What is the Best Way for Training for Gymnastics?

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Answered by: Ayah, An Expert in the Gymnastics Training Advice Category
Training for gymnastics can seem as if it's impossible, but the truth is you just have to do it the right way.

The first thing you're going to want to do is make sure that you're always properly stretched before starting any actual training. Make sure you stretch all parts of your body, even if you won't be using them in the particular exercise you're doing. Without proper stretching, you might not get as good of an exercise as you would have expected.

Now that you are loose and fully stretched, you can start to go into the actual training part. You should always start with cardio — this includes activities like running and jogging -so that your body can get warmed up; I would recommend going light and doing a 15 minute jog.

Now, for the next few steps, it does not particularly matter what order you do it in. For purposes of this article, I will start from the top of the body and make my way down. So, the first thing we will start with will be arm strengthening. Doing pull-ups is a great way to build up arm muscles, but you might be the kind of person who likes to spice things up sometimes. If that is you, you could try doing planks, dips (putting your hands on a raised surface, like a beam or some parallel bars, and using your arms to raise and lower you bottom to and from the ground), and chin-holds. You can choose whatever amount you'd like to do based on your physical capability, but a good middle number would be around 15.

Next, you should work on your core strength. Having good stomach strength is very important for your body control, power, momentum, and just overall gymnastics. There are many different ways you can work out your core; it all depends on what level you're at. One exercise that mostly all levels do is crunches. When doing crunches, you want to keep your shoulders on the ground and use your stomach to lift your head and your neck up. I would recommend doing 3 sets of 20 (a total of 60) of these. The common onlooker tends to assume that the crunches you're doing are not really working out anything, but don't worry, after about 30 of these, you'll know it's definitely working out something!

Lastly, you'll move on to the legs and ankles. You may not think it, but this is a core part of your training for gymnastics. For your legs, squats are a good idea. They will mostly work out your thighs, but if you want to push it a little bit and do 40 or 50, you'll start to feel it in your calves as well.

There is also another exercise for your legs, which involves a squishy mat. Make sure the mat is is not bouncy (like a trampoline) in any way, or else the exercise will not work. Once you have found a squishy mat, you can do jumping squats, which is exactly what it sounds like; you go into a squat position and jump up and down for a certain period of time. 45-60 seconds should be enough.

Now, for your ankles, the one strengthening exercise that I recommend is the marbles and cup one. For this, you will set a cup on the floor, make two piles of marbles beside it, and sit down. Bend your legs and put them in front of you and hover your ankles above the piles for now. Next, you will begin to try and pick up the marbles with your feet and place them in the cup. The goal is to get as many in the cup as you can in 30 seconds, but you can vary the time accordingly. This activity will help to strengthen your ankles, as well as have a fun game to play with your friends.

Of course, if you have your own strategies for gymnastics training, go ahead and do them, but those are just the ways I recommend. With correct repetition of these techniques, you are almost guaranteed to become a stronger gymnast and person!

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