Those athletes new to the sport should know how to start training for gymnastics. As preparation for a world class sport, training for gymnastics is both intense and humbling. Training for gymnastics brings the fluidity of motion and the strength of athleticism together to produce a variety of graceful moves. If you need to start training for gymnastics, read our tips below:
- Stretch. Stretching is more than just gym class nonsense; it helps you prevent injury. When you begin training for gymnastics, you will move your body in ways that you couldn't even imagine beforehand. Reach down and touch your toes, grab your foot behind your back, bend your knee on either side, and even roll your head around a few times to prepare for training for gymnastics.
- Engage in cardio exercises. You'll need to get your body fat close to an ideal 5-12% for males and 10-16% for females in order to start training for gymnastics. While everyone is an individual and should not be encouraged to strictly fit into body fat categories, it is important to control weight as a gymnast. Flexibility, endurance, and strength depend on athletic conditioning.
- Lift weights. Body building is not the central focus of gymnastics, but it does come into play. Most gymnasts can do several pull ups, push ups, and sit ups (which work the back, arms, and core respectively). It is also good to note that most gymnasts are not incredibly strong like weight lifters, but more agile and lean.
- Find a good trainer. Everyone who had to start training for gymnastics at one point also had a mentor who helped them through the tough times. Nothing beats a personal gymnast trainer who can guide your movements, workouts, and nutrition in the right direction to meet your goal(s).
- Use the medicine ball. Every gym has one, and they are very useful tools for developing the holistic body you'll need for training for gymnastics. Medicine ball exercises can range from the simple figure-eight (where you move the ball in a series of 'infinity' signs) to the more advanced reverse curls (which are movements that require you to pull the medicine ball up to your chest with your knees while lying on the ground).
- Do flexibility workouts. These gymnastics-focused exercises test your Dynamic (the full range of a joint's motion), Static Active (the ability to hold up a part of the body), and Static Passive (the ability to use unrelated parts of the body to support another) flexibility. Common examples of flexibility exercises include trunk rotations, side bends, and the hamstring stretch (leaning from side-to-side by bending the knees with legs stretched far apart).
- Change your diet. Proper nutrition is key to success when training from gymnastics. Hire a professional nutritionist (or simply take advice from your personal trainer) to begin a new diet regimen. Important things to keep in mind include vitamin, protein, carbohydrate, and calorie intake.
When training from gymnastics, no advice beats that of a professional gymnast. Always consult respective licensed professionals (i.e. doctors, dieticians) before making hasty changes to your exercise or eating habits. Have fun, and be safe when you start training for gymnastics!