How to Do Gymnastic Warm Ups
The sport of gymnastics demands intense muscle power. The best way to keep your muscles in shape and avoid injury to them is to warm up and stretch properly before practice.
Sprains and strains are common among gymnasts but many of these accidents can be avoided with a good body warm up.
7 Steps to Do Gymnastic Warm Ups
1. Get started.
The first step to a good warm up is to begin with aerobic exercise to increase the heart rate and get the blood pumping. Start off with jogging around the gymnasium or even in place for at least 3 to 5 minutes. Pay careful attention to body position making sure that your arms are moving by your side and your knees are raised while jogging.
2. Do some jumping jacks.
Use a wide range of motion and watch your breathing. About 50 jumping jacks is a good number to begin with. This is a great cardio workout. Alternate the footwork a bit and start with both feet together and jump in a forward motion then jump back with feet together leaving arms by your side.
3. Step to get the leg muscles warmed up.
Forward step using just your legs or add arm movements as if you were marching in a parade. Side stepping can also be done. Use a quick back and forth side step or side together side motion.
4. Prevent wrist injury.
Warming up your wrists is extremely important because of the pressure placed on this part of a gymnast’s body. Move the hands around in circular motions, pull back on the fingers of one hand to feel a good stretch throughout the palm too. Rock back and forth on your knees while hands are flat on the floor extending far in each direction.
5. Lean over to warm up the back.
While on your knees sit on your feet and bend all the way over in a forward direction with arms stretched over head. Try to place your nose the floor, then slowly lift body and repeat. This is a great way to warm up those back muscles to prevent straining.
Warm ups involve the mind as well as the body. Think about each movement and be thorough with each exercise to get the most out of it. Rushing through warm ups will decrease the chance of having a great practice or even a terrific competition if you’re left with a muscle injury.
7. Stretch the rest of the body.
Hips, shoulders, necks and ankles should also be warmed up. Exercises like using a hula hoop for the hips are effective and provide a good stretch. Roll the neck slowly in all four directions, roll shoulders in wide and small circular motions. Warm ankles by rolling feet around and pointing and flexing your toes.
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