Flexibility can be one of the most important aspects of gymnastics. Why? Not only does it improve performance, but it also reduces the risk of injury. In this blog post, we'll discuss the importance of flexibility in gymnastics and provide some tips for stretches and conditioning exercises for kids.
Importance of Flexibility in Gymnastics
Flexibility is essential in gymnastics because it allows gymnasts to perform their routines with greater ease, precision, and grace. It also helps prevent injuries because it improves range of motion, reduces muscle tension, and increases blood flow to the muscles. Gymnastics requires a combination of flexibility, strength, and agility, and flexibility is an integral part of achieving success in all three areas.
Stretches for Kids
Stretching is a vital part of any gymnastics routine, and there are a variety of stretches that can be done to improve flexibility.
Here are some stretches that are suitable for kids that you can gently try at home:
Butterfly Stretch: Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching and knees bent. Hold onto your ankles and gently pull your heels towards your body, while pressing your knees down towards the floor. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat.
Straddle Stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs spread apart in a "V" shape. Reach your arms forward and bend forward at the hips, trying to touch your toes. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat.
Backbend: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms raised above your head. Bend backwards as far as you can, keeping your arms straight. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat.
Conditioning Exercises for Kids
In addition to stretching, conditioning exercises can also improve flexibility. Here are some conditioning exercises that are suitable for kids:
Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips as high as you can while keeping your feet and shoulders on the ground. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat.
Leg Swings: Stand facing a wall and place your hands on the wall for support. Swing one leg forward and backward as high as you can, keeping your leg straight. Repeat with the other leg.
Lunge Stretch: Step forward with one foot and bend your knee, keeping your other leg straight. Lean forward slightly to feel the stretch in your hip flexors. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
Flexibility is a crucial component of gymnastics and can be improved through stretching and conditioning exercises. By incorporating these exercises into your child's gymnastics routine, they will be able to perform their skills with greater ease, precision, and grace while reducing the risk of injury. At Wickers Gymnastics Club in Lancing, we encourage our young gymnasts to take care of their bodies by incorporating these tips into their training.
As with all exercise please execute safely and if in any doubt, with the help of one of our professional coaches. See our class list HERE!