Gymnastics for adults: The workout you're missing out on

Gymnastics for adults: The workout you're missing out on

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Text: Janice Sim

You don't have to be a medalist or a five-year-old to participate

When we think of gymnastics, we imagine taut, toned athletes soaring in the air, executing perfect 10 flips or contouring their bodies with utmost grace and poise. All of the above scenarios we can't picture our clumsy dispositions in.

It's an activity we rule out even before we try it. But then again, it's perfectly fine if a five-year-old takes a swing at the bar. A sport that only the pros or the little children can qualify for, so it seems.

Here to break this baffling stigma is The Yard, Singapore's largest gymnastics arena. Apart from catering classes for kids, the space also offers a range of adult gym classes, with both recreational and competitive programs available. With its second outlet recently unveiled in Dempsey, we recently caught up with founder, Rosanna Trigg (an internationally qualified competitive gymnast and coach), to find out why gymnastics should be on our fitness radar.

Gymnastics for adults

Why did you decide to set up The Yard in Singapore?
The sport was my first love, and it's something I've enjoyed sharing with my husband and my young boys as they grow up. Gymnastics is a relatively young sport in Singapore, and even though its popularity has risen thanks to the profiles of some big international gymnasts, it is still perceived as an elitist and rigid sport. I wanted to change that thinking by creating an environment to make it accessible for people of all ages and abilities to take part in the sport; be it for recreation or competition, and create pathways for them to work up skill levels.

Tell us what we can expect in the adult gymnastics classes?
Fun! The adult gymnastics classes have people of all types of abilities — from people who have never done gymnastics before, to former gymnasts who are keen to pick it up again. The intensity and commitment to the adult classes depends on the level the participants begin at, and we are open to anyone willing to give it a try.

For beginners with no experience with the sport, we focus on teaching basic form and posture, and help them work their way up skill levels. We want to make sure people stay safe so that they feel comfortable and confident progressing into more challenging moves. We've had people come in who have never done so much as a forward roll, and left after a two-hour session having successfully completed a front tuck (forward flip). It's amazing what people can achieve with the right support and guidance.

Gymnastics for adults

What can we benefit from gymnastics?
A brilliant athlete foundation: building strength, coordination, balance and flexibility — skills that are transferable to any athletic activity. It is a very efficient workout that combines many muscle groups in one exercise. Great for keeping in shape and maintaining overall body strength and fitness. Just take a look at gymnasts — they are strong, flexible and incredibly healthy.

For the average person working a desk job, gymnastics can help you build essential core muscles that are neglected through a sedentary lifestyle. The strengthening and weight-bearing component of gymnastics is brilliant for building bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. The focus on core strengthening also helps reduce common back problems and other aches and pains that we all experience.

Gymnastics for adults

How often would you recommend classes?
If you have never tried gymnastics before, I would suggest coming along for a trial. Our coaches can help you with whatever you want to learn and suggest a training schedule for you to follow. From a health and fitness perspective, you will begin to see real results in your overall strength and athletic ability after about four to six weeks of attending a minimum of two classes per week.

What are the things that first-timers should look out for?
Class environment and safety. As beginners, it's important to communicate with your coach on your goals and why you have decided to pick up the sport. Smaller class sizes are also ideal as participants will have more one-on-one focused time with the coach. Also, always declare any current or former injuries and medical conditions so the coaches are aware and can modify certain moves for you. 

To get started at The Yard, click here.
72 Loewen Rd, #01-07, Tel: 6914 9660