Gymnastics is one of the most popular sports to watch during the Olympics. Gymnasts can do extraordinary feats. They can perform amazing splits, handsprings, and flips. Their stunning moves are so much stunning, like no bones.
Are these athletes born this way? Or do they do flexibility training? Answers might surprise you.
The Truth about Flexibility in Gymnastics
If you wonder why gymnasts can bend like no bones, think about the power of flexibility. While some athletes are born with a super smooth body, others have to work hard in training to achieve this.
Gymnastics is a coordination of strength and flexibility. This helps to prevent injury. If a gymnast decides not to stretch shoulders during handspring, he/ she will have a difficult time to keep arms extended behind the head. Sometimes, it could tear a ligament and cause serious damage. Teaching flexibility is important for the progression of tricks and skills. Here are some of the reasons why gymnasts are so flexible.
#1: Soft and Young Joints
Gymnasts tend to have young and soft joints because they exercise a lot. Human joints typically stiffen as they age. Unlike in the old days, most athletes in gymnastics nowadays are quite young. Younger gymnastics have stronger and more agile bones that make them perform so supple.
#2: Delayed Puberty
Gymnasts, most especially girls, experience delayed puberty because their body burns more fat than usual. Intense exercises increase the need for certain calories essential for one’s growth. Athletes are trained more than 30 hours a week which could develop eating disorders.
Nevertheless, such intense training allows gymnasts to get a smaller and swifter body that is more timber.
Thoughts to Ponder
You don’t need to be extremely flexible to be a gymnast. People with generalized ligamentous laxity, sometimes known as “double-joined” are very flexible. But having these conditions are too risky. Sometimes, too much flexibility is associated with a life-threatened disease. In other words, it sounds good but quite deadly. Taking up flexibility training is always essential. Have a professional coach with you or contact Gym Starz for assistance.