Gymnasts are some of the strongest, pound for pound, of Olympic Athletes. They show their strength by moving their own bodies through many positions, and their strength is high compared to their own body weight. Gaining and keeping strength is one of the best benefits to participating in gymnastics.
Gymnasts generally gain more upper body strength than those participating in other sports.
Gymnasts learn how to fall without injuring themselves early in training. Learning how to use the mats and spread out their falls over a greater area and time, gymnasts are able to fall more without injury. While injury is always a risk, using the mats and learning how to right themselves in the air (like a cat), falls are more predictable and easier to be done correctly.
Gymnastics provides a great opportunity to form friendships outside of school. Working closely together with their peers helps friendships form naturally, as well as strengthening those friendships through team competitions. Gymnasts learn to encourage one another, cheer each other on and support each other through their training and beyond.
The ability to balance is a great skill and is even the focus of two whole events- the balance beam for women and the pommel horse for men. Gymnasts learn to not only balance on their feet (or a foot) but also their hands. Handstands are one of the basic skills of gymnastics and is a skill built throughout training.
Gymnastics requires its athletes to be more flexible than most other sports and is one of the most defining characteristics of gymnasts. Being flexible can help reduce injuries, and care in training can help athletes increase flexibility without injury.
Gymnasts tend to do very well in school. The dedication used for learning gymnastics often spills over into their academic life. Scholarships can be won with gymnastic training and good grades. It's a great way to reduce costs for going to college.