Before performing any sport, it is important to prepare the body by performing an appropriate warm-up. Warming up prepares the body for the upcoming activities and can help decrease the risk of injury. The warm-up for gymnastics should be done before every exercise session - whether it be for competition, practice sessions, or gym workouts.
Example Gymnastics Warm-Up
Gymnasts require a high level of flexibility. Competitions usually involve short sessions of intense activity, in training this can be repeated many times with short recovery periods. To get the body prepared for such activities, a thorough warm-up is required. The warm-up should focus on the specific actions and muscle groups that will be involved, and gradually move from low to high intensity.
Here is an overview of a warm-up that can be done prior to a competition. The specifics can be adjusted to suit the age and level of the athletes, and constraints such as limited space and time availability.
- Jump rope or similar to warm-up and increase the blood flow around the body (5 minutes)
- Walk around the mat doing various loosening up exercises, such as head rolls, wrist rolls, shoulder circles, arm swings, trunk twists
- Runs across mat (running forwards and backwards, skipping, knee lifts, butt kicks)
- Static stretches (quads, hamstrings, calves, torso, shoulders) followed by dynamic stretches (arm circles, leg swings etc.).
- Finish with a warm-up on the gymnastic equipment
- During competition there are extended rest periods where the gymnasts are not doing any exercise. In these situations they may have to go through some of these procedures regularly to keep the muscles and joints ready to safely and consistently perform when required.
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