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Health Bites: Timing Is Everything

Who here has ever eaten a meal or a snack in the car while rushing to or from practice? Who has ever wondered “Should I have a snack now and risk feeling uncomfortably full or just be hungry for the next 4 hours?” Who here has ever made the decision to try a new food and then regretted it halfway through a workout? If we got a group of gymnasts together, I bet every hand in the room would go up.   With busy schedules centered on long workouts, it’s inevitable that questions and concerns come up regarding meal timing. But...

Top Ten Gymnasts with Tattoos

10. Bridget Sloan's Olympic tattoo with Beijing written in chinese. Many of us might not know that she has this hidden, discreet tattoo on her lower right side of her back. 9. Marcel Nguyen from Germany decided to out do everyone and go all out with tattoos... 8. Italy's Vanessa Ferrari went with a pretty ankle piece. 7. Marta Pihan-Kulesza of Poland shows some creativity around her Olympics tattoo. 6. Alicia Sacramone can pull off anything, anywhere, big or small. 5. Eleftherios Kosmidis from Greece has his forearms tattooed with his Wor...

Health Bites: Body Image and Disordered Eating

By Karen Psiaki, RDN IOC Certified in Sports Nutrition My name is Karen, and I’m a Registered Dietitian as well as a former gymnast. Over the next several weeks, I will be writing about health and nutrition topics for gymnasts, ranging from body image and weight management to hydration, meal timing, and specific nutrient needs. If you have a nutrition question or topic you’d like me to cover, write it in the comment section below or send Gymnastike an email! -------------   There’s a logical place to start the discussion...

Smells Like Men's Team Spirit

Smells Like Men's Team Spirit

Karen Psiaki

September 6, 2014, 4:52am

As a former female gymnast, I absolutely love watching elite women’s gymnastics whenever I can. I’m enthralled by the newest skills and combinations being performed, the excitement in the arena , and (I’m not ashamed to admit) the gorgeous leotards. It’s my favorite hobby, hands down! But if I’m being honest, I almost prefer watching the men compete more than the women. I may not know all of the skill names or understand every detail of the scoring like I do on the female side, and the leotards certainly aren&rsqu...

Floor Choreography For The College Recruit

I have a lot of club gymnasts and parents ask me what they should consider when putting their floor routines together to be recruited. Below are a few of the items I try to emphasize:   Music: Be sure it fits your personality. You should LOVE your music!  Unique music is hard to find, but always a plus! If you use slow music, be sure you have the dance background to enhance this.  You don’t want to get lost in the crowd. Often strong beats or unique catchy music attracts the coaches. Performance: College is much different t...

Top Floor Performances - 2014 P&G Championships

It is always such a pleasure to watch a floor routine that displays a combination of not only difficult, well-executed tumbling, but also attention to detail with regards choreography. All too often, in my opinion, gymnasts and coaches are so preoccupied with packing in the difficulty, that dance becomes a random arm movement here and there, simply to fulfil the requirement. At the recent P&G Championships, particularly on Day 2, there were six floor routines that caught my eye for their performance quality.   1: Macy Toronjo - Texas Drea...

Are Gymnasts The World's Youngest Retirees?

Anyone who is involved in the gymnastics world as an athlete, coach, or fan is well aware of the sad but unavoidable fact that gymnastics is NOT a lifetime sport. As beautiful and entrancing as it looks when performed well, gymnastics is no easy feat for the muscles, joints, and bones being abused on a daily basis… not to mention the mental tolls of day-in, day-out training! It’s just not sustainable.   As a result, there comes a time in every gymnast’s life when he or she has to make the difficult decision to hang up t...

10 Signs You Are an Ex- Gymnast

  1. You still have all of your leotards. And a couple pairs of grips too.   2. You can still throw a back handspring when you want to.   3. You call the girls who are on the team now "my teammates," even if you were never actually on the team at the same time. 4. When someone talks about going to the “gym” you still think of a gymnastics gym. 5. You get way too excited when you see gymnastics on TV because it hardly ever happens. 6. When people talk about all the things they did in high school you just think of the ...

THE FLIP SIDE OF RECRUITING

THE FLIP SIDE OF RECRUITING

Jill Hicks

August 20, 2014, 10:28pm

When you think of recruiting, you often think of the athlete, but what is it like for the college coach? They are also going through the recruiting process, just in a little different way. Year after year there is another new batch of gymnasts to scout and recruit to each college team. The “recruiting game” as it is sometimes called can be exciting and exhausting for the college coach too. The college coach spends many hours viewing videos, responding to emails and narrowing down which gymnasts to pursue. Once this has been done the...

Gymnast Turned Crossfitter

Gymnast Turned Crossfitter

Jessica Macay

August 20, 2014, 4:20pm

Photo Source: Michael P. Murphy Maureen Grady is one of the many gymnasts who felt the athletic itch after quitting.  As a level 10 gymnast, she trained with great success at Richmond Olympiad. Rating 23rd nationally by USA Gymnastics, Maureen moved on to train with the Ohio State team. Unfortunately, getting sick her Freshman year lead to her retirement.  But as many ex-gymnasts know, it’s not easy to stop something that has been part of your life for so many years.  Maureen desired a new sport that would challe...

User Blogs
1-10 of 342 result(s)

World Championships: Can the USA retain their dominance in 2014?

Despite the fact that the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp fell just after an Olympic year, when many of the top athletes were taking much needed breaks from the sport to enjoy the celebrity spotlight, the USA team came away with the most medals it has ever won from a World Championship competition – eight medals in total, with a medal won on each event, including the All-Around gold. The year was somewhat unique, in that two of the 2012 Olympians (Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney) were back in training and competed for the USA Worlds te...

Reflecting on Past National Championships: Part 5 - 2013

Here is the final part in my series on reflecting on past National Championships. Read about 2013 below! With 2013 being a post-Olympic year, there were a lot of new faces on the floor and only a few returning veterans. Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney had decided to continue their training and were in attendance - Ross was competing All-Around still, while Maroney performed on vault and floor. Ross and Maroney had put together new floor routines, both of which received relatively high scores, particularly Maroney who received a 15.25 on Day 2. M...

Reflecting on Past National Championships: Part 4 - 2012

Here is Part 4 of my five-part series on reflecting on past National Championships - below I discuss the 2012 Nationals. 2012 was an Olympic year, and so the US National Championships were crucial for all the gymnasts involved. After two days of competition, the top eight athletes would automatically move on to the Olympic Trials. Anyone outside of the top eight (such as several event specialists) would need to rely on an invite from Martha Karolyi to move on to Trials as well. Several gymnasts from the 2008 Olympic team were back competing at...

Reflecting on Past National Championships: Part 3 - 2011

Continuing my five-part series on highlights from past US National Championships, see Part 3 below on the 2011 National Championships. The 2011 Visa National Championships was one of the most fascinating, albeit a bit scary, competitions in USA Gymnastics history. There were multiple Olympic comebacks taking place which had started at Classics - Alicia Sacramone continued her comeback from the previous year, adding in floor as well. Chellsie Memmel also came back, and, apart from her fall on bars on day 2 due to injury, was actually one of the...

Reflecting on Past National Championships: Part 2 - 2010

As part of my five-part series on reflecting on past National Championships, here is part two on 2010! In 2010, the reigning champion, Bridget Sloan, had recently suffered a pectoral injury, preventing her from competing on all events except beam at Nationals. This left the stage wide open for Rebecca Bross, who had had a very successful year already, winning All-Around at the American Cup, as well as every other event with the exception of vault. She also won the senior All-Around competition at the Pacific Rim Championships in Australia. Bro...

Reflecting on Past National Championships: Part 1 - 2009

The US Senior Nationals is one of the most important competitions of the year for elite gymnasts. By this time, elites have perfected their routines enough to be at the start of their peak for the season. The goal: To impress Martha Karolyi sufficiently enough to be invited to subsequent National Team camps at the Texas ranch as a first step to making the World Championship team. In Olympic years, it is most exciting, as it’s the final competition before Olympic Trials, where only a select number of gymnasts qualify and are invited to co...

Rutgers Club Gymnastics

Rutgers Club Gymnastics

Jessica Macay

July 9, 2014, 7:22pm

The National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs (NAIGC) seems to be the unsung hero of college gymnastics.   According to the mission statement on naigc.net, the purpose of the program is to build a community that encompasses “sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork, and fun.”  NAIGC is the ideal way to continue gymnastics without the collegiate level obligation. Pictured: 2013 Rutgers club gymnasts Photo by: Caity Britcher The club team at Rutgers University shares the values of NAIGC in their mission statem...

The Quit Factor

The Quit Factor

Jessica Macay

July 5, 2014, 7:49pm

Gymnastics is one of the toughest sports in the world.   Countless hours in the gym, sacrificing a social life, pushing your body to exhaustion, and for what?  To learn that sometimes even if you try your best, it still may not be good enough?  Gymnasts are taught to push themselves almost to their breaking point in order to attain the unattainable: perfection.  But what happens when a gymnast actually reaches his or her breaking point?  How do you know if it’s really time to throw in the towel? Every gymnas...

Collegiate Gymnastics Magnifies the Role of Teamwork

It is every young gymnasts dream to compete at the Olympic games.  Unluckily, the committee is only able to select six gymnasts to represent the United States.  The rest of the talented gymnasts will pursue a new goal.  Aspiring them to look into collegiate gymnastics.   USA Gymnastics is a program based on individual feats.  Gymnasts work their way up, level by level with a desire to win.  Constantly competing against their teammates in hopes of qualifying to a larger competition.  Your teammates are there f...

Liz McNabb's Elite Career and Friendship with Samantha Peszek

Whether fans realize it or not, there is a plethora of collegiate gymnasts who once competed as elites. Sure, gymnastics fanatics recognize gymnasts like Bridget Sloan from elite days due to the Olympics, but there are others who had a shorter and lesser known elite career. One of those gymnasts is Illinois senior Liz McNabb. McNabb was introduced to the sport through her brother who was taking classes to increase his upper body strength. After taking a few classes, she continued to ask her mom if she could go back again and again. Her first c...

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