How do you feel when you watch gymnasts?

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I used to (and still do, I guess) love the gymnasts in the Olympics most of all. But now when I watch them I think about their poor knees and hips and backs. I see them landing so hard and repeatedly I cringe. And so many of them are in braces of some form or another. I'm actually finding it hard to enjoy it as much in years past.

This might also be because one of my teammates (yeah, roller derby, who am I to talk about injuries?) used to be a competitive figure skater and at 37 she has degenerative disk disease and bad hips which she says the hip especially is from landing on the same leg over and over and over. She was skating at the same time as Nancy Kerrigan. She says she's glad she missed the generation right after her where it's become so much more physical.

Anyway, do you cringe a bit watching the gymnasts?


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I feel the same. I did tumbling & acrobatics for about 10 years, not enough to compete but I think some of my back issues may be from this in part.

I respect these gals so much, they are so young and not only have to deal with technique, athleticism, and artistry, but the demands on the body are so incredible.
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I totally cringe. I am in awe of them, but I feel pain everything time they land.


oh gosh no, i never think those things.
i tend to think, "i need to go to the gym, my ass is so big."
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I can't watch. They're all so young and they look so serious and unhappy. That's a lot of pressure and commitment for children. At least the men are all older, those girls are just...girls.
oh gosh no, i never think those things.
i tend to think, "i need to go to the gym, my ass is so big."
Originally Posted by frau
^^^ occasionally this, but more often I admire what amazing shape they're in and impressed with all the tumbling and flips and everything they can do
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I'm not envious of the typical gymnast physique - very broad shoulders, flat chest, overdeveloped build. There are a couple ( Nastia & Gabby) that look taller & leaner and more feminine.
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I'm not envious of the typical gymnast physique - very broad shoulders, flat chest, overdeveloped build. There are a couple ( Nastia & Gabby) that look taller & leaner and more feminine.
Originally Posted by Spider
And their necks are very thick, too.


Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



Gymnastics was/is always my favorite event at the Olympics. I give the girls a lot of credit for being so dedicated at such a young age but I agree that they are very hard on their bodies. It wouldn't surprise me if they had knees like a military paratrooper from all that repetitive force put on them.

I always thought they had unnatural physiques too. They have similar bodies to that of swimmers who have well developed trapezius and latissimus (sp?) muscles and narrow hips. Dominique Dawes seemed to have a more feminine frame, especially when she was a bit older. I bet that the natural process of puberty is inhibited in some way by their strict exercise regime.
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I feel the same way. I'm in awe of their skill, but I always wonder how their bodies will fare in a few years.

I'm not envious of the typical gymnast physique - very broad shoulders, flat chest, overdeveloped build. There are a couple ( Nastia & Gabby) that look taller & leaner and more feminine.
Originally Posted by Spider
I haven't paid as much attention to gymnastics as I used to, but I remember when I was a teen thinking that that physique was more common in American gymnasts. The comparison to Chinese, Russian, and Romanian gymnasts was especially striking to me. Is that really the case or am I misremembering?
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nope, you are correct.
many american bodies look like they're on steroids while the other gymnasts still retain a feminine physique-although some look stunted or starved, lol.

i knew a gymnast in college who stopped competing after a horrible injury. she had a solid build.

i knew a guy who actually went to the olympics and was a gymnast. surprisingly, he smoked and drank! (i liked his best friend, but they both only liked white girls)

Last edited by frau; 06-30-2012 at 08:59 AM.
oh gosh no, i never think those things.
i tend to think, "i need to go to the gym, my ass is so big."
Originally Posted by frau
^^^ occasionally this, but more often I admire what amazing shape they're in and impressed with all the tumbling and flips and everything they can do
Originally Posted by kimmidawn
Both of these. I really wanted to do that when I was a kid but the money just wasn't there for me to learn.
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All my friends were good at gymnastics, which baffled me. I was better at sports involving throwing, running, or kicking. I felt like the odd man out.

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nope, you are correct.
many american bodies look like they're on steroids while the other gymnasts still retain a feminine physique-although some look stunted or starved, lol.

i knew a gymnast in college who stopped competing after a horrible injury. she had a solid build.

i knew a guy who actually went to the olympics and was a gymnast. surprisingly, he smoked and drank! (i liked his best friend, but they both only liked white girls)
Originally Posted by frau
I've always loved gymnastics, even did a little as a kid. My 11-year-old niece is a competitive gymnast. She's the most focused kid I've ever met. She's a beast, strong, fast and flexible. But she has a lean look, not that fireplug look of so many American gymnasts. Then again, she's 11.

But now that she's about to enter middle school, I think the rigors are getting to her just a bit. Its hard to do other activities. And she's had some injuries.
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I was a gymnast for 10 years. Whenever I watch it, I am completely captivated. There have been multiple junior national team members who started out at my childhood/teenage gym who I've continued to watch as the years go on.

Everyone looks different on TV than they do in person, and this also applies to gymnasts. In person, the US gymnasts look more petite and less muscular than you might expect. I have to say that I'm a bit appalled to see the criticism of gymnast's figures on here. Would you like it if someone said similar things about your body?
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Last edited by newcurly; 06-30-2012 at 10:37 PM.
I have to say that I'm a bit appalled to see the criticism of gymnast's figures on here. Would you like it if someone said similar things about your body?
Originally Posted by newcurly
i know snarky remarks when i read them and i don't think anyone is trying to be funny or mean. i'm just stating how they look.

these girls look stunted-as in their bodies don't look developed, they all look about 7 years old:



now we move to the anorexic looking gymnasts:


and here are the juiced up looking gymnasts:



they're all extremely talented, nothing takes away from that but this is what has crossed my mind when i see them.
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Last edited by frau; 07-01-2012 at 07:29 AM.
Many of them are so very young, I feel a bit sad about their childhood. I wonder how much they were pushed by adults, although I know the rewards can be great.

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My first thought is always 'damn I wish I was that flexible' always followed with 'take those metal clips out of your hair and stop using the glitter hairspray'.

They all seem to have an undeveloped body especially as the lowest age to compete in the Olympics is now 16. Remember when 9 year olds were competing?

Some of the women look a bit like the female athletes from East Germany did, but naturally so rather than hormonally tampered with.
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Elated and awe struck. I have always loved watching gymnastics. It is such a beautiful sport. That, figure skating, and (now) snowboarding are my main focus during the olympics.


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