I do the decathlon and am very weak in the pole vault, do you guys think that gymnastic will aid in strength and help increase my athletic ability. Does it aid in speed also I want to really know

  • FYI, GSP does it for MMA and this cool guy on Endomondo (endomondo.com/profile/7595642) could probably answer the speed relationship as he routinely does 1 hour workouts of ten miles and posts gymnastics workouts.
    – Jason
    Jun 19, 2016 at 17:55

2 Answers 2


I'd say absolutely yes.

Gymnasts perform some of the most impressive feats of physical strength of all time. This is because at all times, they perform feats using only their own bodies as resistance. That gives them an amazing ratio of strength to bodyweight.

Since it will generally improve your lean muscle gain, I believe it will decidedly aid you in improving other athletic endeavours, especially track and field type events, such as pole vaulting, shot putting, discus, hammer and javelin throwing.

As for running speed, I can't really say. It will entirely depend on what type of gymnastics you will be doing. Bar work engages mostly upper body for movement, and lower body only for balance. However, tumbling will have it distributed more evenly. Here you'll be looking for explosive leg work, which is more general and not gymnastics specific.

But overall, I'd recommend anyone to try gymnastics. It's a fun and diverse way of training, and will yield amazing physiques to those who try it long enough.

  • I personally think the bigger issue is "Will the gains from this cross-training be worth the extra time?" but that's such a subjective question...
    – Sean Duggan
    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:49

Yes. but not necessarily in the way that you think.

It will have some impact on the pole vault in being able to possible improve body position, but the larger part of the pole vault is technique and core/upper body strength to get the twist/push off of the pole correct. You may get some effect from ring work, but you're more likely to see better results from specific weight training solely for the pole vault.

Where you are possibly more likely to notice improvements are the long jump, javelin and high jump. One of the core concepts in gymnastics for the floor and vault routines is called blocking. Blocking is basically just taking horizontal momentum (The runup) and turning it into vertical momentum. Mastering that will give you definite gains in the high jump and long jump, as you will get better at the launch point, and possibly in the javelin as well. You might think that blocking would help in pole vault, but there really isn't a definite "stop" point, you tend to run a bit through the plant of the pole to produce the tension/bend in the pole before pushing off the ground.

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