What conditioning can I do at home for gymnastics?

Exercises that include core work are extremely important and are crucial for success as a gymnast. The core musculature helps protect the spine from harmful forces during functional activities. Core exercises should be progressed from low level exercises focusing on increasing endurance and stabilization of the small muscles surrounding the spine to core strength and power.Stabilization exercises help with stabilizing the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex. An example is a side plank. To perform this exercise, lie on the side propped up on the forearm. With the feet staggered and the abdominals and gluteals tight, lift the pelvis off the floor and hold for five seconds. A straight line from head to heels should be maintained with no changes at the spine. Slowly lower the body, and repeat up to 12 times as long as no compensations occur. This exercise can be progressed to help increase the strength of the core by performing a reverse crunch. To perform a reverse crunch, lie on the floor with a right angle at the knees and hips, with the feet in the air. Grasp something stable with the hands such as the underside of a couch or bed. Tighten the abdominals and lift the pelvis toward the chest without swinging. Slowly lower and repeat up to 10 times with no compensations. As a progression to the reverse crunch, you can perform speed medicine ball rotations. This will help increase the power of the core. To perform speed medicine ball rotations, stand with the feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees and toes pointing forward. Hold a medicine ball out in front of you at chest level. Quickly rotate from side to side while pivoting on the back foot. Keep the abdominals and gluteals tight. Perform 1-2 sets of 10 repetitions.

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