Gymnastics may come across as a sport for children and teenagers but in Singapore, things are changing. In fact, adults are becoming increasingly interested in it. Parents are signing up for classes together with their children as a way of spending quality time together, while other grown ups are turning to gymnastics because it’s a more exciting workout than standing on a mat and posing.
“We have a keen group of newcomers who are looking for something fun, different and even a way to connect more with their children,” says Rosanna Trigg, founder of acrobatics centre, The Yard and gymnastics school, Gym With Me.
Trigg is a high performance gymnast, who has a bachelor’s degree in Sports Science and 22 years of gymnastics experience under her belt. “In gymnastics you get to bounce, swing, flip, jump into big foam pits and climb so it’s definitely more fun than running on a treadmill. It also has the benefits of yoga, running, weight lifting, Pilates and CrossFit. All the flipping and ‘flying’ through the air will give you the best adrenaline rush!” she says.
The Yard, which opened earlier this month in Jurong East, boasts an impressive Olympic standard setup that’s perfect for a host of sports including gymnastics, parkour, trampolining, tumbling and conditioning. We speak with Trigg to find out more about the benefits of gymnastics and why it works for anyone of any age.
Is gymnastics really suitable for everyone?
Rosanna Trigg Definitely! Anyone can do gymnastics regardless of their age, abilities or fitness level. The intensity and commitment to the sport varies across different levels. Absolute beginners are taught everything from scratch, with an emphasis on going through basic progressions to work their way up to a particular skill level. This is so we can teach different skills safely, and so that they feel comfortable easing into more challenging moves. Our adult classes have people attending from all walks of life — from those who have never done gymnastics to former gymnasts who want to see what they’re still capable of doing.
What should beginners take note of before signing up?
Trigg Let your coach know why you’re there and your goals, that way the coach can do everything to help you achieve them. Also, be sure to declare if you have any current or former injuries so that the classes can be modified for you. Any form of medical condition that could potentially affect learning should also be made known, such as breathing difficulties or asthma.
What are the benefits of gymnastics?
Trigg The physical and psychological benefits of gymnastics are aplenty. For example:
1. Every single muscle is used — even on the simpler steps like a handstand. It improves total body coordination, focus and flexibility.
2. If you also do other sports, gymnastics can help because it maintains overall body strength and fitness. It keeps you pretty darn fit. I credit gymnastics for my athletic figure. It also enables me to easily pick up other sports without much difficulties.
3. Gymnastics, even at a recreational level, comes with an element of discipline. From young children to adults, there is a fair amount of dedication involved in learning the skills. It’s not something that can be taught overnight, but it is something you can pick up with the right attitude. We have also seen gymnastics improve school performance, thanks to increased focus and the discipline learnt in the gym.
4. It gives you confidence. Learning and mastering a new skill from scratch gives you the feeling of achievement and the reward is the first time you complete that cartwheel or do a front flip and land on your feet.
How often should we practise it?
Trigg Our adult classes are customised depending on each student’s ability. A good duration would be between 1.5 and two hours with our trainers, and short breaks throughout each session to allow yourself to hydrate and recover. Once to twice a week is good enough to keep the momentum of what you’re learning.