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Female Gymnastic Workouts
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Women gymnasts need to be both strong and agile. To accomplish this, they have to train for both power and flexibility. Gymnasts use every major muscle group in their body to perform the various moves that make up a routine. Whether they are performing on the uneven bars, parallel bars, rings or balance beam or doing a floor routine, they need to develop explosive, yet controlled strength in their core, upper body and lower body.
Gymnasts need to develop significant upper-body strength since many moves in gymnastics require them to hold and throw their body weight using their arms. Basic pushups as well as incline and decline pushups can help a female gymnast develop her chest and biceps strength to keep her steady during a handstand without creating too much bulk, which could interfere with her flexibility. Pullups, including inverted pullups using the bars or rings, can also help a women gymnast train her upper-body to for these, and other events. Dip swings also help train the upper-body for the parallel bars by helping develop strength, balance and flexibility.
It is the job of the core muscles to help the gymnast hold her legs up, balance both upright and upside-down and whip her legs around. Knee ins develop core strength and mimic many of the moves a gymnast must perform. So performing this exercise regularly can help a gymnast strengthen all of her skills. Russian twists using a medicine ball with a little weight can strengthen the abs, obliques and lower back muscles to help the gymnast perform better.
Squats and deadlifts strengthen the glues and hamstrings. This is important in developing the leg strength to jump, flip and land properly. While many women shy away from weighted exercises for fear that they will get bulky, women who want to train for strength need to lift more than body weight. When training the lower body, this is especially important, as many moves get their explosiveness from the legs. Using a moderate amount of weight to squat and deadlift will help a female gymnast strengthen her lower half so she can adequately perform each feat.
Women gymnasts not only need to train for muscular power but also for flexibility. This is important, as a gymnasts flexibility is just as important has her strength when it comes to performing each move with precision. The arm up rotator stretch improves flexibility in the shoulders, which must rotate and whip the arms fluidly. The standing high-leg bent knee hamstring stretch promotes flexibility in the hamstring and helps prevent muscle injuries in the leg while help making the gymnast more capable of whipping her legs with ease. The squatting leg-out adductor stretch stretches the insides of the legs so that the gymnast can better execute splits and leaps. Performing these stretches regularly can help make the gymnasts moves elegant and crisp.
- Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images