Australian Representative and 2021 Australian National Champion on Rings Jack Riek looks at some simple, yet effective at-home conditioning exercises that will keep gymnasts on track.
"Any serious gymnast will know that time off can be pretty detrimental to their performance in the long run, and that it's really important to keep a base of physical conditioning at this time."
Before the initial conditioning process, it is always important to warm up. When doing so, it is advised to try and keep it as close as possible to a warm-up that you would usually do when training in a club. A warm-up can include a light jog, or arm and leg swings to get the blood moving through the body. This shouldn't even take 5 minutes. And then we can start conditioning!
Jack recommends the following when it comes to conditioning at home:
Jumps: These can be done on the spot or with a soft padded surface like a carpet or a lounge. Try and maintain form when doing this, as jumps are an important part of many gymnastics routines. They also get the blood pulsing through your body and also helps increase heart rate.
Double and single leg hops: Doing Double leg hops allows gymnasts to gain more force and power, whereas single leg hops help the gymnast with developing a greater strength response. This will help when it comes to returning to regular training and will allow the gymnast to maintain strength in their lower body which is detrimental when it comes to run ups and tumbling drills.
Walking lunges: These can help aid flexibility and improve over a range of motion. These can also help loosen up tight muscles. Single leg squat jumps: These target glutes, calves, shins, thighs and abdominals. They help with maintaining balance and also allows you to engage your core.
Calf raises: These are easy and low impact. The advantages of having strong calf muscles include better stability and balance, improved agility when running or climbing, as well as decreased risk of ankle and knee injuries.
Check out more of why conditioning and strength training is important for gymnasts here. How are you conditioning at home? Let us know in the comments!