wikiHow to Be a More Flexible Gymnast

Gymnastics requires physical ability in order to participate in this sport or advance to other levels. You may be wonderful at doing handstands, cartwheels, and front tucks, but you still need to continue working on the small stuff that can transform your routines to the expert level. Here are some instructions for becoming more flexible and developing a full range of motion with your body to become more flexible.

Steps

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    Wear comfortable clothing that allows your body to move in all directions. Clothing made specifically for working out may be the best. Leotards work best, or if you prefer, shorts and a loose comfortable t-shirt.
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    Research and discover new ways to stretch. There are many forms of stretching exercises that work different muscles in your body and allow them to move more fluidly during gymnastics.
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    Practice constantly. There is no set limit of time or specific day to stretch. You can do it when you wake up, go to sleep, or simply during commercial breaks when you're watching television.
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    Start out small. If you are a beginner in gymnastics, you need to build up your flexibility gradually over time. Begin in a way in which you feel most comfortable and slowly develop yourself one step at a time.
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    Identify your strengths and weak spots. You may already be able to move certain muscles effectively, yet can do hardly anything in another. Practice where you need it and maintain the ones you are already talented with.
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    Seek "professional" help. If you know a friend who is practically a master gymnast, ask for tips on how to stay motivated and get them to work with you daily until you achieve your goals.
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    Make it a lifestyle choice. It's does you no good in the long run to only practice until you're flexible. If you don't keep stretching every day, then you will lose what you worked so hard to gain.

Tips

  • When you stretch, you'll probably feel a light burning, painful sensation in, say, your thigh. Stretching to this point won't get you anywhere! After feeling that, stretch a little further until you feel the deeper sensation on the bottom of your thigh. Hold there for however long you're comfortable with, and increase it everyday.
  • Create an everyday stretching routine and add a new move in once in a while. It's okay to make it fun!
  • Remember to breath steadily. This will help you to concentrate, as well as getting oxygen into your muscles.
  • When you stretch it helps you relax and build on your flexibility just keep practicing.
  • Gymnastics can hurt. At a higher level, You must have good willpower in order not to give up during the hard times.
  • Push yourself to the limit and really try; you will get better and better.
  • Practice stretches morning and night! Be dedicated, confident and never give up.
  • Just have fun and do the best you can do. Gymnastics is all about fun!
  • Practice every day and you will get there. You need a lot of flexibility for gymnastics. Remember to breathe when you stretch, you won't feel as much pain. If you feel pain that is good that means it is working.
  • In a gymnastics routine you do a lot of dance so if you get a dance teacher it will be easier.
  • Make sure to smile while performing, or the judges might deduct points.
  • Try to stretch at least twice a week. Start off with easy low lunge, then gradually start making the levels higher.
  • Be careful. If you stretch too far away from your comfort range, you may end up with an injury.
  • If you can't do a skill, get back up and get someone to help you so you don't land in a dangerous position.
  • Relax. It will make it easier for you to move.

Warnings

  • You must have good willpower. Being stretched may hurt you and in order to get better you have to push through the hard times.
  • Always use common sense when practicing. If you feel extreme pain, then stop. If you think you're not ready for something, then wait until you know you can do it.
  • Be careful- gymnastics is a very difficult sport and is more likely to hurt you if you do not practice regularly.
  • If your coach does push you harder than you can handle tell him/her your limits.
  • Call for backup. If you are trying out a new stretch, seek guidance from someone who can help you manage the move.
  • Remember- Over time, not overnight.

Things You'll Need

  • Proper clothing
  • Willingness
  • Mat (optional)

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Gymnastics