There are a number of gymnastics stretching routines for beginners, and these are important to get into the habit of doing from the very beginning of gymnastics education and training. Stretching will keep you from pulling or tearing muscles, not only preventing a great deal of pain and discomfort but also keeping you from not being able to effectively practice gymnastics and other athletic activities. Start with these basic popular gymnastics stretching routines to make sure your muscles are properly loosened before you do gymnastics.
- Warm-Up. Before doing any types of stretching routine, make sure your muscles are warmed-up. This doesn't mean that you need to do anything to strenuous, but you will need to do some activity like a light jog or jumping rope for a few minutes. Then beginners can start their gymnastic stretching routine.
- Double-Leg Stretch. As your legs are actively used in gymnastics, you will want to stretch them out completely. Do active double leg stretches by bending down with your legs straight and grabbing your ankles. Hold this for at least fifteen seconds if you can and then stand back up straight. Do this a few times. You can also grab your ankles and gently lift your upper body up, stretching both your legs and your back.
- Arm Rotator Stretch. Arms and shoulders are also very important muscles to stretch before doing gymnastics. The arm rotator stretch consists of standing with your arm out and your forearm pointed upwards at 90 degrees. Then place a broomstick in you hand behind your elbow and with your other hand pull the bottom of the broomstick forward. This will effectively stretch the rotator cuff, allowing beginners maximum flexibility in their shoulders when they do gymnastics. Hold this for about fifteen seconds and do it two to three times on each side of your body, for each rotator.
- Standing Bent Knee Hamstring Stretch. Different parts of the hamstrings in the legs can also be included in a gymnastics stretching routine for beginners. Do this one by lifting one foot onto a table or surface that is about thigh high, with a bent knee. Then gently push your weight forward, so that your hamstring is stretched out completely. Hold this a number of times for fifteen seconds each on each leg.
- Squatted Abductor Stretch. The muscles in the interior part of your legs and thighs, those around the groin area, are also important for beginners to stretch in their gymnastic stretching routine. This can be done by standing with your legs wide apart and toes pointed forward. Lean down to the ground, allowing your legs, back and abductors to stretch out. Then try bending one knee on one leg and lean your body that way. Hold this for fifteen seconds or so and do this a couple times on each side.
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