Flexibility is a crucial skill in gymnastics. Without adequate flexibility, many skills are either impossible or far more challenging to execute. Developing this flexibility at home can enhance your gymnastic mobility and effectiveness without significantly cutting into your practice time.
Flexibility, just like muscle building, takes time and dedication to increase. This might be easier for some than others. If flexibility is a challenge for you, extra time spent at home can be instrumental in improvement. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and for some, flexibility may need some extra attention. It might just be one of the places that you need to work extra hard to improve.
Stretching at home not only makes your gymnastics practice smoother but can also transform previously challenging skills into more manageable ones. Correct stretching techniques can also reduce the risk of injury, particularly for those who are less flexible.
Flexibility and strength training are very much two sides to the same coin. Usually, the more strength training you do the less flexible you will become, and also the more that you stretch the more strength you will lose. This is why bodybuilders are usually very inflexible and cirque performers are often very lean. Building both at the same time requires balance between the two so if you ever notice any negative results from your stretching we recommend talking with a coach to double-check that you are doing the right thing by stretching further at home.B
Naturally, everyone will have a different experience when it comes to stretching. For some, it might be better to practice holding static poses to increase flexibility and for others, more dynamic stretching might be the way to go. This is also hugely based on your preferences, at the end of the day if you hate stretching in a certain way so much that you do not end up doing it then it is better to find a method of stretching you will actually do. Just like finding workouts that you enjoy, finding stretches and methods of stretching that you like doing are crucial to working on them long-term.
It is very common for gymnasts to struggle with one specific area of flexibility. For example, this might be something like back flexibility, shoulder mobility, etc. Finding your weak points will be an important step towards improving them. If you do not know what your flexibility weak points are you can find them by either asking your coach or by viewing any video of you practicing skills that you struggle with. Most of the time by reviewing these two things the places that need the most work will become apparent. Then once you have found what to improve the next step will be discovering how you can make those improvements.
To find the best exercise for your individual needs We recommend looking up some guides on how to improve that particular range of movement. For example, this could be something like “how to improve shoulder flexibility” and view some of the top results. From there test out the ones that you like the most and make a list of what stretches are your favorite.
An important note to add here is to find information from sources that have training in kinesiology or some kind of proof that they are well-informed. Most larger fitness channels should be fairly well-informed, but it is always good to double-check in case anyone is giving incorrect advice.
After you have created a list of stretches to perform regularly try to plan out a schedule to do them. Consistency is key here. Try to find a schedule to perform these exercises 3 to 5 times per week and plan out about 10 – 30 mins to do these stretches.
Some great resources for stretching at home include some of the following resources:
Stretching at home is a powerful tool to increase your overall flexibility. We recommend that you take your time to create a regular stretching regimen with the best exercises you would like to focus on and continue it for a long time to see significant results. Stretching without consistency will not help to build your flexibility much as it compounds over time.
When stretching be careful of overstretching and pulling any muscles. Stretching should always be a gentle process, especially at home where you most likely will not have professional supervision. We hope that you found some helpful information in this resource and that it will enrich your stretching efforts at home. As always if you have any questions or concerns please ask your coach to ensure that you are doing the right thing since they will be able to advise and guide you. We wish you the best of luck out there with your stretching!
We offer one free trial class to all students who are interested in our programs. From NinjaZone to Tumbling, give one of our classes are shot. After all…. it’s FREE!