Hard work and dedication are needed to succeed at gymnastics, and if you are a young gymnast or coach young gymnasts, gymnastics conditioning drills for beginners are a very important element. These drills may be the most boring and irritating thing you can do in gymnastics, but they are essential to prepare you to perform at your best. More than most sports, gymnastics requires the athletes to be in peak physical condition, and this starts with the basic conditioning drills that you must do. Here are some gymnastics conditioning drills for beginners that should prove to be quite useful.
- Stretching. Stretching is so very important that it must be at the top of the list. Make sure you stretch before every workout session. Muscles that are not stretched out properly can lead to pulls or even tears. One very good drill is the simple sit and reach drill; you sit on the ground, bend your waist, and touch your toes with your fingers. It is the most common exercise to increase lower back and hamstring flexibility.
- Crunches. Abdomen crunches are a great way to gain strength and definition in your stomach muscles. They can be done lying on the ground or on bars, if available. This exercise works the core group of muscles that are used in pretty much all gymnastic events. This makes crunches very important to perform regularly. The plank, a drill where you hold yourself in a push-up position while resting on your elbows with your hands flat on the ground, is another terrific exercise for strengthening your core muscle group.
- Push-ups and pull-ups. These classic exercises make great drills to increase your upper body strength, a key for a any gymnast, but especially for beginners. Rings, parallel bars, pommel horse and floor routines rely heavily on upper body strength. Doing several reps a day of push-ups and pull-ups will improve your upper body strength immensely and should be in any conditioning drill routine for beginners.
- Sprint work. A gymnast needs good acceleration and speed over a short distance. Since force equals mass times acceleration, the more force you can produce by accelerating quickly will lead to more rotations you can add to a vault, for instance. This is why sprinting drills are so important to gymnastics and why beginning gymnasts should include sprinting into their conditioning drills.
- Handstands. A handstand is perhaps the most basic move for a beginning gymnast. You absolutely need to master handstands if you wish to progress into more difficult moves since they are the foundation for almost every other move in gymnastics. Proper handstands should have you with your toes pointed out, your back straight as an arrow, and your head pointed forward. Performing handstands is a necessary gymnastics conditioning drill for beginners.