Legs are one of the most important gymnast body parts. It is specifically important for tumbling, jumping and many other moves.
When legs don’t have enough strength, it is impossible to get well-rounded balances. The same thing happens when gymnasts are unable to straighten their legs. A great leg form is essential to win a great score.
Are you a coach who always yells at gymnasts who can’t get their legs all the way straight? Are you a gymnast who has that frustrating legs and is incapable of making them straight? We’re here to help you make improvements.
Working on Leg Straightening Exercises
Step 1: Start with taps. You can work on this at the bars, beams or racks. While you have your one hand holding the bar, tap your one feet to the floor for about five to ten times. Do the same on the side and to the back. Do the same on the other leg.
Step 2: Do the mix. Jam on the front and back with one leg. Font and back for about five times. Make a quick turn. Then, do the same on the other side.
Step 3: Now, put your feet on the bar. Start with your right toe while having your arms sideward. Always encourage good posture. Lift up and down the toe very quick and aggressive.
Step 4: Turn to the side and lift, and lift. Turn front. Lift up and down. Do the same on the other side.
Step 5: This time, you have to stay away from the bar and stretch out to the floor. Sit with your body straight, put the legs forward. Make sure to place the legs on something higher such as a layer of mats.
Step 6: Do the straight leg taps on the floor. Start with the right foot. Hit the mat hard with the heels. You can do five to fifty lifts on each leg. Switch legs and then both legs.
Step 7: Work on the side with one bend knee. Lift up the heel on the mat and down. Turn and do the same on the other side. Sit up nice and straight. Make sure the shoulders are square. This is excellent, especially for the straddle jumps.
Step 8: Finally, lay down your stomach and work on the back. This is great for front layout twists and tumbling. Tap the left foot and the right. Then both.
It takes only a couple of stretching exercises to develop straight legs. Perform them correctly, focus on good form during skills and see the change!
Noticed that thick layer of leather on the gymnast’s hands? They are called gymnastics grips. While grips are not used by all gymnasts, many do, to protect their hands.
If you want your hands to be free from a mass of flaky, chapped skin, you need grips. You need this to avoid all those cuts and holes in palms. Read on and see how so.
Importance of Grips
Grips, from the name itself, can literally help for a better grip. It makes it easier for gymnasts to perform without worrying about rips, tears, calluses, and blisters. Athletes have to wear it when performing on various apparatus to simply enhance grip ability and reduce friction.
With grips, you don’t have to worry with:
A grip is made up of a wide leather strip with a wrist strap. It is used to cover and protect the palm of the hand and commonly has finger holes at the end. Others use sports tape or gauze, and powdered chalk as an alternative to grips to avoid slipping.
Different Types of Grips
Grips are all about safety and performance. Here are the types worth considering.
Dowel grips simply have dowel rods.
The rods can be:
It is used to help create a pocket in the leather in order for the bar or rail to fit. Grips with a dowel allow gymnasts to hold onto equipment stronger while performing those gravity-defying feats.
On the other hand, non-dowel grips come without dowel rods. This can be the less expensive type and is usually made of thinner leather. Since it provides no mechanical advantage for gripping, it is best used for practice or recreational gymnastics.
You can never perform at your best if your hands are hurt. Whether you’re an expert or it is your first time performing, you need grips. Your hands really need it!
We all have it. We all have that negative emotion when we sense danger or failure. We all experience that frustrating thing that entraps us the most – fear.
Fear can be experienced in so many ways. This can be a normal feeling we face every day that can make us badly paralyze. Pushing the limit of the body and mind is undeniably a challenge. It triggers a strong fear response that is dangerous for extreme sports like gymnastics.
Overcoming the Fear
Live with courage.
Fear is in your mind. Surround yourself with people that can help you break it off. Courage is a strong weapon you can use.
Fight the fear with exercise. If you just sit or lay in bed for days, your health will suffer. Don’t let fear and anxiety overexerting yourself and keep moving.
A cup of coffee can help you focus but can also make fear worsen. Remember that caffeine can induce an anxiety attack. Minimize or break it up to turn off the fear.
Focus on the goal.
Try to recalibrate yourself every time fear hold you back. If you keep your eyes on the goal, you will have the guts to move forward and conquer fear no matter what.
If you don’t trust yourself, you’ll lose confidence. In the moments of fear and doubt, no one can help you better but your inner side. Try to bring out positivity from within.
How to deal with fear? Think its opposite – bravery, courage, and confidence.
Go and live the world with pride!
What is it that makes athletes win? It’s their ability to perform best no matter what the situation is. It is all about mental skills.
When athletes lose their skills, they aren’t able to go for it. They need to be mentally tough in order to become a champion.
If someone can manage, resist and overcome challenges, he or she is mentally tough. Mental toughness is a skill that produces consistent results regardless of the circumstances.
Mental prowess is essential to achieve the best results possible without letting blocks holding back. It’s a matter of drive and motivation that push gymnasts and other athletes reach success even if pressure-filled moments come the way. Its all about the confidence that you believe in yourself you can do it. Mental toughness means you can stay focused on different distractions.
Aren’t you tough enough? Then, these exercises can help your mind.
Mental Skills Training
Everyone isn’t born with the gift of an unbreakable mind but we all have the power to get it ourselves – by training.
Mental skills training can help one’s life and enhance sporting performance. It is a key factor of success. There are many other ways to get it but we’ll tackle the easiest.
• Maintain a Positive Attitude
• Maintain Concentration
• Set Goals.
• Stay Motivated
• Manage Emotions Properly
• Use Constructive Self-talk
• Control Stress and Pressure
Physical health has an absolute importance in sports and so mental health. If you are full of doubts, can’t focus and easily distracted by challenges, you are not tough enough. Work on it and make a difference!
MENTAL BLOCK. When gymnasts aren’t able to do things they previously have done with ease, they are experiencing mental blocks.
A mental block is what makes someone struggling to do something they were very good at before. All of us have been there. All of us have hit a block, and most athletes go through this frustrating inability at some point in their sporting career.
Today, let’s discover some ways to break the worst nightmare!
Mental blocks can hold young athletes back. It can cause pain and prevent them from achieving goals. Mental blockage occurs in many different factors. Determining the roots can help you take specific actions to break down mental barriers.
In sports, its existence very much depends on the individuals:
• Focus styles
• Mental toughness
It is not just the children that get affected when a mental block attacks, their parents, coach, and team too. Working with young gymnasts that have mental blocks can be devastating on their part and to the world around them. Fortunately, it is something bearable.
Develop Mental Focus
Engage the kids in the activities that can help with their mental focus and concentration such as chess. No activities will be fun if it is not something that interests them. Make sure to work on the right thing.
Encouragement is more important than destructive comments. It can help gymnasts live life no matter what and can also help them become fully responsible for their performance.
Self-confidence is essential in every sport. It can give a constructive perception and allows gymnasts to put all their effort into the success of their goals. This positive trait begins from within.
Leave Off Fear
Fear is a common mental barrier that can stop an athlete to do something. If a kid is afraid to lose or is frightened to do stunts once more, try to lighten the moment by making them laugh or promote a deep breath.
Parents and coaches can’t help really big in conquering mental blocks. It’s the athletes themselves. It’s their mental. So once they change the way they think, they overcome a block without any help.
Are you bored with simple tricks that you want to spice it up with something different? Challenge yourself on the trampoline!
Trampoline gymnastics is a perfect sport for kids and adults who want to experience being on high. It is great for high-flyers who can do twists and rotations in every jump. Bring out those adventurous friends and try out these cool tricks.
1. Double Bounce
Double bounce is best performed with two or more jumpers. The goal is to bounce extra high into the air and fall off to the center of the trampoline or as close as possible.
In this trick, you are allowed to perform spins as many as you can before landing. If it is your first time on a trampoline, you may start with small turns until you know how to do a full 360-degree spin.
3. Side Flip
Front and back flips are considered to be the basic but this one is slightly different. Side flip is a bit difficult as you need to be flipping on your side. Always tuck your legs in tight once you get a strong bounce to perform it well and prevent injury.
Handsprings are cool as you mainly turn a jump into a flip. You can do this by landing with your hands on a trampoline and then arch your back once you touch it.
5. Pike Jump
Pike jump is great for people with great flexibility and would be more challenging for beginners. You have to jump on the trampoline and bounce higher in the air. Once you get a decent bounce height, have your legs forward and touch your toes.
While jumping up and down on a trampoline is really cool and fun, make sure you take every move with extra care. Trampolining is a trickier exercise as you need to give out extra force, pay attention to your knees, ankles, hands, neck, back and other body parts to avoid injury.
Ready to fly like a superman? Set your feet and jump!
What would come to your mind, if you could hear the word gymnastics? A lot of people think that when men and women perform amazing acrobatics, they‘re doing gymnastics. The fact is that being involved in such sport does not just mean as that.
Gymnastics has many branches where each of them has different specializations. Have no idea? Let’s take them a look!
Top #1: Artistic Gymnastics
The most popular type of gymnastics is the one called artistic gymnastics. This type involves a lot of muscular strength and power. However, men and women have to live with almost different apparatuses though they share almost the same aesthetics.
Top #2: Acrobatic Gymnastics
One type of gymnastics involves acrobatics, as mentioned earlier. In this category, gymnasts may act in pairs, trios or quartets and they use no equipment but themselves. They make poses emphasizing group balance, tumbling and breathtaking acrobatic jumps.
Top #3: Rhythmic Gymnastics
Rhythmic gymnastics is a combination of dance, ballet, and gymnastics. Gymnasts have to be very flexible and should be equipped with great precision and coordination. They mainly compete with hoop, rope, ball and many other elegant props.
Top #4: Aerobic Gymnastics
This is the type of gymnastics that combines the beauty of acrobatics, gymnastics, and dance together. Gymnasts typically perform this sport with rhythmic music and place more emphasis on synchrony and precision.
Top #5: Trampoline Gymnastics
In gymnastics with trampoline discipline, the common routine for gymnasts is acrobatics while having to do extreme bouncing on a trampoline. Their movements go from simple pike to twisted somersaults. Fast moving routines are implemented to create a stunning spectacle that would shock audiences.
What’s the Best?
Gymnastics is full of complex but stunning routines but there is no such “best gymnastics” concept. All of the types or categories mentioned above are pretty great. All of these disciplines gained widespread fame and everyone could give it a try.
Not a gymnast yet? Why not give it a try?
Wonder why gymnasts use white powdered particles spreading almost all over the body? In fact, chalk can be seen all over their hands, legs, and feet. If you have no idea what kind of chalk they’re using and why they have to use it in the first place, keep on reading!
What is Chalk in Gymnastics Made of
A chalk that gymnasts use is not the kind of chalk you see in the classrooms. It is not even the one found in sidewalks or at the local craft stores. Gymnasts are using chalk made up of magnesium carbonate (MgCO3), a naturally occurring white mineral. This kind of chalk can be synthesized but it can generally be found by mining Magnesite.
Different Types of Chalk
Why Gymnasts Use Chalk
Gymnasts use chalk, not for fun but to dry out any moisture their body may get when sweating. This is to prevent them from slipping every time they flip. Chalk can also help with friction when gymnasts perform their grips.
As the chalk absorbs moisture, it has been used in gymnastics to dry out sweaty hands, feet and other body parts especially during meets. Without chalk, gymnasts can’t perform very well!
In order to learn new things, one thing is normally present – injury. It is something that commonly happens during first-time practice but no one wished to have it. This is because injuries could damage a gymnast’s life.
Here are five common injuries in gymnastics everyone must be aware of. Learn what its impact in the body and see how to avoid them in the first place.
#1: Tendon Injury (Achilles Tendonitis)
Injury in the tendon part is known as Achilles Tendonitis. Tendon is a flexible cord attaching calf to your heel. Achilles tendon problems happen when a gymnast is making continuous, intense moves. This is one of the most serious injuries that can make a gymnast off the team.
#2: Lower-back Injury (Spondylolysis)
If a gymnast often complains about low back pain, she may be suffering from Spondylolysis. It is defined as a defect fracture typically in the pars interarticularis. In most cases, the lower lumbar vertebrate is extremely affected due to repetitive hyperextension of the lumbar spine. This bone injury may get gymnasts off from bending again.
#3: Wrist Injury (Distal Radius Epiphysitis)
When vaulting and tumbling snap, gymnasts may suffer wrist injury known as Distal Radius Epiphysitis. A gymnast can experience pain in the radial, the closest part of the wrist to the thumb. Taking rest and preventing wrist stress is the basic key to healing.
#4: Elbow Injury (Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Capitellum)
Repetitive elbow compression can develop bony injury showing abnormalities in the humerus part. The cartilage and bone fragment of the elbow may break and that injured gymnasts need to take a break. Surgery is expected if the injury becomes worse.
#5: Knee Injury (Osgood-Schlatter)
Improper running and jumping can lead to fracture of the tibial tuberosity. Gymnasts could experience pain in the front part of the knee and are required to take a period of rest. A painful bump typically lasts a few months.
The Bottom Line
Ignoring safety precautions is one of the most common reasons why injuries occur in gymnastics. Implementing safety measures in a gym can prevent life-threatening damages like these and that they should not be taken for granted.
How to get your body covered? Live with extra care!
Leotard – a tight-fitting stretchy garment that can destroy a gymnast’s life in the competition. How so? In gymnastics scoring, the judging criteria do not just depend on how you make the best and flawless moves, but also depends on how perfect the leotard you’re wearing works throughout the competition.
3 Best Tricks for a Winning Leotard
When you make one wrong move, it has a big impact on the points. This works the same when a gymnast’s underwear sticks out. You will not just get embarrassed; your points will be deducted too. Well, you can go without it. But if you feel pretty uncomfortable without having anything under your leotard, here are some tricks to keep that thing stay in place.
Wear Skin-toned Underwear
Most gyms require girls to wear panties and sports bras. This is to protect them and cover their private parts. But, what they’re wearing is not something you see on the beach. They wear skin-toned, Y-back underwear. Using these types of underpants will make your score untouched as they will not be visible even during the most complicated moves.
Put on Strapless Bra
Kids don’t typically need to wear any bra but adult gymnasts have to. To avoid straps from showing when you make your routine, use a tube-like bra or a bra without straps. If you’re wearing a leotard with holes on the back, a backless bra is a way to go. Make sure you get the comfort you need when wearing undergarments.
Use Butt Glue
Butt glue keeps the swimsuits of most beauty pageants in place no matter how they show their impressive walks. Gymnasts use the same glue to keep their underwear and leotard from sliding as well. The glue is a perfect body adhesive and is safe for your skin and garments.
Additional Tricks and Tips
Never wear colored underneath’s. Use flesh or skin-toned instead. If you are not comfortable wearing a strapless bra, use one with clear straps. Lastly, don’t forget to use white and clear Smooth Grove to kill that embarrassing Camel Toe.