Gymnastics Stretching Exercises
As a gymnast, you most likely already know how important it is to utilize gymnastics stretching exercises. When gymnasts are just starting out, however, sometimes they underestimate the importance of this area and focus only on strength training and endurance exercises. However, gymnasts who are not flexible will not be able to complete routines or compete, making gymnastics stretching exercises essential.
- Hamstring Stretch This is one of the top gymnastics stretching exercises. It’s quick and easy to do and highly effective at stretching your hamstring. To execute this stretch, stand upright and place one leg on a table that’s about thigh high. Then, lean your body forward so you can really feel the stretch in your hamstring.
- Abdominal Stability Ball Stretch Before you do any gymnastics routine, you should stretch out your abdominal muscles. For this stretch, lie back on a stability ball. Move your body so that your arms and legs are both stretched out and away from the ball. Then, move each inward at the same time until your knees are bent, your hands are at your chest and you’re in a crouching position in front of the ball. You should feel the stretch in your abs when your body is stretched out.
- Alternate toe touches. To stretch out your leg muscles and add more movement to your gymnastics stretching exercises, try alternate toe touches. This stretch is effective and can be done virtually anywhere. Stand with your legs spread apart at about shoulder length. Lift both your arms into the air and bring one down to touch the opposite tie while bending at the waist. Stand back up and do the same this with your other arm.
- Adductor Stretch To stretch out several areas of your legs that are used in gymnastics, try the adductor stretch. This stretch is moderately easy to do, but you might not be able to get that low if you’re just starting out with a stretching routine. For this stretch, you need to squat down on the ground. Bend one knee at about a 90 degree angle and stretch the other leg out straight next to you. Lean into your bent knee to feel the stretch.
- Side Bends This is a gymnastics stretching exercise for your torso. Place a bar behind your neck and rest it on your shoulders. Hold the bar on either end with your hands. Slowly bend your body from one side to the other. Hold each bend for several seconds. Try some deep breathing to lean into the stretch even more.