Stretching before, during, and after a gymnastics routine can prevent or reduce the severity of injuries. It’s also a great way to extend your range of motion and improve your gymnastics moves. Today’s blog from Gold Medal Gyms highlights gymnastics stretches to do from home to help you stay in shape.
Neck, Shoulders, Arms, and Wrists
Gymnastics stretches don’t have to be complicated for a simple warm-up. These stretches help you loosen your upper body.
While standing up straight, gently tilt your head to the left, front, right, and back. Hold your head in each position for about three to five seconds. Do this three to four times per side. Go slow and steady.
Sit down in a chair. Roll your shoulders up in a hunched position, then let them fall forward before pulling them back up. Continue this circular motion for several seconds. Do this around five times to get your shoulders moving. These gymnastics stretches are essential to maintaining balance.
Circular wrist movements keep your joints limber when doing cartwheels, handsprings, and handstands. Slowly move your wrists around for about 10 seconds each, gently testing your range of motion.
Windmills for your arms stretch your shoulders in a different direction than the previous gymnastic stretches. Hold your arms out in front of you, and move them around as if they are windmills. The motion should go forward and backward.
Torso and Legs
Now we move to some gymnastics stretches for the torso and legs. You’ll need the upper body stretches done first before moving to these.
Calf raises stretch your lower legs. Stand with your feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift your heels and hold the stretch for five seconds. Then lower your heels back down to the floor. Repeat this gymnastics stretch several times.
Do a backbend by starting out with a gymnastics bridge. This is when you arch your back backwards towards the floor, eventually having your feet and palms flat on the floor and your stomach arched upwards. Gently push up with your arms and legs to make the arch more pronounced. Hold the backbend for up to 30 seconds to stretch your arms, legs, and back.
Sit in a straddle position for these gymnastics stretches. Sit on the floor with your legs spread out to each side. Bring both arms to your left leg as far as they’ll go. Do the same with your right leg. Reach out in front of you to stretch your thigh muscles. Switch legs and bend to the front slowly and gradually.
The key to each of these gymnastics stretches is to go slowly. Don’t bounce or make any quick movements. You want your muscles to stretch gently, so they’re ready for more intense movements.
Gold Medal Gyms: Cheerleading and Gymnastics
Gold Medal Gyms specializes in cheerleading and gymnastics classes for children of all ages. We also offer ninja warrior training and classes for youth. Contact Gold Medal Gyms or call (417) 732-4100 for more information.