Gymnastics Workout For Parallel Bars
To put it simply, a good gymnastics workout for parallel bars will destroy your upper body. There's a reason that when you watch the Olympics, the male gymnasts look like bodybuilders. In gymnastics, even the most basic parallel bar routines require outstanding upper body and core strength. Muscle isolation and control exercises are well suited to achieve this. Not surprisingly, the best gymnastics workouts for parallel bars are performed on the bars themselves. Read on to see the exercises that will give you a complete workout that's great for parallel bar training.
- Parallel Bar Dips. If you've trained your upper body previously, odds are you already know the basic form of this exercise. Start with one hand on each bar, so that your body is in between them. Raise yourself so that your arms are locked, and the bars are at roughly waist level. With your body remaining as straight as possible, unlock your arms and lower yourself by bending your elbows, being careful to keep them close to your side. Go down until the bars are right around your chest, and then use a direct opposite motion to bring yourself back up. Like other parallel bar gymnastics exercises, only your body weight is used as resistance – so do as many repetitions as possible. This exercise focuses on the triceps, shoulders, and pectoral muscles.
- The Half Backward Balance. For this gymnastics based parallel bar exercise, you'll want to start in the exact same position as you would with parallel bar dips. You should be between the bars with your arms raised and locked. Now, instead of dipping down, bring your legs up as far as possible while keeping them straight. Don't get discouraged if they don't come up very far the first few times, as this exercise is extremely tough on your core muscles. Hold that raise as long as possible. When you can't sustain it any more, bring your legs back down, still straight, in a controlled fashion.
- Hand Balances. This gymnastics parallel bars exercise will add a sort of interesting panache to your workout, as it requires some balance in addition to brute strength. Since you'll be upside down, be sure to do it with both a spotter and a mat. Start with one foot on each bar, and bend down so that your hands can grip the bars in front of you. Use your legs to push off and give you momentum, and go into a handstand on the bars. This exercise is useful for parallel bars training because it will strengthen your shoulders, core, and sense of balance to boot.
- Upper Arm Swing. This move is not only a parallel bars exercise, it can also be incorporated into a basic routine. To perform it, hang yourself between the bars with the point of contact running from your hands all the way to your elbows on each bar. Push down hard so that your shoulders remain high, as this will lessen discomfort on your forearm. Now, rock yourself back and forth so that your legs become a wide-swinging pendulum, and sustain the movement for as long as possible. When done right, your shoulders and core will be on fire after a short time.