You Can Do This: Gymnastics
You read that right – take it from world champ, Bianca Zoonekynd
When people think about gymnastics, they picture someone, like gold medallist Bianca Zoonekynd, suspended in mid-air, body bending into a somersault or the splits. Impressive? Hells yes. But while those tricks may be the goal, the training to get there is surprisingly accessible, says Bianca, who also teaches beginners gymnastics to kids. “We do a lot of small things like balancing and throwing balls, so you’re building handeye coordination and balance at the same time,” she says. Even if you have no desire to attempt a backflip ever, incorporating this kind of training into your exercise routine will pep up your body and your mind.
YOU’LL BE SHARPER.
Bianca does trampolining and tumbling, both of which involve jumping up and down. But unlike just jumping on a trampoline for fun, you need to land in a specific spot, which requires coordination and spatial awareness and being able to see where you are in mid-air. Nailing that coordination is what earns athletes a gold medal in competitions. “What separates everyone is whether you land in that red block,” says Bianca. “Even if your little toe is out, it can take you from first place to sixth place.” But you don’t have to be doing triple somersaults to tap into the benefits. Bought your kids one of those garden trampolines? Doing basic jumps on it will sharpen your reaction times. And then you can start having fun by, say, jumping from your feet onto your back and onto your feet again. Bonus: you’ll get a killer cardio workout without even realising it.
YOU’LL GAIN ENDURANCE.
“With just my gymnastics training I can do triathlons like the Corporate Ironman,” says Bianca. That’s because practising explosive moves over and over for sustained periods of time has given her improved muscle endurance. Not only that, it’s helped her build tenacity. “It helps with pushing through things; you don’t just wanna give up,” she says. Case in point: her triathlons. “I don’t really enjoy running and swimming, but because of gymnastics I’m able to push through things I don’t really enjoy and cross the finish line.”
YOU’LL SCULPT A STRONG CORE.
All the jumping around Bianca does needs to be executed with