gymnasts for healthy body image

A big theme in the comments of this blog, of late, has been criticism online of gymnasts and ex-gymnasts being fat.

What should we do about that, as a coaching group?

Best, it seems to me, is to confront the issue. And who are the best spokespeople? Gymnasts themselves.

It’s easy for a genetic ectomorph like Shannon Miller to be a role model for low body weight.

Mesomorphic women like Shawn Johnson more often have a tougher time keeping excess weight off. Here she talks about healthy body image.

… “There’s a huge push in the world on an image, a stereotypical, beautiful model image, especially in gymnastics,” Johnson said. “I was a huge target for that.”

She said it wasn’t unusual to hear stories in her sport about cases of anorexia and bulimia. She said that her 4 foot 11 inch muscular build wasn’t popular with some on Dancing with the Stars, either. Johnson said she was frequently compared to Holly Madison.

“I don’t know if you girls know who that is, but she’s a model and she’s like tiny and tall! And they’re like, ‘You have to become her,’ and I’m like, ‘I’m 4 foot 11, that’s not possible,'” Johnson said. …


(via Full Twist)

Mesomorph Sam Peszek is in.

… “I want to be the face of the fight against obesity,” she said. …

Indy Star

2009 Visa Championships Day 2

If you want to be a high level gymnast, percentage body fat is an important variable. But after retirement, it’s not a big deal. Most of the ex-gymnasts I know are far leaner than the general population.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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