Five Ways for a Gymnast to Stay in Shape Over the Summer
SHARED by: Haley Blair, Director of Gymtime Gymnastics Team
With family vacations and sleep away camps on the horizon, it can be difficult for a gymnast to practice at their gym for the duration of the summer. Here are some simple activities for an intermediate gymnast to help them stay in shape for their upcoming Fall season.
1. CORE CONDITIONING
Simple core conditioning plan to perform once a day: hold a hollow body (canoe like position) for 20 seconds, followed by 10 V-ups. Hold a plank position for 20 seconds, followed by 10 push-ups. Repeat both exercises three times.
2. FROGGIE JUMPS
It is important for gymnasts’ legs to remain strong and explosive. In a straight line about 20 feet long, perform froggie jumps (squat into straight jump) down and back this imaginary line. Rest and repeat.
Perform a bridge or modified bridge twice every day for 10 seconds each. Having a flexible back is an essential part of every gymnast’s life. If you are able to do a bridge by yourself, great! Make sure you NEVER rest the top of your head on the ground but rather tuck your chin to your chest to come down. If you cannot yet push up into a bridge by yourself you can modify the bridge position. Place your hands and feet in a bridge ready position. Push your hands and feet strongly into the ground but keep the back of your head resting on the ground. Work on pushing your hips up into the air and balancing while the back of your head remains on the ground.
Hold a handstand against a wall. This is only to be performed on a wall that is clear for many feet on both sides and is carpeted underneath. Stand with your back to the wall, place your hands on the ground, walk your feet up the wall, and walk your hands in as close to the wall as possible. Hold as long as you can. Keep a strong belly and chest. Don’t let them sink like a banana! Try to be as straight as a Popsicle stick! (Mmmmm did somebody say Popsicle stick? Reward yourself with your favorite flavor in the scorching summer heat)!
5. PLAY SPORTS
Play a sport outdoors for 60 minutes a day. Like any other athlete, gymnasts need endurance. Participate in any active sport for an hour a day to keep up your stamina. This may include a sport like soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, or tennis. Or perhaps some field games like capture the flag, sharks and minnows, or ships and sailors etc. The options are endless and you can be creative!