6 Gymnastics Drills to Help Build Your Conditioning
Serious gymnasts may find themselves training anywhere between 32-45 hours each week, which breaks down to 7-8 hours daily. Or if you participate in gymnastics for fun, then you may find yourself training for a couple of hours a few times a week. Whichever training regime you're on, it's crucial to maintain your strength while you at home.
Because of the current state of the world, practice gyms are closed, and working out may seem impossible. But, we're about to provide you with some advanced gymnastics drills that will get you in tip-top shape like Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles.
Let's get right into this guide to working out at home without missing a beat.
Stretch Before and After Workouts
Stretching is an essential part of any athlete's workout plan because it helps your muscles remain flexible and reduces the likelihood of injuries occurring. As a gymnast, you need to ensure that your muscles remain flexible to complete all the gravity-defying flips and spinning that the most elaborate routines call for.
When you're stretching before a workout, it's called a warm-up, and after the exercise is called the cool down. When you're completing the warm-up, try a variety of active stretches to prepare your body for the workout ahead.
And during the cooldown, you're going to want to focus on stretches that lengthen your muscles and ligaments while slowing your heartbeat. If you are injured, stretching will help you to retain your current flexibility as you continue to heal.
Now that you've finished stretching, you can now begin your workout for the day. Be warned just because you're working out from home doesn't mean you get to take it easy on yourself. Devote 110% of your effort to completing this work out just like you would if you were in the gym and in the presence of your coaches.
1. Handstand Pushups
Handstands are probably one of the most basic standards that all gymnasts must achieve before moving onto other skills. Part of being skilled at handstands, and getting the power you need to catapult off the floor takes strength.
That is precisely why the first workout on our list is the handstand pushup. All you've got to do is assume the handstand position, use the wall if necessary, and perform a pushup.
You're going to feel the burn in your shoulder blades almost immediately because the pushups must be performed slow and controlled. If you find that you're still learning how to perform a handstand, use the wall and hold yourself up for a few seconds to minutes.
As you get stronger, you'll be able to slowly move away from the wall and start practicing your handstand pushup.
2. Sprint Drills
We know the last thing that you wanted to see on this list is anything that has to do with running. But, making sprints apart of your workout routine will help you to improve your speed, which is necessary, especially when competing in the vault.
The best part about doing sprints is you don't need a large amount of space to complete each drill. For these exercises, you may want to find some cones or other items that can use to mark the distance.
To become great at the vault, your need to be quick and powerful, which takes training your quick-twitch muscles. One of our favorites, when it comes to sprint drills, is called the suicide with a backward pedal.
All you've got to do is start at the beginning of your sprint cones and sprint to the first cone once you've reached the cone you'll pause sinking into a squat and quickly backpedal back to the beginning. Once you've gotten back to the beginning, you'll change directions and sprint to the second cone.
You'll continue this until you reach the last cone, which you then sprint through to finish the drill. You'll find that it can be challenging to change direction at a moments notice, but this gives you the strength you need to control your muscles and allows you to produce higher amounts of speed and power in a short distance.
And again that is increasingly beneficial when you're competing in the vault and need to create high levels of momentum to propel you into your flipping sequence.
We've all been the victims of not having enough strength to pull ourselves up on the uneven bars, but there's a way to train to ensure you've got the strength you need to pull off your bar routine. The best way to improve this while working on pulling your body weight is to do pull-ups.
You can use the bottom of the stairs or have a pull-up bar shipped to your home that can fit in most doorways to complete your pull-ups. In the beginning, you're going to find doing pull-ups to be challenging.
But, if you're an old pro to performing pull-ups, start your pull-ups, but each time you reach the top or bottom of the pull-up pause. If you want to continue to increase the difficulty, try bicycle pull-ups.
The way to do these is to move your legs the way you would when riding a bike except slowly. As you continue to move your legs, you'll slowly pull yourself up until you've completed the exercise.
Talk about a workout.
Splits are another basic maneuver that you need to have in your gymnastics arsenal. But, getting the perfect split can be challenging, especially when you're not as flexible as you should be. You must know that to reach a proper split takes time and stretching of the hip flexors, glutes, and more.
You'll need to train both your side and front or middle split. There are various step by step instructions provided online that will help walk you through the progressive steps you need to know to complete a split.
Every day as you continue to stretch more, you'll find that you're able to slide your legs further and further apart until finally, you've performed a split. One thing we recommend keeping an eye on while you're practicing your split is your posture.
You'll want to remain tall and upright during your practice. This will help you to keep yourself in alignment when you're on the balance beam. If you're not in line it could cause you to fall off the beam, which during competition means point deductions for you and your team's overall score.
So grab your best training leotard and start practicing your splits.
Jumps are an essential part of performance in gymnastics. You've got to ensure that your jumps are explosive and powerful because it will help to move you from one movement to the next.
When you're practicing your jumps, you need to focus on keeping your posture straight at all times. Think of someone pulling a string from the top of your head into a straight line.
You need to keep your movements tight while performing each jump with maximum effort and power. Some of the jumps that you need to perform during your practice time include half turn, pike, full turn, straddle and split. The more power you can create when jumping the better you'll be when it comes to performing various jumps.
6. Leg Lifts
Leg lifts will help you to maintain the core strength you need to continue to stabilize your body when you're performing various exercises. The way to correctly perform a leg lift is to lift your legs off the ground and hold them up for a couple of minutes.
If you're looking to increase the difficulty of your leg lifts perform a v-up. To begin lay flat and then when you're ready to perform the v-up bring your arms and legs together forming a V and then return to the starting position.
Gymnastics Drills That Can Be Done At Home
Just because we're all stuck inside right now and not able to train the way that we usually do doesn't mean that you can't train at all. We've provided you with some gymnastics drills that you can do at home with a few adjustments to increase the level of difficulty or make them easier for beginners.
Whether you're doing beam drills or balance drills, there's an exercise to help improve your movements and increase your strength. When you're ready to return to the gym you're going to want to show off your new moves in a brand new leotard.
That's why you need to shop United All Around products. We even have provided customers with a sizing chart to ensure that you get the right leotard for your body type. Gymnastics is about strength, power, and style, which you're sure to have when shopping with us.