The supportive environment your teenager needs

By Ev Dalecki
I was in kindy when I was first told by a peer..⁣

"You are up yourself" ⁣

I had to ask a few questions to figure out what that meant. ⁣

What I came away with was.. ⁣

-you are meant to hate lots of things about your self-⁣

If there are things you like about yourself, especially the way you look, it's best not to talk about it. If you do, people won't like you. ⁣

That is a pretty messed up message to receive really early on.⁣

This is one of the many things that really drew me to gymnastics. I found comfort in the gym environment because there wasn't much talking there. ⁣

We just did work and were taught to be proud of effort.⁣

This belief
-having to put yourself down to remain “humble” has survived through the generations and we see it come through in the self talk of lots of adults we teach.

They are very comfortable naming and pointing out all the ways that they “suck” and struggle to confidently point out things they do well or like about themselves.

We work with adults to help them change and reframe their attitude towards themselves.

You absolutely can be impressive and proud of your skills, progress, body and effort in our gym! We will celebrate your wins and brag about your progress for you until you learn how to do it for yourself.

If this type of thing has affected the adult population who didn’t really grow up with social media..

Imagine these issues x 1000 for the teens of the current generation Z.

These days, the environment in many gyms is very difficult for young girls, boys and teens. Only amplified by social media.⁣

Pressure for the boys to quickly develop and gain muscle mass⁣ 💪
Pressure for the girls to manage their waistlines and start doing glute workouts to keep up with latest "body trends"⁣ 👙

And.. being told hate parts themselves and work hard to conform to unattainable norms.

But.. not with us.⁣

If your teen needs an environment where they can be themselves, be proud of their effort, learn skills and talk to them selves nicely.. ⁣

This is the place! Teen girls, Thursday afternoons and teen guys coming soon!⁣

Click the image below to speak to us about our teens program.

How To Survive The Dreaded Training Slump

Sticking to a fitness regime can be hard, right?

If it's something you don’t enjoy and feel obliged to do, its more than hard. Its almost impossible.

Goals, needs and priorities change over time and so should your training.

At Dalecki Strength over the past couple of weeks we’ve honed in on this. We shared our own experience in the natural cycles of training, where peaks and troughs are normal, as are levels of high and low motivation. Check out our video “Moving on from CrossFit” and see you if you can relate.

We set our personal training goals, and shared them on social media. They aren’t perfect because they aren’t meant to be on day 1. They are meant to be challenging!

We then took every member through a personal goal setting session, taking video's of their current strength, flexibility and skill levels. This will give them something to track their progress against and keep them focussed on quality movement rather than more reps!

We have a few questions for you;

Do you need something that will challenge you physically, mentally or both?
What do you really want to get out of your training?
Do you want to build strength, fitness, flexibility?
Do you simply want to look and feel good?

In their attempt to achieve these outcomes, people often opt into going for a run, or joining a gym which they have to drag themselves to daily.

Wouldn’t it be easier to find something you ENJOY even LOVE and look forward to doing every single day?

You are capable of learning new things, sports or skills.

Here is our 5 step plan

1. Decide on what it is you really want to learn or try. If you need a friend to join you set a date and book a time to check it out.

2. Understand "why" you want this goal. Is it because you want to feel good? You admire others that can do it and want to feel badass doing it too.

3. Tell someone about your goal, a training buddy, your coach or parter. This is extremely powerful, ask them to check in with you to see how you're tracking.

4. Measure your goal. We love photos or videos at Dalecki Strength Gymnastics and so do our members.

5. Dedicate at least 10min a day to that goal.

Thinking about gymnastics but not sure if it’s for you? Book your complimentary obligation free consult where we’ll discuss your goals.

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Why Most Adult Gyms Suck

Why we started Adult Gymnastics Training?

After retiring from gymnastics in our late teens and early 20's we started training at "adult gyms." They look something like this:


But in our minds, a gym and training should look something like this:

handstands walk.png

It was so difficult to accept that training now meant running, stepping away on the machines until enough calories ticked over! Why should this be the choice of exercise to so many people when it is boring and nowhere near as effective as gymnastics training.

Using your body weight for resistance training and cardio is extremely effective, functional and a lot of fun.

We wanted to create a program that we believed in, train the way we love to and feel is most effective. Along the way we started Personal Training and CrossFit which organically brought many adults to us for gymnastics coaching. 

When someone asks what we do for work and we say we train adults in gymnastics their eyebrow raise and say "wow that's interesting...I didn't know that was a thing"

We whole heartedly believe in what we do. Below is a short list of some significant benefits a gymnastics program develops, which many other fitness programs don't.

Explosive power
Mental stimulation
And the list goes on...

If we value the development of all things so highly for kids, why do we not do that same for adults. 

Our Coaches Top 4 Insta Follows

From time to time we all get stuck down the rabbit hole of Instagram, there are so many people out there, doing great things, inspiring others, teaching valuable lessons, using their platforms in meaningful ways to connect with others. 

Today we want to share with you some of our favourite Instagram accounts of people we believe are there doing great things for the fitness industry in the gymnastics and movement space.

Court's recommendation:
1. Hunter Cook
Hunter is doing some very cool shit. He is so strong and mobile...the things he can do with his body is incredible. He put's out a lot of content which is very applicable to our member and client training.
Check out Hunter Cook  

Mel's recommendation:
2. Laura Novack
Laura is not strictly doing gymnastics but she does calisthenics, she comes up with some really cool creative ideas. This always helps us come up with new creative ideas for the DS Squad programs.
Check out Laura Novack

Ev's recommendation:
3. Carl Paoli
I follow Carl because he genuinely seeks to make a connection with people through his movement practice. He challenges people to think, explore and grow when interacting with his content as opposed to blindly following or subscribing to his program.
Check out Carl Paoli

Kat's recommendation:
4. Gemma Cheung
This girl does gymnastics, pole dancing, yoga, lyra. Seriously...what can't she do. Not to mention, she just had a baby, which has not stopped her fitness pursuit.
Check out Gemma Cheung

We hope you enjoy following these superstars as much as we do.

I don't understand why I can't get my first strict pull up

If you have mastered a Pull Up, keep reading this applies to any skill or goal you are chasing.

Pull ups are a staple movement in many sports, they demonstrate a good base level of bodyweight strength, control, core and shoulder health. They are also an essential movement for developing other gymnastics based skills.

We have helped hundreds of women and men get their first, second, third and beyond Strict Pull up. In our eyes, guess who is the most impressive?

Women getting their very FIRST STRICT PULL UP as an adult. That's because women generally find it harder to put on muscle mass and to develop upper body strength. You'll see many celebratory posts on our social media because we are SO incredibly proud of their commitment to the program and success. Don't get us wrong we are also super proud of our guys.

Women getting their very FIRST STRICT PULL UP as an adult. That's because women generally find it harder to put on muscle mass and to develop upper body strength. You'll see many celebratory posts on our social media because we are SO incredibly proud of their commitment to the program and success. Don't get us wrong we are also super proud of our guys.

Back to our question, what have you done in the past 3 months to get your first strict pull up? The reason we pose this question is that many people that come to Dalecki Strength for help with goals like this, they train daily doing CrossFit, pole dancing, boxing or yoga etc, but daily training is often not enough for a specific goal.

We have found a sweet spot, for most people doing 2-3 days of "specific" training toward your pull up. Other days can be spent doing your chosen sport.

Here is our quick checklist to help you on your way:

  • Dedicate time, put it in your calendar

  • Check in with yourself weekly to ensure you have done your best towards your goal

  • Nutrition, this is whole other topic, but keep in mind that nutrition is extremely important, not just for pull ups and gymnastics but every sport will have a different nutritional needs. For gymnastics, lean muscle is essential.

  • Program, ensure your program takes care of the following elements, joint mobility and stability, core, well rounded strength and skills.

Have you seen our success stories on Instagram? This is the program - Pull Ups One

Success Stories- Watch Reanon going from 0.9 of a pull up to 4 strict pull ups

Why are you doing the Leaning Tower of Pisa Handstand?

It's a common story, with your best efforts trying to practice a handstand balance but every time you kick up your body finds that banana position which forces your weight to shift or "fall" then chase using your arms. Everyone is different and restrictions vary greatly but we can be certain the one or more these apply if you struggle to balance a handstand.


1. You've spent many more hours practicing your walk but nowhere near as many on balancing.

2. Your wrist, shoulder and or thoracic mobility isn't allowing you to straighten your body.

3. Your core strength is lacking, core work is boring right? We don't think it has to be...for fun easy to follow programs click here

4. You can hollow on the floor but not upside-down

5. You may not understand what you need to feel or look for when practicing handstands.

handstand drills, down facing hollow


1. Spend more time on handstands, take a break from walking for a while. Practicing both can cause confusion and prolong the journey

2. Dedicate 15min/day to stretching, we have some very effective flexibility techniques which are too difficult to explain in email. You will make amazing progress from stretching daily after training, holding positions for 90 sec or more.

3. Core, it needs to be done, a strong core is the foundation of gymnastics. Without it you will always cut yourself short.

4. Get more comfortable hollowing in various positions, push up position, all the way up a wall walk, hanging, standing. Teach your body to find the position on cue.

5. Get a coach to teach you the basics and understand what you need to look for. Keep an eye out for an upcoming ebook on handstands. 


Amateurs show Olympian how it’s done!

We have a question for you, when was the last time you did something that scared you?

A couple of months ago, our spectacular coach Melissa Wu took us to her daily playground, The Sydney International Aquatic Centre Diving Pool. She suggested we try diving to challenge ourselves and try something new outside of our normal training.

diving, melissa wu, olympian

Under her watchful eye we spent 1 hour at the pool practicing dry land drills, jumps and dives into the pool. A few lessons we took away:

- Doing something out of your comfort zone is terrifying, exhilarating, and rewarding. We definitely plan to do that more often.

- The level and precision involved with diving is incredible

- The impact of your body when it hits the water is significant, that's why many divers have wrist, elbow and neck injuries

- SO much core control is required, we realised that One interesting thing we noticed is the Olympic divers warming up as we wrapped up our day, they warmed up of the bike beside the pool, then spent at least 30 min working their core before getting on the platforms.

Dalecki's Go Diving Vlog

Want to improve your Internal obliques? Do you even know what they are?

If you read our last blog you would have seen the Core challenge we set for you.

Today we wanted to answer three very important questions about core training.

What is the core?  Why is it important to build and strengthen your core? How do you get the most out of your time when training core?  

1. What the core is? We think is really important to discuss what "Core" means to us. You'll probably get a different answer from each trainer you ask, however as you learn about how the body moves and functions you realise that it's designed to functionally work together in a way where we can run, jump, twist, bend etc. Therefore, we could argue the core stems from your shoulder blades, down your spine. This is why core exercises should include curls, extensions, lateral flexion, twists as well as exercises supported by your shoulders.


Flag, gym, exercise, candlestick, dragonfly

2. Why it's important: building strength, mobility and skills are often a major focus while core is neglected. We have trained hundreds of people in gymnastics, CrossFit and through general fitness programs, introducing consistent core training has been one the most advantageous for skill progression. Developing your core allows your body to function and work together, which is essential for complex movements requiring so much coordination and strength.

3. How to get the most out of your core sessions:

- Frequency, once a month is simply not enough. Frequency is important, as athletes with a gymnastics, diving and acrobatic background we want to share the insider secrets. First thing to know is that core work is done in some capacity every single training session.

- Understand which core muscles are you using. Many people say they don't need to do core as they squat, deadlift, run etc which uses their core. This is true, however your core is also made up of stabilisers, Intrinsic core- transverse abdominis, internal oblique, lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor and the diaphragm) the most effective way to work these are with small loads for longer periods of time.

- Variety and progressive exercises, everyone has their "go to" core exercises which are re-used over and over. Your body will respond better to different stimulus.

- Learn how to switch on your inner core muscles. Pull your belly button in to your spine, don't hold your breath, pull upwards from your pelvic floor (as though you are holding in your pee). This will all get easier with practice.

If you want to know how we train our core, check out our Core One and Two programs.

Simple Extras that can produce Extraordinary Results

More and more people are motivated to learn impressive gymnastics skills. We're going to share with you one of the easiest ways to improve your gymnastics without a huge time investment.

Believe it or not gymnasts, divers and other acrobatic athletes complete core work as part of every single session. Developing strength and stability is vital as these positions transfer directly to higher level skills.

All you need to do is add a little "extras" time to your current training sessions. We have a challenge for you, for the next couple of weeks set aside 2 sessions per week, of 10-15min. Remember to turn on your pelvic floor, pull your belly button in to brace your core, take proper belly breaths (do not hold your breath).

Complete 2-3 rounds of the following circuit

hollow, core, core program, mel wu

Hollow hold 30 seconds Lying on back, legs stretched out off floor & arms overhead covering ears, squeeze core & hold hollow position.
15sec rest

ankle taps, core, mel wu

Bent leg ankle taps 30 seconds Lying on back, draw knees up towards chest, keeping legs bent. Crunch up & touch ankles. Keep head neutral & crunch using abdominals, not with neck.
15sec rest

side plank, core,  side bridge, melissa wu

Side bridges 30 seconds each side Lying on right side, plant right forearm on floor & lift body up into side plank position, maintaining straight body line. Lower hips to floor laterally, then raise them up again. Repeat on left side.
15sec rest

superman raise, core, core program, melissa wu

Superman raise (alternate arm and leg) 30 seconds Lying on stomach, place arms straight overhead. Raise opposite arm and leg up & down repeatedly. Squeeze legs & glutes & extend through hips rather than hinging through lower back.

Rest 1-2min between rounds


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Do you follow these 3 steps with skill acquisition?

One thing we LOVE about the fitness industry these days is that people (coaches and fitness enthusiasts) are researching, learning, understanding movement to become better teachers and movers.

This may come from seminars and courses or reading articles and watching tutorials. Most of us have been there, reading every article, watching every YouTube clip from each and every specialist.

At Dalecki Strength we strive to keep our bodies as strong, mobile and healthy as possible. This comes first before any trick or skill. In our opinion, if we’re going to push and challenge our bodies through intense training and test the limits the first thing we should do is show our bodies a little respect.

What this means is, preparing your body in the best way you know how.

l-sit, lsit, core, strength
bar muscle up, crossfit skills

1. Understanding where your limitations and weaknesses are e.g. if you have tight shoulders, seek help and guidance, learn how to improve your mobility and stability in end range.

2. Following progressions and always doing the basics  e.g. core work and drills...this is the stuff the makes you move better

3. When you learn a new skill, keep on developing it until it’s as efficient and close to perfect as possible. NEVER accept poor movement standards from yourself. You’re better than that.

It always great to see people get their first skill but it’s disappointing to see people celebrate terrible and dangerous movement. Unfortunately, you see a lot of this on social media, people proud of their knee to the floor snatch or the chicken wing MU again and again. Respecting your body means sometimes taking a step back to perfect movement. This can be hard, often it may mean to stop practicing the skill, focusing on drills. Let us tell will be so worth it! When you perform smooth efficient movement without pain, your potential will skyrocket.

Ready to take action? Find out more about our Gymnastics Squad Term starting April 16th.