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Stretches to Help With My Back Walk Over
The back walk over is a foundational exercise for gymnastics, though it may seem nearly impossible for your average person. The trick to doing a back walk over is to already possess the strength and flexibility to do the move before attempting it. Do not make the mistake of thinking that doing a back walk over will prepare you for doing a back over. The lower back and shoulders should be your main concerns for improving flexibility through stretches if you wish to accomplish the back walk over safely.
Torso circles are a popular exercise among athletes and gymnasts to stretch out the hips, lower back and create space between the ribs. To perform this stretching exercise, hold your arm straight above your head with a medicine ball between your palms if you wish. The medicine ball helps pull your body further into the stretch. Keeping your arms straight, trace a large circle in the air to the right and then down in front of your toes. Circle back up to the left and above your head. Think of looking at a human-sized clock in front of you and move all the way from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock and back to 12 o'clock, hitting each number in between. Make counterclockwise circles too. Bend your knees as you go.
Rocking and Rolling in Bridge
Bridges require strength and flexibility in the spine, lower back, shoulders and core. This exercise is also known as upward facing bow or wheel pose in yoga. Rocking your body while in this deep backbend indicates if you lack the lower back and shoulder flexibility to try a back walk over. Pain in your lower back while rocking and rolling in bridge means that you need to stretch more and should work on holding a regular bridge for awhile more. If you can get into bridge easily enough, first to expanding up and out enough that your shoulders move farther forward than where your hand are on the floor. To get into bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet on the floor near your buttocks, your hands next to your head with the fingers pointing at your shoulders and your elbows bent. Then, press up so that only your feet and hands touch and your torso rounds up like a wheel. Next, holding your arms straight and shift all of your weight into your hands. Then, shift all of your weight into your feet without dropping your hips. This is rocking.
Partner Behind the Head Shoulder Stretch
An easy way to increase shoulder flexibility for a back walk over is to have a partner help you out. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows bent. Pull your elbows back toward your sides as far as you can. Do not jut your chin forward. Then, have your partner stand behind you and place her hands on the front of your elbows. Your partner then pulls your elbows back more and tries to touch them together.
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.