When Should a Child Start Serious Gymnastics Training (How to Get Started in Gymnastics)

When it comes to the question of when should a child start gymnastics? It all depends on several factors. For instance, the American Academy Pediatrics recommends that serious gymnastics training for kids can start between ages 2 and 5, as long as the gymnastic classes are directed towards their maturity as well as motor skills level. The Academy also recommend that kids with special needs can wait until their 6th to 9th birthday to start gymnastics.

when should a child start gymnastics

When it comes to the question of what age can kids start gymnastics training for kids? Experts suggest that, the focus of a gymnastic class should be on body awareness, which means, a kid can start gymnastics training once they are aware of their own body’s capabilities to handle different training styles. This also means, the kids must show some love and enthusiasm for gymnastics in order to be sure of the child’s readiness for gymnastics training.

Recommendations from Gymnastics associations

On the question of when should a child start gymnastics? Most Gymnastic associations across the world including the USA Gymnastics Which is part of the US Olympic Gymnastic association recommend that parents must enroll their children in certified gyms and under certified teachers, only.

The US Gymnastics association further recommends that children who are under 3 years of age must take up gymnastics classes with their parents or caregiver, and gymnastic classes must include activities that are appropriate for the psychological development of the child’s age group. The Gymnastic associations encourage parents to start Gymnastic classes in their pre-school seasons.

Are there risks in a child training for gymnastics?

When it comes to the question of how to get started in gymnastics, parents need to understand that kids that start serious gymnastic training earlier will likely outgrow risks and injuries quicker than kids who start gymnastic training late. This means, older kids who start serious gymnastic training late may likely get injured more often than kids who pass through the basics are early developmental phases.

The risks of being burn out during the pre-teen years are higher for late starters (kids who start training for gymnastics at the age of 11 or older will likely get burn out quickly than those who start training at age 9 or younger). Serious gymnastics training may pose some health issues at a tender age, this is why boy awareness education is an important class before rigorous gymnastic training commences.

Gender may also constitute an issue when it comes to serious gymnastic training. Girls that train very hard shortly before their puberty often develop issues with menstruation, however, girls who develop passion for gymnastics at earlier ages, do have lesser risks of developing menstruation problems.

How old is a good age to start gymnastics? It all depends on short or long term gymnastic goals

When should a child start gymnastics? A factor that should determine the age at which a child should be enrolled into a gymnastic training class or program, is whether the child will consider gymnastics as a short term or temporary activity or long term career goal. Parents are often advised to weigh the risks of life-long injuries, especially if the child has a true passion for gymnastics. Children younger than 10 may not be able to ascertain whether they want to choose gymnastics as a long term or short term career, however, they should be able to make this choice during their pre-teen years.

As a parent, you should know that gymnastics as a career is ideal for a child who is less susceptible to injuries, and who seems to recover from burnout quickly. A child must be physically and psychologically ready for structured gymnastics training. On the average girls are usually more psychologically and physically prepared for gymnastics than boys of the same age, but this does not mean your son wouldn’t be ready for gymnastics at a tender age.

Learning early gymnastic skills matter

You must not consider serious gymnastics training for kids until the child has passed through the phases of learning different gymnastic terminologies, different body positions, and various safety techniques that can reduce short and long term risks of injuries. Basic gymnastic body positions that must be learnt include; Straddle, Tucks and Rolling skills.

Children must be taught the importance of paying attention to all instructions, and must be capable of following directions. Once they pass through the first phase, the kids can then be encouraged to take up classes that teaches them how to maintain upright balancing skills, most especially jumping, walking and hopping on the gymnastic balance beam. After that, they can focus on learning coordination, balance and strength building skills. They will learn skills on - gymnastic bars, ropes, in ground trampoline, floor, foam tumbling pit, rock wall and more.


If you are still finding it difficult to answer the question of when should a child start gymnastics? You should consider your child’s interest in the sport. If you notice your toddler trying to do some forward rolls in your backyard or living room, then he or she might be ready to take up gymnastic classes before they attain the age of 4, a child that does not take interest in rolling sideways may not be ready to take up gymnastic lessons several years later.

As a parent, you may want to consider some free trial classes so that you can be sure that your child is old enough to take up gymnastic training classes. Watching out for the signs of early interest in gymnastics, is the most important thing to determine the readiness of your child to take up gymnastic classes. A pre-trial class can help develop your child’s confidence in what they have been doing already, and if the child succeeds in a pre-trial class, there are high probabilities that the child will become successful in more difficult gymnastic trainings. Pre-trial classes can also help trainers determine how well your child can handle burnouts and injuries.

There is no certain age at which a child can begin gymnastic training, it all depends on the interest of the child, however, starting gymnastic training very early does not guarantee a long term interest in gymnastics, there are kids who started gymnastic training in pre-teen years and still went on to become successful world-class gymnasts today.

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