Gymnastics conditioning at Home
In order to stay tight and control ones body during difficult skills you must have a strong core. Abs and lower back must be able to hold rigid with ease, as well as contract quickly to generate momentum for skills.
The abdominals are some of the most important muscles in the body for gymnastics and many other sports. Having strong abs is crucial to being successful in many skills, or just maintaining form in most skills.
- Advanced leg lift - Lie on your back with your legs straight. Place each hand palm down, just under each respective glute. Keeping your head in, and body hollow, lift your toes towards the ceiling. Just before your legs reach vertical extend your torso to lift your lower back off the floor. The top point is a candlestick.
- Basic sit-up - Lie down on the floor on your back with your knees bent or straight, and someone or something holding your legs or not. Sit up to an upright position.
- Crunches - Lie down on the floor on your back, knees bent or straight, legs elevated or not. Bring your head up and in and lift your shoulders off the floor by rounding your back as much as possible. Holding your arms above your head will add to the resistance.
- Hanging Sit-ups - Using gravity boots or simply hanging by your knees do sit ups. Compress as much as possible at the top.
- N-ups - Yet again, on your back. This time lying flat and completely stretched out. Bring your arms in and shoulders forward while simultaneously bringing your legs up and in so that the top position is a tuck balanced on your butt.
- Side conditioning - Lie on your side using your hand to balance. Lift your legs and shoulders and return to the start position.
- V-ups - Begin like N-ups. Bring your arms and shoulders up while lifting your legs keeping them straight to finish in a V position.
- V-ups variation - This exercise is a v-up except you use a gymnastics ball. Place the ball between your legs, lift legs and pass ball to hands, then lifts hands and pass ball to feet. (DAS note: This can be done with a medicine ball for additional load) Submitted by Beth
Medicine Ball Work
Medicine balls are a great way to help build power. Also many of the other exercises can be done holding a medicine ball. eg. try the squat jumps holding a 10 pound medicine ball. Do pull ups holding a ball between your knees.
- Hollow rock tossing - This exercise requires 3 medicine balls. You and a partner each hold a medicine ball between your feet. Lie on your backs with your feet facing eachother about. (distance depends on how far you can throw the ball) Take the third ball and throw it to your partner. As you catch the ball rock back in a tight hollow then rock forward and throw the ball.
- Lower Torso Conditioning - Sit in a pike. Hold the ball out in front of you with straight arms. Twist side to side fairly slowly, but with a wide range of motion. (If you do this too fast you can hurt your back)
- Rear Overhead Throws - Go get your partner again. Stand 10 feet apart. Whoever has the ball turn around. Throw the ball backwards over your head to your partner. Turn around to receive their throw.
- Reclined Throws - Get a partner. Lie on your backs with your feet towards each other, knees bent, about 10 feet apart. (increase the distance to increase difficulty) Throw the ball to your partner. Use an overhead throw similar to an overhead soccer throw, except you are lying down.
- Russian Twist - Lie on your back with bent knees, feet flat on floor. Have a partner hold your feet. Hold a medicine ball with straight arms directly in front of you. Sit up so that your lower back is slightly off the floor. Twist back and forth as far as you can.
- Arch Rocks - Lie on your stomach in an arch with your heels squeezed together and arms by your ears. Rock back and forth.
- Candlestick extensions - Roll back into a candlestick with your arms by your ears. Lower your toes to the floor, then extend your toes to the ceiling. This also has the advantage of stretching your gludes, hamstrings and lower back in the process.
- Hip abduction - Start lying on your right side then lift your left leg as high as possible and return to start position. Repeat on left side.
- Hip adduction - Start lying on your right side with your left leg bent and left foot on the floor in front of your hips and your right leg still extended. Then, should lift your right leg as high as possible and return to start position.
- Hollow Rocks - Lie on your back in a hollow position with your arms by your ears. Rock back and forth. Your lower back should be curved so that the...
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