There are point deductions when a gymnast cannot reach a certain position. Deductions may vary from level to level depending on what is basically required. Gymnasts need the right range of motion for them to be able to perform skills at different angles.
Hip and shoulder flexibility is of top importance in this kind of sport. Having your hips flexible is essential for making leaps, splits and jumps greatly possible. Bridges, back handsprings and many other skills are made possible with shoulder flexibility as well.
Most importantly, flexibility is really important because it reduces risks and injuries. Gaining flexibility won't just impress others but will also save you from terrible pain.
How to Improve Flexibility
Stretching is a primary requirement to make the flexibility learning less stressful. Putting the importance of flexibility in a gymnast mind is the key to get through. Don’t forget to breathe. Because you can’t get the best out of stretching if you can’t control your breathing.
Stretch the groin. You can do butterfly stretch or a basic groin stretch. Always keep the back straight when working out.
Stretch the quads and calf muscles. You can do this by simply sitting in a pike position and grab the toes towards the chest. Standing up on one foot while grabbing the other heel can also help. NOTE: Every skill has different flexibility requirement. Don’t force yourself on a skill that causes you pain. Gaining flexibility is a step by step process.