A gymnast needs to have great body awareness and develop skills like balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. Here are a few essentials from Healthy Hemp Energy to help maximize your training.
Most of us have been doing somersault’s since we were in kindergarten so we are pretty familiar with the move by the time we are training to be a competitive gymnast. The forward roll is a foundation for so many other moves and a great one to practice daily.
Squat down, legs together with the hands on the mat. Use your legs to push off, tuck the head and actively roll (don’t flop) over making sure that you tuck the chin to protect the neck. Use your belly muscles by holding it tight for even more control over the roll. Then, allow yourself to rock back and forth a few times on your back, with the legs tucked in, (think of shaping your body like a ball) until you can roll to your feet. Stand tall and still with your arms by your sides, just like you would do after you finished any gymnastic performance.
Pushups and Planks
Do lots and lots of push-ups! Upper body strength is key in gymnastics. You can start with your basic military style pushup (with our without the knees) and build from there. Once you have gotten good at a basic push-up start playing around with the arm and leg positions. You can bring the limbs in or go wide and eventually start playing with three-limbed versions. Add low planks, high planks and side planks to make it even more challenging and fun!
Start by activating your core muscles. Lie on you back and lift up the head, neck and shoulders as well as the legs. Then reach your arms overhead behind you and hold. Do this several times and increase the duration as you get more comfortable with this. Developing these muscles will help you as you try to lift and hold handstand.
If you want to use a wall, practice kicking up to the wall and taking your legs off of it for lengths of time. See how long you can hold yourself away from the wall and work on increasing the duration. Also, remember to kick up if you are using the wall not forward. You want to get used to thinking and being vertical. As you get better, move further from the wall before you kick up. Another great exercise is to grab a fitness ball or blanket ( if you are on a on a slippery floor) and do some pikes. Start in the push up position with your toes on the prop. Practice rolling (or sliding) the prop in until your hips are on top of your shoulders.
Good nutrition is key to any peak performance so don’t let yourself go hungry. Eat nutrient dense food and remember to eat well and often. Getting enough sleep is also important, especially when it comes to your bodies recovery.
Work towards progress and not perfection when you are not training as it will help keep the joy in the training, allowing you to enjoy the moments along the way to your peak performance. Pacing yourself is key as we can’t be sprinting the entire marathon and expect to finish!
Next time you train, grab some Healthy Hemp Energy to help you #hempergize your performance!