Importance of Flexibility in Gymnastics
We have all seen and marvelled at gymnasts effortlessly flipping, jumping, and spinning while performing their acts at the Olympics. While there are many virtues of gymnasts, one which is almost exclusive to them is incredible flexibility. Strength and flexibility training are the most vital aspects of learning gymnastics as they help the athlete perform all the complex movements with ease and flair. Apart from being a requirement for winning a competition, gymnasts need to be extremely flexible for many other reasons.
But before that, it’s essential to understand what flexibility is.
Flexibility is the ability of a person to move their joint or a group of joints in a wide range of motion without dislocating them. It takes years of practice and training for someone to achieve the kind of flexibility that is required in performing gymnastics. While most people can achieve that kind of flexibility with exercise and practice, some are not built for such high levels of flexibility. If a stretch causes pain, it is advisable to discontinue and try other activities that can be performed without pain.
Why is Flexibility Important in Gymnastics
Gymnastics is all about strength, agility, and flexibility. In the absence of these skills, a gymnast will be unable to do the full range of motion required while performing the stunts. Whether it is splits, leaps, jumps, backbends, or other gymnastic movements, flexibility is the key to performing them correctly and aesthetically.
Moreover, in a competition, gymnasts are judged based on their flexibility to perform a stunt with accuracy and finesse. If the athlete is not flexible enough, they will not be scored sufficiently by the judges and will end up losing out to a more flexible opponent.
Flexibility is also crucial in gymnastics to prevent injury. Unless you’ve had years of flexibility training, you will not be able to perform any of the complex gymnastic movements without injuring your muscles and joints. In other words, the more flexible a gymnast is, the lower the risk of injury.
How Can You Improve Flexibility
There is no quick and easy way of improving flexibility. A prospering gymnast must start performing stretching exercises from an early age and regularly practice strength and flexibility exercises to keep their bodies more limber. Hip and shoulder flexibility is most crucial for gymnasts and must be the areas of focus while training.
Since stretching exercises are most effective in improving flexibility, your exercise routine must heavily focus on them. There are two types of stretching exercises you can try – Static and Dynamic stretching. Static stretching is when you get into a position and hold it for an extended amount of time. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is performed as part of a movement and involves taking your body to the end of its range of motion.
Other things that can improve flexibility are using foam rollers to massage the relevant areas like hamstrings, quads, lats, and calves. You can also try simple breathing exercises while exercising and drink more water to improve your flexibility over time.
Why Join MK Springers Gymnastics Club
MK Springers is Milton Keynes only gymnastics club registered with Ofsted. Our trainers understand which skills are relevant and essential for training in gymnastics and provide the right guidance to adults and children learning the same. Our training will focus on strengthening and improving the overall flexibility and specific areas of the body that need more agility. Rest assured, your children will be well-supported and guided in their journey to become exceptional gymnasts. To book a session or learn more about our club, call us on 01908 217788.