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Health and performance are interrelated to each other. We should be in a good physical (inner and outer) condition so we can train and achieve our optimum athletic performance. Likewise, undergoing training for better athleticism can, in turn, put you in good health.

Most of us lift loads to train. Have you heard about weights for mobility too? Gymnasts tend to use weights to gain mobility, increase flexibility, enhance strength for full ranges of motion, and prevent injuries. This fitness routine is called gymnastic strength training and listed down are its three sample exercises.

The Jefferson Curl

In gymnastics, it is common to flex your spine often. Even so, this instance may result in unstable hamstrings that affect the mobility of your knees, calves, and ankles. There are training that you can do to avoid injuries, though. One example is Jefferson Curl.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Stand upright on an elevated surface (e.g., bench or with weighted bar)
  2. Your chin comes down
  3. Keep your pelvis tucked under
  4. Slowly round (one vertebra at a time) your back forward starting from your cervical spine to at least hands under the feet
  5. Keep the load  on the balls of your feet
  6. Slowly return (one vertebra at a time) from the forward flexed position

In general, the Jefferson Curl  can:

       Lengthen your hamstrings and the spinal muscles
       Enhance flexibility in your hamstrings
       Strengthen your posterior chain
       Increase the movement options or control of spinal mobility
       Improve back health under load
       Result in a supple, strong, and mobile body

Further, are you having a sedentary lifestyle? Have you been hunching over electronic devices that made you stayed seated for a long time? Let me guess. You have a weak and sore back, haven’t you? This condition can lead to posterior weakness. It’ll inevitably cause chronic pain in your neck and lower back.

As shown above, the Jefferson Curls can aid in the stable progression of your overall spinal mobility. By increasing your hamstrings’ mobility and strengthening your posterior chain, it may be able to cure back pain. If done properly, it would potentially prevent possible spinal joint compensation from excessive flexion of the spine, such as desk work and overstretching.

The Hollow Body Hold

The Hollow Body Hold is one of the basic positions in gymnastics. It allows any doer of it to properly transfer force from their upper body to their lower body without draining your energy.

It doesn’t require any equipment. Also, it can be modified, depending on a person’s fitness level and unique skills. Nevertheless, one missed or improperly done step can lead to lower back and neck discomfort.

Here’s how you do it:

1.      Lie on your back

2.      Pull your knees up toward your chest

3.      Press your lower back into the floor

4.      Lift your head and upper back a few centimeters (like doing a crunch)

  1. Extend your legs outward and your arms overhead
  2. Hold that position for 10 seconds, then rest and repeat

Further, if you want someone or “something” to guide you over without going to the gym, there are many advanced intelligent fitness systems that can assist you. One example is the Tonal’s technology. It’s an interactive home gym that can provide you guided workouts, including specific sets and reps. You have to raise the attached pulleys when raising your legs.

Despite its simplicity, it’s a full-body exercise. It engages your core, arms, legs, and entire back. The difficulty is always pressing your lumbar spine or lower back against the ground for a long time. It becomes more challenging when there is a further extension of both your arms and legs from your core.

A strong hollow body position is an essential component for those who are aiming for high-level gymnastics strength. It is because a fully extended position can generate a load or weight that might be too extreme for other people. Try to execute a perfect 45-degree position and hold it longer to get a better result. In no time, you’ll surely get a strong and stable core.

Superman or Arch Body Hold

Another way to strengthen your core is to perform superman or arch body hold. Its main purpose is to for you to know any weakness on your posterior chain. Many individuals have chronic tight frontal body parts. How? The exercise can empower your posterior chain, chest, and hip flexors.

Like the Hollow Body Hold, it is also a total body workout. In general, it can strengthen your lower and upper back, glutes, hamstrings, and core. However, its position is the total opposite of The Hollow Body Hold.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Lie face down on the ground
  2. Place both of your arms out straight overhead
  3. Place both of your legs out straight behind you
  4. Relax your muscles
  5. Make sure your neck should be in a neutral position
  6. Raise your chest and legs off the ground like how superman does when flying
  7. Squeeze your shoulders, back, and glutes, while doing step number seven
  8. Keep your hands and legs straight
  9. Don’t bend your knees
  10. Hold for ten seconds, then repeat

If you can do a full superman position, that’s great! Otherwise, take it easy. You can start with raising fewer limbs or lift your right arm and left leg at once and vice versa. If you want something harder, you can try hefting your limbs just on one side of your body. It is one of the ways to emphasize the possible imbalance in your core muscles, as well. 

For gymnasts, superman improves their ability in controlling their core and torso during muscle-ups, kipping motions, and static holds. What is more, since you are going to do strong muscle contractions, you’ll be able to keep rigid flexion and torso extension. This ability can lead to better control and stability for dynamic gymnastic movements.

Takeaway

Nowadays, people wanted to get instant results and immediate gratification when working out. Having shortsighted, impatient efforts will result in insufficient and poor-quality outputs, as well as possible physical injuries. It is because you’ll get out the same thing that you put in.

That will not do in gymnastics strength training. Its greatest advantage isn’t related to physical ability nor body structure. It is more into someone’s approach and mindset. You’ll be closer to success when you prioritize mastery and quality.


Written by Kenny Kline




US Mary Lou Retton sparked huge controversy when it was revealed that she had attempted to stop a sex abuse bill approved by the country's senate. The bill is aimed at protecting young athletes from getting sexually assaulted, .  

Retton received heavy backlash and was scolded on Twitter and she had to make her account private. On Wikipedia, gymnastics fans edited her page mentioning that her Olympic all around gold medal win was at a boycotted Olympics (1984) and that she tried to stop the bill. They were then blocked from editing her page.

Tumblr blogger illyria-and-her-pet wrote a post about gymnasts who could have won gold at the 1984 Olympics, had it not been boycotted by their countries (except Yanhong).

Olga Mostepanova performing one of the best beam routines of all time at the 1984 Alternate Games where she became the only gymnast to ever have a perfect 40 all around competition. At the Alternate Games, she won team, all around, vault, beam, and floor gold. She would have made that other gymnast irrelevant if the boycott didn’t happen. She has 5 world medals (3 gold, 2 silver).

  


While most gym fans acknowledge that Mostepanova and the Soviets would have swept the floor with that other gymnast, Hana Ricna gets very little recognition. She came in 2nd to Mostepanova at the 1984 Alternate Games and was the first to do the stalder tkatchev on uneven bars, which is still a very popular skill today. She had one of the most difficult uneven bars sets at the time because she did 3 major releases: her eponymous skill, “the Ricna” (E), the Deltchev (D), and the Comaneci (E). She has 2 world medals (1 silver, 1 bronze).




Ma Yanhong’s 1984 uneven bars gold is the only title from 1984 that I‘m 100% sure would have still happened even if there was no boycott. My favorite routine from her is that one she did at 1981 Worlds. She did a jump full turn to the low bar mount, clear hip 1/1, hecht ½, and her famous F rated dismount. Sadly, she was robbed here and only given a 9.9, so she came in 2nd to Maxi Gnauck who was given a perfect 10 despite having a less difficult routine and a hop on the dismount. She has 3 world medals (1 gold, 2 silver).




Maxi Gnauck is known for her uneven bar work, but she was also a great all arounder and floor worker. In 1979 and 1980, she was able to do a tucked full in and triple twist on the floor with no springs. At the 1984 Alternate Games, she came third in the all around and won bars and floor. Springs were added to the floor by then and she did the best piked full in and triple twist in that era. She has 9 world medals (5 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze). She also has 4 medals (1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) from the 1980 Olympics, which were also boycotted, but the countries that boycotted wouldn’t have really made a difference in any of the results in that games except for maybe on uneven bars. 




Natalia Yurchenko’s vault entry is probably the most innovative skill to ever happen in gymnastics. For decades now, almost every top gymnast has done a yurchenko style vault. She won the team and all around gold at the 1983 World Championships, but suffered an injury in vault finals that took her out of the rest of the championships. She came back from the injury to win the team and vault gold, as well as the uneven bars silver at the 1984 Alternate Games. She also made the 1985 Soviet team that won gold at Worlds. Other notable skills she did were her tkatchev + deltchev combination on uneven bars and loso mount and yurchenko loop on beam. 





Tumblr only allows you to embed 5 videos, but special shout outs to baby Elena Shushunova who won the all around bronze at the 1984 Alternate Games and then went on to have one of the greatest careers ever in 1985-1988 and Julianne Mcnamara, the American gymnast that actually has a medal from a non boycotted competition with her 1981 uneven bars bronze. 

And of course shout out to Ecaterina Szabo who won 4 gold medals and actually beat that other gymnast in the all around final in 1984. Sadly, there was no new life and she fell on uneven bars in the team optionals, so the score carried over and she lost by 0.05. She has 10 world medals (2 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze). 






By Gigi Farid





Tatiana Gutsu is one of the best Soviet gymnasts. Renowned as a trickster, she performed some of the most difficult routines in the sport. 

She is multiple Olympic, World and European medalist.

Amid her rape allegation against Vitaly Scherbo, Sugihara-Turns wrote an appreciation post that shows the gymnast's history in her senior years.


I really hope this post breaks beyond the gymternet because I want Tatiana herself to know we support her, and she is for sure one of the bravest people I ever known (hopefully same for those reading).

A History of her senior years:

1991 - Tatiana Gutsu made her senior debut this year, being selected onto the Soviet team at the Indianapolis World Championships. As always, the dominant country in gymnastics took the gold at the team finals. But Gutsu didn’t stop there. She competed in the All Around final where she placed fifth, and got a silver and bronze on beam and uneven bars.


Below: Gutsu’s beam routine from the 1991 Beam Final




She continued the year with more medal position places. She swept the 1991 European Cup (gold on all events). This year, and for the rest of her senior career, she went above and beyond with difficulty. Her routines still rival beam workers. With her execution, she could of easily taken gold on the beam final this year (2017!).

1992 - Tatiana placed no lower than 5th in any of the finals she participated in (According to wagymnastics wikia). At the European Championships in Nantes, she placed first in the all around, vault, and uneven bars! She placed second on beam, and third on the floor exercise. She was the only one to medal on all events at this championship.

Olympics - Tatiana was selected onto the Unified Team for the Olympics. This was the last time that the Soviet Union gymnastics team would compete at a major competition (It will later split up into russia, ukraine, uzbekistan, and more). Again, the Soviets placed first on the team final. She controversially replaced teammate Roza Galiyeva to compete in the All Around Final. This however, was proven a good choice, since Gutsu took home the gold. Not only that, but she placed 2nd on the uneven bars, and 3rd on the floor exercise!

Side Notes: She also competed in the 1992 World Championships. Though she didn’t medal here, she had an AMAZING beam routine here too, where she stuck her full twisting double back dismount. (Look Below)





Here are 3 more of her amazing routines:




Above: 1992 Floor Finals (Barcelona Olympics)




Above: 1992 Uneven Bar Finals (Barcelona Olympics)




Above: 1991 Trofeo Goofy (I am not sure if this is the competition name). She scores a perfect 10 here!

If Tatiana Gutsu is reading this: You are so brave. You were an amazing gymnast, who could still win medals today with your routines. We all love and support you, and we hope you have a safe and wonderful future.

Illyria-and-her-pet added also some interesting routines of the gymnast.

Also gonna add her floor from Moscow Stars which is the only time she hit the split double layout perfectly 



And her bars where she did an incredible ftdlo dismount!






By Gigi Farid


One of the key aspects of gymnastics is that it develops both strength and flexibility. There are countless exercises used in the sport that foster range of motion and joint mobility. Although used by elite level athletes, many exercises are equally appropriate for everyday people looking to keep their body healthy. Below you will find five exercises inspired by gymnastics training that can be performed in the comfort of your own home without any equipment. 

Heels Up




This exercise targets the lower abs and builds strength in those abdominal muscles. However, it is also excellent for developing lower back muscles and can greatly help your posture by strengthening your core. 

How to do it:

To perform “heels up,” lay on your back with your legs straight up in the air. Your arms should be out to the side at shoulder level height (making a T shape with your upper body). Pull back your toes so that your feet are fully flexed and your heels are the highest point on your foot. Begin curling your hips under such that your feet are lifted toward the ceiling. It is essential that your legs do not move any direction other than directly upward.  Perform 20 repetitions, then allow yourself a thirty-second rest. Repeat this three times.

*Note: If you do not have the flexibility to point your legs directly upward, you can still effectively perform heels up. Just be certain that your legs do not lift any higher or drop any lower as you curl your hips under. Pretend your legs are in a tube and you are trying to shoot your heels down the tube to the very bottom.

Swimmers



Swimmers are an excellent exercise to further combat lower back pain and develop strength. It is especially good for those who favor one side more than the other. When you are dominant on one side, the muscles on the opposing side can become quite weak. This can result in pain in other body parts such as the hip or shoulder that are compensating for the weakness. To avoid such pain, it is essential to develop those lower back muscles on both sides.

How to do it:

Start by laying face down on the floor with your arms up by your ears and legs straight and together. Your chin should be on the carpet so that your head is lifted slightly upward, but your neck muscles should be relaxed rather than contracted. Lift your right arm as high as possible keeping it close to your head – do not let it open outward. At the same time, lift your left leg as high as you can while keeping it close to your right leg (as opposed to straddling outward). Be sure your leg is straight.  Count to three then lower both the arm and the leg. After a one second rest, lift the left arm and the right leg in the same fashion as the first side. Hold for three seconds and then relax. That is one repetition. Perform this 20 times before allowing a one-minute rest.  Repeat the 20 repetitions and one-minute rest two more times. 

Balancing Act




Rolled ankles are injuries frequently experiences by gymnasts as well as athletes of all sports. Likewise, ankle pain is a common complaint of many adults for a number of reasons. Fortunately, there is an extremely simple exercise that can build the muscles necessary to stabilize the ankle joint. To perform balancing act, you will need a pillow, couch cushion, folded towel, or some other soft object that you can stand on. A pillow will be used for purposes of the following instructions. 

How to do it: 

Place the pillow on the floor in front of you. Stand on top of the pillow on your right foot. Place your hands on your hips and your left foot pressed against your right leg with the left knee bent. In order to directly target the ankle, it is imperative that your right leg is completely straight. If your right leg is bent, that knee will be doing much of the work rather than the targeted ankle. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then switch legs, holding the same position on your right leg. Repeat this three times. For more dramatic results, perform “Balancing Act” on both the right and left leg twice in the morning and twice more in the evening.

There are some important notes for this exercise. If you have a particularly weak ankle, be sure to be close to a wall or some other object which you can use to catch yourself. In extreme cases, keep your fingertips gently against the wall, avoiding putting pressure on your hand but allowing yourself to not completely lose your balance and fall over.

For those who have strong ankles and the exercise is too easy, there is a quick way to drastically increase the difficulty. Once you have positioned yourself on one foot on the pillow, close your eyes. Removing your vision from the exercises makes it notably harder and you should instantly feel your ankle exerting much more effort to keep your body aligned over that foot.

Arm Dips, but Up with the Hips

Arm dips are a commonly used exercise intended to target the triceps. This variation strays ever so slightly from the traditional exercise, but can have dramatic results. Typically done on gymnastics bars, but is not required since there are alternatives. Not only does it increase difficulty, but it also allows the exercise to target your core muscles (in your abdomen and back). 

How to do it:

To perform arm dips, you will need a couch, coffee table, bench, or other object that comes to somewhere between your knees and hips in height.

Begin by putting your back to the couch and placing both hands behind you on the seat. Extend your feet away from the couch so that your body is completely straight. Squeeze your glutes to hold your hips up flat making a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Your butt should not drop down toward the floor at any point during the exercise. The goal is to only go as low as you can without breaking the straight line of your body.

Keeping the straight line, slowly bend your arms keeping your shoulders back over your hands. If you feel your chest coming forward, that is usually a good indicator that you are letting your hips drop to the floor. These are notably more difficult than traditional arm dips so start with low numbers and adjust according to your skill level. For beginners, I would recommend starting with three sets of 8. Remember, these are slow and your arms should only bend as much as you can without letting your hips drop.

Stationary Flying



This exercise targets back muscles while also fostering shoulder mobility. Because range of motion is related to strength as much as flexibility, stationary flying is an excellent exercise for the shoulder. Further, because there is no pressure on your hands, elbows, or shoulders, it is low impact and can be properly performed by highly trained athletes as well as those recovering from injury. It is both a conditioning and rehabilitative exercise.

How to do it:

To perform stationary flying, lay on your stomach on the floor with both of your arms out to the side even with your shoulders making a T shape. For this exercise, it is better for your arms to be above your shoulders rather than below, so before performing any repetitions, slide your hands a few inches upward, bringing your biceps ever so slightly closer to your ears.
 You chin should again be on the ground so that your chin is somewhat lifted, rather than having your head turned to one side.  Also, be mindful of your legs. They should be together and straight such that your body is in perfect alignment.

Lift your hands, forearms, and upper arms off the ground. Hold this position for two seconds and then lower your arms back to the ground.  Repeat these holds 15 times and then perform 5 more without the hold. The last 5 should be notably quicker and all done in a row. That is one set. Perform three sets with a one-minute rest between each set.

If you are advanced, perform the exercise the same as described above, but do not let any part of your arm touch the ground between the holds or lifts. In other words, once you lift your arms for the first repetition, nowhere on your arm should touch the floor again until you’ve completed all 20. 

Concluding Thoughts

Remember to always start where you are. That is, do not push yourself past your current skill level. If you continue these exercises regularly, you will gradually strengthen the targeted muscles and joints thus allowing you to increase repetitions. 

You can find more gymnastics inspired health and fitness information on our website

Written by James Hurt


If you are someday casually browsing the Chinese gymternet with google translate, and spot one of these two people talking about your fave, beware, your fave may be cursed.

The person with the tingting icon is pretty much famous for jinxing her faves. So much so that he/she is a legend on the Chinese gymternet. The curse has never failed. When she liked Simone briefly, Simone fell off beam.

Simone, who was immune to the white leo curse. 

Everyone outside of Simone has met with worse fates (probably because she never truly loved Simone with all her heart). Tan Sixin, Chen Siyi… Wang Yan was pretty consistent (for a junior) until she became a fave… and then it’s just falls everywhere, same goes for Jiaxin. 

Everytime this person falls in love with a gymnast, she would be super high profile with it, and everyone else is just like.

Her Russian favorites were: Alla, Seda, and Vika.




I’ve set up a shrine for her right here. Check out that post if you want to pray that that person doesn’t suddenly become a fan of your fave. Better yet, go buy some incense and burn it while facing the general direction of China. 


Person #2, everyone calls him “mama six” because everyone those he was a she, but since he is a he, he prefers to be called by “cat” instead of “mama”. (but everyone calls him “mom six” anyways) He usually post things that are on the technical (but with his own biases) side. Once in a while tho, he will make predictions in one of his “juniors to watch for” or “I’m pleasantly surprised by” posts…

we call them “mama’s blessings” because…

The reality will often turn out to be the complete opposite of these blessings. 


So far, his rate hovers at around 80~90%. One year was particularly bad because everyone he has mentioned that he’d hope would do well ended up injured or fell on something. There was one post where people dug the post logs a couple of years to confirm the existence of the curse. Mama six is at least self aware so we don’t see him making a lot of predictions anymore. 

One of the jinxers used Lari's photo as their avatar before the World championships.

Written by 16-233/Tumblr


Ponor/ Photo by Jeni Hull
A year ago, Bustle wrote a gymnastics related article and not only did they not get the facts straight but also have created an alternate reality of the sport.

The article started with explaining what Onodi is. They said when a gymnast jumps backwards, then does a half twist into a front handspring and that it is named after Hungary's Henrietta Onodi although it was first performed by Soviet Olga Mostepanova, which is correct.

However, it mentioned that all gymnastics elements are assigned a difficulty rating, ranging from "A" to "I" WRONG not all gymnastics element but the floor ones are. The difficulty rating of elements on balance beam and uneven bars ranges from A to G.



They wrote that Onodi is worth an F which again is wrong. It is worth a D on beam.



They then linked to a balance beam routine performed by US Nastia Liukin which included an Onodi and mentioned that the skill is also performed on floor exercise and that US ALY RAISMAN competed a DOUBLE version of it.




Everybody, this is an Onodi:
GIF xygretel
And there is no such a thing called a double Onodi, neither on beam nor on floor, and Raisman has never performed Onodi neither on beam nor on floor.

Could the writer have confused Onodi with Arabian? Raisman does compete two types of the Arabian skill, the tucked and the piked ones. She competes double Arabians, and the Arabian on beam is rated an F.





But the writer did acknowledge what's an Onodi at the beginning of the article and that Liukin competed one. Liukin never competed an Arabian.

The writer goes on to mention that Romania's Catalina Ponor attempted the move 'the double Onodi' and that was on vault! During the vault finals in Rio!

Ponor doesn't do Arabians, in fact Romanians don't do Arabians - that's if the writer had an Arabian in their minds while typing Onodi. Ponor has never had two different vaults thus has never competed in vault finals.

In this what we should call alternate reality, Ponor falls on the Onodi vault and finishes in 7th place.




In the real life Olympics, Ponor qualifies to the balance beam final and finishes 7th but she dioes not suffer any falls. It is worth mentioning that she did not perform on vault at this Olympics. 

Actually, Ponor has never fallen off any apparatus in competitions but this one time on vault during the 2016 Olympic test events.

Thanks to Notanotherwolfturn, the article went viral on Tumblr. One of Tumblr users went as far as creating a video that shows the Romanian gymnast competing an Onodi on vault and falling.



http://olympichampion.tumblr.com/post/164107173611/i-cant-believe-its-almost-been-a-year-since-cata

While another created a GIF of a double Onodi on balance beam.



Written by Gigi Farid



Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

It’s no surprise that gymnastics is both a mentally and physically challenging sport. It focuses on body awareness, coordination, balance, and flexibility. So gymnasts train hard to build muscular strength and endurance without minimizing serious injuries.
You now know why gymnastics is so important for most people (click here to see the health benefits of gymnastics article) . It fights depression, increases bone mineral density, and promotes better mental and cognitive function.
So how to get started in gymnastics to reap all its health benefits?
Getting started with gymnastic routines:
Before I list all the important gymnastic skills to look forward to, it’s important to pick a gymnastics class that fits your age group. If you’re starting off late, it’s better to first attend a few gymnastics training programs. This will help you determine your physical abilities, strength, and flexibility. And it also helps you decide what you need to work on the most.
Floor
The floor is where it all starts. It involves basic gymnastic skills including balance and body strength. If you hold your ground, you then progress to more complex floor movements. Elite gymnasts master the basic floor moves like handstands, rolls, cartwheels, and somersaults. These are trained and performed on a standard mat or spring floor to avoid injuries or sprains.
Beam
Practicing on the beam involves better body movement and coordination. A beam is a made up of leather material, usually 4 inches wide. Female gymnasts often develop different gymnastic skills including tap swing and stride circle. The more complicated gymnastic movements on the beam are handstand, piked Jager, straddle back, and many more.
Vault
The vaulting table is where are complex skills are practiced. But for beginners, it involves more basic skills like handstands and straddles. Working your way towards complex vault movements requires muscular strength, flexibility, and better balance. It also means to “stick the landing” in a professional and precise manner.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at a few important fitness tips for beginners. This will help you get started with gymnastics in a healthy and injury-free manner.

1. Stick To A Schedule

Any gymnast would tell you how important it is to stick to a proper gymnastic training framework. As per expert recommendation, training 3 times a week is ideal for beginners to target all muscle groups. Each day focuses on a different training program starting from low-intensity, medium-weight intensity, to high intensity sessions.
Such versatile training programs can build up better physical endurance and flexibility for beginners. Also it offers you a day’s rest after every session for faster recovery. (21)

2. Get The Basics Right

As with any other sport, learning the basic moves is critical for training. Since gymnastics is a sport of flexibility, strength, and agility, it’s important to master the basics before moving forward to more complex moves.
Based on a scientific review, building upper-body strength is necessary. Beginners can work on that with basic push-ups. There are different variations of doing a basic push-up. So you can increase the number of reps each week as you get stronger.
Doing a frog-stand to develop balancing skills and target core muscles is next. To master this basic, you need to squat with your hands on the floor. It’s important to lead forward while lifting your legs and touching the knees to the elbows. Hold this position for about 30 seconds to master a frog-stand.
Other basic moves include a handstand and somersault. (22)

3. It’s Important To Learn The Rules

Gymnasts don’t take rules lightly. For accurate performance, especially on a competitive level, following the rules is critical. That’s why beginners are first taught the important rules of gymnastics before training begins. Following these general rules help gymnasts hit higher scores and follow the routine effectively.
For example, at the time of competition, skills such as balance beam and floor come with strict time limits. If a gymnast exceeds the prescribed time limit, it leads to a score deduction. Other additional rules are proper conduct, body position, etc. (23)

4. Stretch Before And After Your Training

Stretching for flexibility and stretching for injury prevention are two different things. Most people give least importance to stretching for injury prevention.
According to a recent study, stretching before and after gymnastics training has positive neural and performance benefits. It helps in relaxing all muscle groups to reduce muscle stiffness and cramps. Also, an increase in stretching leads to a significant increase in range of motion and balance.
Stretching is important to boost strength and prevent fatigue caused by high-intensity workouts. Gymnasts who stretch for injury prevention also reported better muscle strength and reduced muscle stiffness after training. This can also prevent frequent muscle tears and knee problems. (24)

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep and exercise go hand-in-hand for athletes and gymnasts. It’s important to get enough sleep for proper training, especially when you want to make progress. For gymnastics training, beginners need extra sleep to reduce stress on the muscles and bones. It also helps in recovery for muscle soreness, especially after the first few sessions.
That said, beginners should train during evenings that is neither too early in the morning nor too late. If you train during your early waking hours, it can cause tiredness throughout the day. While training too late can leave you with very little body strength to train with. (25,26)
So as beginners, giving your body complete rest and recovery by training in the evenings is easier to recover from.

6. Don’t Forget To Wear Protective Gear

There are many ways to injure when practicing gymnastics. Floor exercises causes the most injuries, according to a recent study. But amateurs can hurt themselves by falling off the beam or other sports equipment too.
The most common injuries are ligament tears, bone fracture, muscle sprain, and back problems. So in order to stay protected, wearing wrist straps, grips, spotting belts, and guards are essential. Proper footwear is also critical to prevent ankle injuries.
Wearing wrist guards and grips prevent blisters and skin tears, especially during amateur training. Since the outer layer of the skin is not used to such challenging movements, it can cause serious injections if you act irresponsibly. (27)

7. Practice Gymnastics After Eating

It’s important you eat a proper meal before training. It meets the body’s demand for a healthy, filling, and immune-boosting meal. That said, gymnasts incorporate smaller meals that are high in energy to control their weight and increase muscular strength. So during heavy training, fatigue and dizziness is out of the question.
Eating energy bars, cereal, toast, or dried fruits before training is also healthy. And during training, drinking carbohydrate-rich fluids can prevent weakness and build stamina. (28)

8. Make Sure To Stay Hydrated

Dehydration, according to a recent report, can cause many health concerns on sports performance. It leads to decreased blood flow, heat dissipation, and sweat rate during exercise. These factors contribute to many illnesses including immune-related diseases.
So for maximum physical performance, drinking sufficient amounts of water during the day is important. It also affects your mood and concentration during gymnastics training. With dehydrated muscles, your blood pressure drops, heart rate increases, and there’s not enough fuel to power your body. This leads to more fluid loss and fatigue.
Preparing for a gymnastics meet includes drinking small amounts of water every 15-30 minutes or so before, during, and after training. (29)

9. Eat A Healthy Diet

Your body requires proper nutrients for energy production and boosting stamina. Gymnasts, on the one hand, require high calorie intake to avoid tiredness, fatigue, and sluggishness. Other important nutrients include macronutrients such as carbs, protein, and fats.
Foods such as oatmeal, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and vegetables are considered high-energy foods for a gymnast. It helps in proper fiber and protein absorption. While lean protein meals consisting of eggs, chicken, and lean beef also boost energy during training. (30)
Lack of proper nutrition can cause immune suppression which is characterized by an increase in stress hormones in the body. Longer recovery is also a partly responsible for lack of nutrition in the body. (31)

10. Don’t Stress Yourself Out

Did you know stress can affect sports performance causing high blood pressure, fear, and shortness of breath? Increased anxiety during physical performance can even cause serious muscle spasms and soreness.
A recent report on anxiety and sports performance determined that high stress levels disrupt concentration for more advanced skills in gymnastics. It can seriously impact a wide range of gymnastic skills such as handstands, somersaults, and other basic moves.
Beginners often fall and release lots of perspiration due to high stress levels during performance. So staying calm is critical to stellar gymnastics performance. (32)

Wrapping It Up

Knowing how well gymnastics can affect the human body is critical to sports performance. Many youngsters and elders are participating in this sport to build muscular strength and flexibility. An important aspect of gymnastics is a healthy sleeping and eating habit. If you do this, you feed your body enough nutrients to stay energetic.
Since gymnastics is a challenging sport, treating the mind and body is critical for good performance. That being said, if you have the time to practice gymnastics at least 3 times a week, it’s something to look forward to. Learning all the different gymnastic skills and routines requires flexibility and body coordination. And you can definitely achieve all this with consistent athletic and gymnastic training.
So are you ready to work on your body by participating in gymnastics?

Written by Jacky Miller
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