One of the biggest components that contributes to the sport of gymnastics is balance. Balance is defined as the body’s ability to control its centre of gravity over its base of support.
Gymnasts need to be able to adequately maintain their balance, especially when it comes to performing manoeuvres on a balance beam, tumbling in a straight line or performing a floor routine. Here’s some drills that will help your gymnast improve their balance in no time!
Single Leg Deadlift
Start with your back leg up and behind you, with your toes slightly touching the ground. As you do this, keep your chest up, hinge at the hip in order to engage your abs. From here, you’re going to drop your body parallel to the ground. Hold this position, and then slowly come up with a flat back. With doing this, just be sure that you don’t round the spine when you start to come up, as you want to target your core and hamstrings when performing this movement.
Step Ups to Balance
Using either a spotting block, plyo box, jump box component or even a box or some sort, step onto the platform using one leg. You might want to do this near a pole in order to have some support. Once you are in this position, pause for a few seconds. This will give you enough time to attempt to maintain balance on one foot. From here, slowly lower yourself back onto the floor. Repeat on the other leg. You can increase the difficulty over time by choosing a taller platform and balancing each on leg for longer.
Stand nice and tall on your yoga mat. Slightly raise your foot, and point your toes- Do this in a way where your knee falls open, creating a triangle shape. Slide the sole of your foot to either your ankle, a little bit higher than your calf, or if you can (and are after a challenge), hold your leg in place just above your knee with your hand. Once in this position, bring your hands towards your heart centre. From here, inhale and as you do this, reach your hands up and out as if you are growing the branches of a tree. Hold this position, and if you want to, you can bring your hands together, in a prayer position. Once you exhale, bring your hands back to your chest, and return back to the initial standing position.
Single Leg Swings
Stand relatively straight. Lift one leg off the ground and start swinging the lifted leg back and forth. Repeat on the opposite side. You might need a pole or something to hold onto until you have enough confidence freestanding.
Stand upright. Start with your weight over one leg, and then drop your chest towards the floor. As you are doing this, your back leg should be lifting up and off the ground. Do this simultaneously- Drop your chest, whilst lifting the elevated leg as high as you can. From here, take your fingertips and point them back towards the elevated ankle. Hold this position. Come back to starting position and do on the opposite side.
What exercises do you do in order to maintain your balance for your sport? Comment below!