30 August 2023

TikTok has gone wild for adult gymnastics – here’s what you should know

30 August 2023

Have you always wanted to be able to do the splits or a backflip?

Maybe you’ve watched your kids do a gymnastics class and thought, ‘Wow, that looks so fun’.

Adult gymnastics is gaining some serious popularity online, with the TikTok hashtag #adultgymnastics getting over 209.5 million views.

Influencers such as Anna Archer – who has over 300,000 followers on Instagram and creates content surrounding lots of different fitness experiments – and stunt woman Corinne Nicewick have shared clips of their experiences of trying out gymnastics as an adult.

Nicewick, despite being a talented stuntwoman, has shared clips of how challenging she has found the sport, with viewers finding her attempts both funny and encouraging.

Gymnastics has put some famous faces in good stead for other fitness-related challenges, with gymnast Beth Tweddle winning the 2103 series of Dancing on Ice and Ellie Downie, GB gymnast taking on the gruelling SAS: Who Dares Wins reality show in 2023.So, what do you need to know before you get involved?

 How does adult gymnastics work? Can anyone do it?

Classes have been steadily cropping up across the UK encouraging adults of all abilities to get involved in gymnastics, and unless you have a health problem or injury that may restrict you from doing so, anyone can get involved.

It is not so dissimilar to exercises you may already do like plyometrics (explosive body weight resistance exercises like box jumps), CrossFit or yoga.

“Gymnastics is a series of different exercises that test your strength, mobility, flexibility and agility,” says Sofia Zolobova, instructor and gymnastics expert at Gymbox.

“It’s also a lot of fun, incorporating lots of different floor, beam and hoop exercises,” she explains.

This element of variety can bring a more fun, playful element to your workout routine.

What are the health and wellbeing benefits of adult gymnastics?

Gymnastics will give your body a really different workout and improve your strength, mobility and balance.

“Strength and mobility are both very important as we grow older,” says Zolobova.

“Gymnastics uses your own body weight, so not only do you get stronger, you move better. For example, to be able to execute a hand stand you need great shoulder mobility,” she explains.

“With our modern tight shoulders, gymnastics can be helpful in improving our posture.”

How do you get past being scared?

As a kid, doing a cartwheel and taking a tumble doesn’t seem so threatening, but as adults we are all a bit more scared of getting hurt.

Instead of falling into the trap of fear, embrace the playfulness of it.

Zolobova says: “It’s a really fun way to exercise. It includes handstands, cartwheels and frog jumps, letting you unleash your inner child. It empowers you to do cool tricks as an adult and work up to a certain goal. It’s also a great fear fighter – sometimes you just have to let go and trust yourself.”

What should we be careful of in adult gymnastics?

Your fitness and flexibility may not progress as quickly as they might have done as a child.

“Children are naturally more flexible than adults, so when undertaking gymnastics for the first time keep this in mind. Take things slow and one step at a time – you can always build up strength and flexibility with consistent practice,” explains Zolobova.

How do we protect our backs and joints?

Putting your back out or hurting your joints is a very real fear as an adult.

Zolobova says: “Stretching should never be skimped on and should be thorough and dynamic [involving movement]. It’s also very important to make sure the body is warmed up before undertaking any gymnastic moves, a light jog and jumping jacks are great ways to get the muscles warm fast.”

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