Build the all-around strength and conditioning of an Olympic athlete.
MEN'S FITNESS Editors 1 / 7
The Gymnast Workout
Gymnasts are some of the fittest athetes in the world, if not the fittest. They're a triple threat of total body strength, muscular endurance, and agility. Here are six moves to build your body like an athletic god.
MOVE 1: Deadlift
The deadlift is a multijoint, compound exercise that trains virtually every muscle in the body. Complete 3-5 sets for 8-12 repetitions. For the last set of the exercise hold each rep at the top for 2-3 seconds to improve grip strength.
MOVE 2: Seated Cable Row
The seated row can serve double duty for a gymnast in training. Executing the exercise with lighter weight, more repetitions, and at a quicker speed will improve muscular endurance similar to the workload of an actual rowing/crew athlete. Performing the exercise with heavier weight and lower repetitions serves to benefit power and strength in the legs, lower back, shoulders, and arms.For this particular workout, complete 6 total sets. Do the first 3 sets with heavy weight for 6-8 repetitions and 1 minute's rest in between. On the last 3 sets, complete the exercise with light weight for as many reps as possible.
MOVE 3: Barbell Squat
The barbell squat is an essential to any athlete, especially high-performance athletes such as gymnasts. Complete 6 sets of squats. Do the first 3 sets with higher weight and lower reps (8 reps) and two minutes' rest in between. On the last 3 sets use lower weight and high reps (15-25+) to build up endurance. Rest as little as possible.
MOVE 4: Barbell Hang Clean
The barbell hang clean is a dead giveaway for increasing explosive power and strength. Gymnasts are required to react and move in and out of positions quickly. Complete the hang clean for 3-5 sets of 6-8 repetitions.
MOVE 5: Burpees
Burpees are the ultimate cardiovascular conditioner. Gymnasts are required to have high levels of stamina and muscular endurance, and burpees will build up the muscle fibers to fit the task. Complete 3-5 sets of burpees at 30-second intervals.
MOVE 6: Back Extension
A stronger lower back is critical for any athlete, and the back extension will focus specifically on the area. Complete 3-5 sets for 12-15 repetitions.