Gymnastics is known for its intensity and whatever your ability, the sport utilises every major muscle group found in the body, from the upper torso and core muscles to hip, leg and arm muscles. It is therefore important to follow a good stretching and strengthening program from the very start of your training.
Flexibility is often the first thing that is commented on during a gymnastics performance, however, it is important to remember that this unusual muscle strength and elasticity doesn’t occur by chance. The body must undergo years of conditioning via stretching and strength training. There are many stretching techniques that can be adopted to condition the body for competition and practice, and the Flexibility Stunt Strap is the ideal accessory to unlock a multitude of benefits.
The importance of stretching in gymnastics
Enhancing flexibility is an essential aspect of training and performance, and as well as demonstrating your skills with more limber movements, stretching is an integral way to enhance safety. This high impact activity means that just one awkward turn or twist can mean the end of a long career and there are many injuries that gymnasts can sustain by simply not stretching prior to performance or practice.
Dislocations, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, joint pain and muscle strain can all be prevented with the right warm-up routine, so that you can stay mobile and continue your training regime. Stretching regularly has also been proven to reduce recovery time so you can get back to training as soon as possible.
In addition to carrying out lower and upper body exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve balance, the Flexibility Stunt Strap can be utilised to enhance safety and lower the stress put onto joints and tendons further.
More benefits for gymnasts
It’s not just a lower risk of injury that gymnasts, both amateur and elite, can take advantage of. Whilst flexibility is a vital part of mobility in everyday life, a gymnast can only reach an optimum level of performance by improving the range of motion within joints. By increasing this range, better balance can be harnessed meaning you are less likely to fall or sustain any other injury.
Stretching, both with and without the Flexibility Stunt Strap, also boosts blood flow to the muscles, improving circulation and relieving the stress that goes hand-in-hand with muscle tension. The power, elasticity and endurance achieved through regular stretching are essential to attaining the co-ordination, control and technique needed to succeed in the world of gymnastics.
Perfecting your warm-up routine
So now that we know the benefits of stretching, how can the wider warm-up routine be improved to lower the risk of injury and improve your performance both in practice and competitive environments?
Start every warm-up with a jog, preferably one consisting of several laps to increase your heart rate and blood flow. Before launching into stretching, decrease the pace of your jog to bring your heart rate down steadily.
Now for the stretching, there are a variety of stretching exercises that can be completed, whilst incorporating the use of the Flexibility Stunt Strap will enhance effectiveness further. Your ankles, wrists, neck, shoulders, hips, back, calves and thighs all need stretching. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and never over stretch.
Remember cooling down after practice or performance is just as important so use the same principles here.
Why use the Flexibility Stunt Strap?
Designed and manufactured Myosource Kinetic Bands, the Flexibility Stunt Strap is the ultimate tool for every warm-up routine. Myosource Kinetic Bands has been assisting athletes across all sports (including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, dance, gymnastics and martial arts) since 2006. Their products have been a vital part of resistance training for a number of years meaning many gymnasts can reach the top of their game faster than their rivals.
Priced at just £5.95, the Flexibility Stunt Strap enables gymnasts to increase flexibility and reduce the risk of injury in one fell swoop without putting unnecessary pressure on joints. Available in black only, the Flexibility Stunt Strap is also a great tool for non-athletes, giving less active individuals the chance to improve flexibility with a selection of simple stretching exercises.