We all know that for a gymnast, there is no better place to work out than at the gym. However, it isn’t always possible for us to get to the gym. How do we improvise and stay physically fit so that we can tackle the balance beams, balance bars, gymnastic equipment, and tumbling mats? The most obvious answer is to work out at home is 10 exercises you can do at home to improve your gymnastics skills.
We decided to delve a little deeper. Rather than just say, “exercise”, we wanted to know specifically what a good workout for a gymnast would be to do at home. We have put our favorites into this list of 10 exercises you can do at home to improve your gymnastics skills.
10 Exercises You Can Do at Home to Improve Your Gymnastics Skills
To be able to split as well as gymnasts do, you have to be flexible. It will help you assume a good form when you are leaping, jumping, and doing other routines. To increase your flexibility, you need to do exercises that stretch your muscles. One of the best things is to do splits. If you can do them well on the floor, then you can move up to trying to do them in the air.
Balance is a good thing for anyone who loves gymnastics. Even if you aren’t on the beams, you have to have a good center of balance if you want to succeed. How do you improve your balance? Make yourself use it!
One great idea is to do scales. To do it, you stand on one leg and lift the other one so that it is directly in front of you. You can also do it by lifting that other leg so that it is behind you. The goal here is not to stretch or strengthen, it is just an exercise that forces you to balance. You should hold the position as long as possible for the best results.
If you enjoy doing vaults at the gym, and some other floor routines, you will benefit from being able to sprint faster. Luckily, this is one of the easiest things in the world to practice at home. You simply have to run wherever you are. You can run around the block or sprint from one room in your home to another. You can even use a treadmill. The key is simply to get faster.
It takes a lot of strength to hold your body weight and know how to make it swing, flip, and do all those other things that gymnasts do. How can you get that much upper body strength? You do pullups! You can often find exercise or pull up bars that hang in door jams so that you can work on your upper body strength with ease. You will also find them with some home gyms and other larger setups if you have them available.
We know this may sound odd, but jumping at home can help you stay in shape or get into shape as a gymnast. Sadly, we aren’t talking about jumping around in a fun way. You should jump with the purpose of keeping your body as tight as possible, while you constantly push yourself to jump higher, maintaining the same position.
Once you have mastered jumping straight up and down while maintaining your position, you can add other stuff to it. These other jumping styles include:
Tuck: You should jump to bring your knees up as you lower your torso (tucking into a ball)
Straddle: Jump up and onto a platform, then jump again landing with both feet on opposite sides of the platform.
Pike: You do this move by bringing your legs up to touch your hands.
Split: You will find two ways of doing this, either start with a lunge and jump up, assuming a lunge on the other side, or jumping up and doing a split while you are in the air. Both can be effective at strengthening your jumps.
Wolf: The wolf jump is done by holding your chest upright and putting your arms out in front of you. While you jump, one leg goes out forward and up from your midline. The other leg bends so that it is close to your bottom.
Half Turn: As the name implies, you should maintain the straight jump form while spinning around halfway in a circle.
Full Turn: To do this, your body, with the straight jump position, will turn fully.
You can do turns anywhere. They are simple, balance on one leg, turns. To do them, hold your arms up above your head and stand with one foot on your knee. Then with the standing foot, try to turn your body around.
Leaps are those moves that gymnasts do when on the tumble mat. Practice leaping into the air with one foot forward and the other pointing backward. Focus on keeping your head and chest up, with knees pointed. Distance will also be important and you can do this workout at home inside or out.
3. Spiderman Against the Wall
One of the biggest things you will notice about gymnastics is that they spend a lot of time with their hands on the floor and their feet up. Handstands are done on the floor for tumbling routines in the form of round-offs and cartwheels, on balance beams, on bars, etc. For any gymnast, it is impossible to not go feet up at some point and it is all about the form that they do it in.
The Spiderman Against the Wall is an exercise that can help both new gymnasts and veterans of the sport to maintain the right form when tumbling and doing all those other routines. To do it, you simply assume the handstand position while you are “against the wall”. Here are some steps to make this easier:
A. Put your hands on the floor and start putting your feet on the wall.
B. Walk your feet up the wall as far as you can safely.
C. Walk your hands in closer to the wall so that your belly touches it.
D. You will be in a proper hand-standing position.
E. Hold the position as long as you can.
Conditioning exercises are any that make your muscles stronger. It can include pushups, sit-ups, and weightlifting.
1. A Routine
If you are already a gymnast, then this should be easy! You simply do your routine as much as you can as often as you can to keep those muscles in great shape. This can be a little harder if you are new to the sport. However, you can still try to come up with your own ideas or search YouTube for ideas.
Our hope is that our 10 exercises you can do at home to improve your gymnastics skills list are going to help you. Any part of it will help, but the key is to do them all and do them consistently.