Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get better at gymnastics

Whether your child started taking gymnastics classes for toddlers and dreams of becoming an elite gymnast, or if they want to attend a school for gymnastics just for fun, most students always want to know how they can get better at this incredible, challenging sport.

To help improve performance and get better at the sport, below are a few things that students can do. While those who are taking gymnastics classes for toddlers may not be able to do all of the suggestions below, some extra stretching or dance classes can boost overall performance.

1.    Set goals. Having a goal in mind makes it easier to grow and progress in any sport, and setting the actual goal makes it easier to achieve. Whether it’s improving double backs or getting better at the parallel bars, stating it and working towards it will only benefit one’s skills.

2.    Stretch. Stretching and warming up at home before heading to a school for gymnastics is an excellent practice, as the coach or instructor can usually tell who stretched before class. This will bolster their respect and show the student’s dedication. In addition, spending time in the morning and at night doing about 10 minutes of stretching will help recovery and improve overall flexibility.

3.    Be dedicated. The more a student practices, the better they will get.

4.    Be a good sport. Students should practice sportsmanship every day, not just in gymnastics classes.

5.    Be healthy. Eating a healthy diet is key to staying healthy; junk food should be avoided and students should eat lots of lean protein, fruits and vegetables.  In addition, students will benefit from participating in other forms of exercise conditioning and flexibility training on a regular basis.  


Monday, April 1, 2013

Getting in shape for gymnastics classes

Bikini season is around the corner, and that means it’s time to come out of hibernation and get back into killer summer shape. Many choose classes such as gymnastics as a means for getting into superb physical condition. Whether you choose to take classes at a center or at your local gym, it can definitely be a fast and fun way to burn calories, increase flexibility and improve muscle tone. However, since gymnastics is so physically demanding, if you’re out of shape, you may want to start conditioning your body in preparation for heading to a center for gymnastics.

Gymnastics requires much power, endurance and coordination. Before you start taking classes in gymnastics, strive to increase your stamina. Plan to significantly up both your cardio and strength training, and get ready to move!

In addition to boosting your stamina, you’ll also want to increase the strength of your grip, which is essential for all the apparatus work that classes in gymnastics include, such as the rings and parallel bars and rings. Work out with a hand gripper and do some strength training moves using dumbbells or a bar.

Two or three times per week, perform resistance training that targets your upper body, lower body and core muscles. Strong, coordinated muscles are fundamental to all gymnastics maneuvers. In addition, start working on your flexibility as well—you may want to integrate yoga or Pilates classes to boost this area as much as possible. Flexibility can help prevent injury and is extremely important for getting into proper position to perform gymnastics maneuvers and routines.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderately intense cardiovascular activity on a daily basis, but if you’re out of shape or trying to lose weight, you’ll want to strive for more than that. Gymnastics requires superior endurance—so start building now.