Upper-body gymnastics workout

man doing gymnastics workout
(Image credit: Unknown)

This workout has been put together by top personal trainer Dan Baldwin from the Six3Nine gym in Covent Garden. Focusing on upper-body strength and only requiring a gym mat, this workout can easily be done at home.

Tips and advice

Dish to arch Don't forget to roll to both sides.
Back support leg touch Push your hips as high as possible and try to keep them as still as you can.
Front support to back support Keep your hips as high as possible at all times.
Superman press-ups Explode out of the press-up position as powerfully as possible to allow time for arm movement.
Front support drag The aim here is to keep your hips parallel to the floor.
L-sit Start sitting with legs straight, brace your core, lift your heels off the floor and push through your hands.
Tuck planche Kneel on the floor wiht your hands either side of your knees, lean forward so as to create a pivot point where your hands meet the floor. Brace your abs and lift your hips towards the ceiling.

The physical benefits 

Gymnastics is often overlooked as a legitimate form of upper-body workout. Not only because of its effeminate affiliations but also due to it being pretty damn hard to find a gym that harbours all the necessary equipment to allow you to give it a crack.

The physical benefits of gymnastics as an upper-body workout cannot be under-estimated however, offering a dynamic and challenging routine that’ll blast your whole upper-body in one go. here are some of the main fitness benefits:

Improve your coordination: As with any sport, coordination is integral and practicing gymnastics is one of the fastest ways to improve it. Constantly challenging your core and leg muscles throughout most exercises you’ll find that your balancing skills will be constantly tested, helping you to better co-ordinate your movements. Gymnasts do well with both dynamic and static balancing and learn to fall in the most efficient way to avoid injury.

Gain strength and explosive power: As an upper-body workout gymnastics is rather comprehensive. Engaging all of the main arm, back, shoulder and chest muscles in most of the dynamic movements. Having to hold your own body weight frequently throughout most of the training will result in a stronger core and a more even workout for your whole upper-body.

Better flexibility: Throughout gymnastic training your flexibility will be one of the main aspects that you improve on. Most moves that you’ll attempt during your training will involve some degree of flexibility, an attribute that helps enormously in all aspects of muscle-building and fitness while also helping to guard against muscle-related injuries.

Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.