10 Gymnastics Flexibility Training Tips
These 10 gymnastics flexibility training tips strengthen and keep supple joints and limbs for somersaulting, tumbling and flipping. All sections of the upper body, the core or bust and the lower back must be in shape to bend easier for perfect deliveries. Stretches, kneeling, straddles and others are some exercises that boost flexibility.
- Split stretch forward is a flexibility training exercise that enable gymnasts to do splits while executing their drills. To split stretch forward, you first split, sitting on the floor with both feet straight and pointing opposite directions. Move forward towards each foot, touch or hold with both hands.
- Side split/Front split is another flexibility training exercise used to allow gymnasts better efficiency in doing splits and making the legs bendable. In this exercise, the core of the body is usually turned. The toes of the front foot are tipped forward and the back, backward.
- Kneeling pike is a flexibility exercise that works both the back and the knees. The gymnast stretches the hamstring muscles. After the initial kneeling position, one foot stretches out, both hands rest on the ground and the head is bowed to touch the outstretched knee.
- Calf stretching makes the feet limbs flexible. Both hands and feet are on the floor, back arched and head bowed. Lift one foot and bend backward.
- Butterfly flexibility exercises tighten and flex the gluteus muscles. Sit with buttocks on the floor with the feet soles touching one another. Lean forward. Touch feet with both hands.
- Pancake is a flexibility exercise in which the gymnast sits, both feet in the form of an open scissors. Forehead touches the ground. Hands are forward and flat on the ground.
- Seated straddle is an exercise done with feet apart like an open scissors. Palms are flat on the ground. Toes point out.
- Pull through is a flexibility exercise that also makes use of straddling. The hands are on the floor and bear some body weight. The feet are to gain flexibility in the straddle split. Primary muscles stretched: hips, groin. Stretch group: Straddle
- Skin the cat is a flexibility exercise designed to build strength and easy movement in shoulders and back. On a pair of gymnastics rings, the athlete holds both rings, hands bearing the entire body's weight. Propel the body up, curve the back and make rotations.
- Inverted pike is a flexibility exercise which flexes the lower back, calf and hamstring. The back is on the ground and arched. Feet go straight back above the head. Knees touching face. Touch ankles. Elbows point outward.