Jonathan Van Ness Feels 'Stronger Than Ever' While Doing Gymnastics

Watch a new video of him showing off his skills and learn about the benefits of trying gymnastics as an adult.

Jonathan Van Ness
Getty Images.

Make room on the roster for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Jonathan Van Ness is showing off his gymnastics skills again in a new reel posted to Instagram on Thursday.

In the video, set to the tune of Madonna's "Vogue," a smiling Van Ness lands various tricks including a standing back tuck and an aerial move on a mat atop a foam pit.

"35 & stronger than ever," he writes in the caption of his post. By Friday afternoon, the video had more than 600,000 views on the social media platform.

Fans of Van Ness know he's been incorporating the sport into his fitness routine — which also includes training sessions with Angel Flores, a trans powerlifter and Olympic weightlifting coach who previously appeared on an episode of Queer Eye — as an adult. He frequently posts videos of himself practicing various moves in the gym, and he even starred in a 2020 Uber Eats ad with Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.

The JVN Hair founder has been open about his physical fitness and nutrition journey in the past, sharing in August that he began working with a nutritionist in April, a decision he made in part due to his desire to continue with gymnastics.

"Because gymnastics brings me so much joy, I want to be able to do it for as long as I can," he said in a candid TikTok video at the time. Van Ness feels better in the gym after working with a nutritionist, he added.

Gymnastics is a good sport for adults to pursue if they're interested, says Beth Nicely, a NASM-certified personal trainer who used to practice gymnastics. It is a way to connect with your inner kid, adds the trainer, known for working with celebrity clients including Jennifer Garner. The practice is "joyful," adds Nicely, noting you can see the joy on Van Ness' face in the videos he shares of him working on his moves.

However, newbies will still have to take the sport one step at a time. "It doesn't mean you're going to be doing crazy flips all the time," says Nicely. "But if you're with a trained professional, a gymnastics coach, they're going to take you safely through progressions on how to do gymnastics movements."

It's a good sport to have long-term goals in, which trainers love, says Nicely. If you're interested in trying it out, consider setting a goal such as holding a handstand or nailing a cartwheel, she suggests.

"Gymnastics is great because it is a full-body workout," she continues. "It's a great way to work out because you really cannot cheat." However, if you perform a move incorrectly, you could get hurt, she points out. That's why the sport requires a lot of focus and concentration paired with full-body strength to be performed safely. 

Training for the sport includes a "combination of agility and coordination and strength and stamina" that most people aren't used to, explains Nicely. Core strength is among the most important areas to work on to make sure your body can withstand the moves. So is building strength in the legs and upper body.

"Deltoids along with other arm muscles [are important] since they will help hold your body upside down," says Nicely. "Legs will help with power in your takeoffs and landings," she adds.

Because gymnastics is a little bit more of an advanced exercise style, Nicely does recommend that interested adults check with their doctor before starting, especially if they have any injuries or illnesses. But if Van Ness' latest post has you wanting to sign up for a gymnastics class and you get the all-clear from a pro, there's no time like the present.

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