Category Archives: Exercises

Strength Training At Home

If you’re taking a break from gymnastic classes and don’t want to get rusty, or just want to do more at home, we’ve got some great suggestions. These exercises will give you that extra edge you need to rule the mat, beam, and bar.

Wall Sits

All you need for this one is a wall!

  • Find an open space on the wall and place yourself 1-2ft away from it 1facing forward.
  • Lean back and slid down until you’re in a 90 degree sitting position. Make sure and keep your head, shoulders, and upper back flat against the wall and your feet flat on the floor.
  • You want to maintain this position for intervals of 30 to 60 seconds. If you’re a beginner try 2-3 reps and then step it up as you become more comfortable with the move.     

Photo by Nerd Fitness

 

Mountain Climbers

Grab your mat to get started!1

  • Get into a pushup position on the floor, hands flat on the ground with fingers facing forward and arms directly under your shoulders.
  • Lift your right foot forward as close to you chest as possible while trying
    to keep your bottom down and your tummy tight
  • Continue alternating left and right feet
  • Try doing 3 sets of 10 reps, remember to stay hydrated!

Photo by Women’s Health

 

Burpees

Excuse you! The name might sound a little strange but this is a great exercise that incorporates strength, endurance, and cardio.

  • Your feet should line up with your hips and your arms should rest at your sides
  • Next lower into a squat position placing your hands in between your feet, make sure you use your legs not your back to lower yourself. 1
  • Then jump back 
  • Jump forward again keeping your feet on the outside of your hands
  • Stand up
  • Jump with arms extended upwards
  • This move is a little difficult and requires a lot of energy so do how many ever you feel comfortable with.

Photo by Burn It Fitness

Do you have any other great moves, tips and tricks to doing common moves better? Let us know! Also, if you have suggestions or topics you’d like to learn more about feel free to add suggestions in the comments below.

Excerpts from PerformanceU

How to do Gymnastics Moves at Home

 If you’re little gymnast is nagging you to get her to the gym, make your home the gym with these easy steps.

Step 1: Find comfortable, stretchy clothes.

Step 2: Find a big, soft surfaced area.

Step 3: Warm-up with 30 jumping jacks, 30 push ups, and 30 curl ups.

Step 4: Stretch. Pike for 30 seconds, butterfly for 30 seconds, straddle for 30 seconds, do 30 lunges, rock and roll 30 times.

Step 5: Backbend. Stand straight with your legs shoulder length apart. Place your hands straight next to your ears with your palms flat. Lean backwards and keep going down slowly until you reach the floor.

Step 6: Cartwheel.

Step 7: Handstand. Go into a cartwheel position. Bounce off your front leg and kick your back leg up straight then kick the front leg up.home gymnasts

Step 8: Splits. Do them for an hour a day.

Step 9: Scorpion. Grab your leg and make your toes touch your shoulder. Try to grab leg with other hand as well.

Step 10: Elbow Stand. Like a handstand on your elbows.

Step 11: Practice for an Aerial. Be able to do a cartwheel Get a bed and put your elbows there and kickover (elbow cartwheel). Do not do it on the floor because when your are on the bed,it give you experience of flipping through the air. Get a perfect aerial cartwheel on the bed, then move one elbow off to get closer to an aerial. Make that perfect. Move both elbows off of the bed and kick your legs over. Repeat it until you can get an aerial without your arms on the bed. Move your bed and you should pretend the bed is still there and do an aerial.

*Includes excerpt from http://www.wikihow.com/Do-Gymnastic-Moves-at-Home-(Kids)

Gymnastics Moves for Beginners

itty bitty gymnast

Gymnastics basics are incredibly important to master before trying to complete the more technical moves. Some basics that are necessary include:
Forward Roll- Start standing upright then reach for the floor and tuck your chin looking at your belly button and roll coming back up in the same position.
Cartwheel- This move starts in a tall stance, one foot in front of the other. Gymnasts reach down with their hands, side by side and in line with their front leg. They kick their back foot over their head, then kick their front foot. They land with the leg opposite of the one they started with in front.
Backward Roll- This move starts with a tall stance. Gymnasts then squat down on their heels, sit on the mat, roll backward, push off the ground and elevate into a standing position.
Handstand-Gymnasts reach for the ground, extending their legs to the air with their feet “kissing” when the body is vertical and upside down.
Bridge- The bridge starting position is on the back, hands next to the head with fingertips pointing toward the toes. Gymnasts bend their legs and place their feet on the floor and push with their arms and legs. They get their the arms straight and their head off the ground.
Back Bend/Back Bend Kick Over-The starting position is standing with arms straight up by the head. Gymnasts look at their hands and bend backward in a “U” shape until their hands touch the ground. Once this is mastered, they can kick their legs over their head and land on their on their feet in the lunge position.

*Includes excerpts from http://www.livestrong.com/article/468932-gymnastic-moves-for-beginners/

10 Habits of Successful Gymnasts

Gymnastics requires commitment, determination and resilience. Whether a new gymnast, or a seasoned professional, there are a few habits that help practice make perfect. Here’s our top 10 Habits, which are a great way to start off a new year.

  1. Spaced Repetition: This doesn’t mean doing lots of repetitions on each day. Spaced repetition is practicing a small number of correct supervised repetitions on a daily basis. Spaced repetition should be employed for a minimum of 21 days to create a habit. round off back tuck
  2. Nutrition: Gymnasts should eat a diet consisting of protein, carbohydrates and good fats, which work together to build muscle and provide energy. Juice Plus is a great drink that provides multivitamins young gymnasts need.
  3. Hydrate: Drinking water to stay hydrated – not energy drinks – is important for keeping up metabolism and keeps the body and muscles functioning properly. Studies say that advanced athletes should drink 16 ounces of water per hour of training! Also carry and drink water throughout the day.641036_PtYxq3WfHFNd6kRGE3SC_fw
  4. One-Track Mind: Generally, people have “one-track minds” when it comes to learning. It’s important for gymnasts to focus on one skill at a time and learn it thoroughly before moving on to the next step or new skill. This is a good progressive training technique.
  5. Warm up: Warm up properly before practice and competition, to prevent injury. Start with simple ankle and wrist warm ups and then move to deeper stretching.548a5ed6db722.image
  6. Don’t Over Train: A young gymnast can’t go 6 days a week 5 hours a day training at 100 percent. Young bodies take 72 to 11 days to recuperate after a hard workout.smith
  7. Strength Training: Increase strength through weight training, not over repetition. This will increase the gymnasts strength without putting intense load placed on their bodies.couture leo
  8. Pre-Workout Snack: In order to give your muscles and brain the energy it needs to give 100% and stay fueled throughout practice.eat_sleep_gymnastics_printed_napkin-rdc52620de7b74b4c807740a73350d810_2cf00_8byvr_325
  9. Set Goals: Analyze the events and the gymnasts possible weaknesses. Be precise about goals, set priorities and keep the goals small and achievable.
  10. LOVE GYMNASTICS: Love what you do and remind yourself why you are a gymnast! Do this first and all of the other habits will fall into place.544fbd497d054.image

Add On Tumbling Challenge: Cheernastics2

We love this Tumbling Challenge video by our friends at Cheernastics2!

10 Habits of Successful Gymnasts

quit factor

  1. Spaced Repetition: This doesn’t mean doing lots of repetitions on each day. Spaced repetition is practicing a small number of correct supervised repetitions on a daily basis. Spaced repetition should be employed for a minimum of 21 days to create a habit.
  2. Nutrition: Gymnasts should eat a diet consisting of protein, carbohydrates and good fats, which work together to build muscle and provide energy. Juice Plus is a great drink that provides multivitamins young gymnasts need.
  3. Hydrate: Drinking water to stay hydrated – not energy drinks – is important for keeping up metabolism and keeps the body and muscles functioning properly. Studies say that advanced athletes should drink 16 ounces of water per hour of training! Also carry and drink water throughout the day.
  4. One-Track Mind: Generally, people have “one-track minds” when it comes to learning. It’s important for gymnasts to focus on one skill at a time and learn it thoroughly before moving on to the next step or new skill. This is a good progressive training technique.
  5. Warm up: Warm up properly before practice and competition, to prevent injury. Start with simple ankle and wrist warm ups and then move to deeper stretching.
  6. Don’t Over Train: A young gymnast can’t go 6 days a week 5 hours a day training at 100 percent. Young bodies take 72 to 11 days to recuperate after a hard workout.
  7. Strength Training: Increase strength through weight training, not over repetition. This will increase the gymnasts strength without putting intense load placed on their bodies.
  8. Pre-Workout Snack: In order to give your muscles and brain the energy it needs to give 100% and stay fueled throughout practice.
  9. Set Goals: Analyze the events and the gymnasts possible weaknesses. Be precise about goals, set priorities and keep the goals small and achievable.
  10. LOVE GYMNASTICS: Love what you do and remind yourself why you are a gymnast! Do this first and all of the other habits will fall into place.

Minimizing Gymnastics Injuries

With all the stress your body goes through during gymnastics routines, you’re certainly prone to physical injuries.

Don’t Be Afraid to Bail Out

Be Careful When Trying Something New

Whether you’re attempting a new flip or movement, your body doesn’t have the muscle memory to give you the awareness when something isn’t going right. Build up to the trick by understanding the mechanics of the movements required, and understand how to properly bail out if you feel that something isn’t going right.

Stretching

Most importantly, stretching is vital to keep yourself healthy and injury free. Many tricks require intense flexibility, and operating on cold muscles and joints puts you at risk of tweaking something, or initiating an injury that will linger with you for an extended period of time.

Strength Training

When people run into below the knee issues like sprained ankles, it is typically because the muscles surrounding their ankles in their in their shins, calves and feet are not strong enough to support the demands of gymnastics training.

Don’t Goof Around

The majority of gymnastics related injuries in practice occur when gymnasts are not even practicing. Improper use of equipment or horseplay is often what leads to injuries. When you’re at practice be sure you’re there to practice, and always use gymnastics equipment properly.

Calf Conditioning for Gymnastics

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Exercising your calf and lower leg muscles is extremely important for maintaining gymnastics health and preventing injuries. The common ankle sprains and rolled ankle injuries, and many knee injuries can be attributed to not enough muscle training and strengthening of lower leg muscles – particularly in the calf. We’ve listed a few great exercises to strengthen those muscles that are best performed after a workout.

Strength

Heel to Toe Walking

Walk across a soft surface barefoot while balancing only on your heels. Feel free to walk on a straight path, or make it fun by maneuvering obstacles. and then for another minute, walk only on your toes. You can switch things up and target new muscles by pointing your heels or toes straight, inside or outside. If done correctly, you won’t need to do this exercise for longer than a minute.