simultaneously strengthen your core. Gymnastics training can focus on mobility, strength, endurance, and skill.
Strength training, on the other hand, is a form of resistance exercise that aims to build muscle mass and develop strength and endurance. It uses various equipment for exercises such as lifting heavy weights, pulling, and pushing to increase physical strength. During strength training, fast-twitch muscle fibers are engaged, intensifying the workout and promoting muscle growth. Furthermore, in the long term, it contributes to overall improved metabolism and physical performance.
Two Different Approaches, But One Common Goal
That goal is achieving a healthy and strong body. Despite their differences, these two disciplines can work hand in hand for maximum benefit. Gymnastics, which enhances flexibility and agility, can help improve the range of motion in strength training, allowing you to perform lifting and pulling exercises more effectively. Conversely, strength training provides stability and muscle strength, which can enhance technique and grace in your gymnastic movements. The synergy of these two approaches could be the key to success in your workout plan.
Our ambassador, Lucia Mikušová, also leverages the synergy of gymnastics and strength training for her achievements. She started with gymnastics at the age of 8, and this sport quickly captured her heart. In an interview with Lucka, you'll learn how she transitioned from the gymnastics to the regular gym and how this combination in her training plan helps her reach her set goals.
What led you from gymnastics to the gym?
While I enjoyed gymnastics, my main goal was always to compete in world-level competitions like the World Championships or the European Championships. However, gymnastics in Slovakia doesn't have the same level of support as in other countries. Reaching competitions at that level was nearly impossible. I did competitive gymnastics for 2 years. However, some of my gymnastics friends also went to fitness classes. It seemed attractive to me because I saw the possibility of reaching international competitions by working hard. I did both gymnastics and fitness for a while since I loved both sports. I had 8 training sessions per week, which was difficult to manage alongside school. My gymnastics coach told me that I couldn't sit on two chairs at once and I should choose one sport to fully commit to. At that moment, I made my decision and chose fitness. Starting from 2015, I began competing in the acrobatic fitness category, which consists of 2 disciplines - posing and gymnastic routine.
Lucia Mikušová's favorite outfit. Work hard and dress smart, just like her!
So, you utilized the years of gymnastics training for your fitness competitions. How does gymnastics help you in the gym today? Could you mention some examples of how these disciplines complement and reinforce each other?
It helps me greatly. Personally, I believe gymnastics should be the foundation of every sport, even hockey and soccer. Thanks to gymnastics, I have a strong core, and fortunately, I've never had back pain or any health issues related to that area. A strong core in the gym is very important. Additionally, the flexibility I gained from gymnastics always allows me to have a full range of motion in the gym. So, I can fully utilize my potential.
How does gymnastics contribute to your fitness and muscle strength? I'm referring to the myth that gymnastics isn't suitable for fitness enthusiasts. How do you perceive this?
Gymnastics is a true challenge for fitness as it involves a lot of bodyweight exercises, which are often more demanding than exercises with any kind of weight.
How does the training for gymnastics differ from training in the gym? What elements from gymnastics can you utilize in the gym to enhance your performance?
They differ in terms of duration alone. My gymnastics training takes much longer than a gym workout. A gymnastics training session usually lasts around 120 minutes, while a gym workout is about 60 to 80 minutes. In gymnastics, I always start with warm-up and thorough stretching. Then, I move on to acrobatic elements like flips and tumbles. After that comes the strength portion - handstands, press handstands, and holds. Next is strength training, mostly to improve the core. I finish with stretching again. There's an endless variety of strengthening exercises that can be beneficial for achieving fitness goals.
Integrating gymnastics and strength training into your workout plan can offer the best of both worlds. A strong core is the foundation of every sport. Consider your goals and preferences, and create a personalized approach that incorporates elements from both disciplines to achieve exceptional results.