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Flexibility exercises help improve posture and reduce risk of injury.
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Routine gymnastics performances are usually filled with mind-blowing tricks, intricate stunts and precise body positioning. Even with lots of training, none of the listed items can be accomplished without high levels of flexibility. Gymnasts improve their flexibility via stretching exercises. Each stretching exercise performed by gymnasts is intended to improve the range of motion in a particular part of the body to better assist them during performances.
Within Arm's Reach
Gymnasts often rely on their arms to complete several tricks such, as handstands, handsprings and front flips. Because of the weight placed on the arms and the need to have extended arm reach, arm stretches are of utmost importance to increase flexibility. The flexibility exercise known as the upward stretch resembles some of the movements gymnasts make when doing some flips. To do the exercise, extend your arms above your head with palms together. While keeping your back straight, move your arms backward until you feel tension in your back and hold that position for 20 seconds before releasing.
Put Some Back Into It
Executing backflips and back walkovers would be pretty difficult for gymnasts who have a limited range of motion in their back. The bridge stretch is ideal for increasing flexibility in the back and shoulders. First, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet kept flat on the ground. Put you hands by your ears with your palms on the floor and elbows pointing up. Push your body up with your feet and hands while keeping your back arched.
Get a Leg to Stand On
Leg flexibility is necessary for gymnasts as they do kicks and prepare for flips. A lunge is one of the first steps gymnasts do when performing flips such as cartwheels. Lunges help stretch your calves and quads as well as strengthen your knees. With your upper body straight and core engaged, step forward with one leg. Lower your hips until your legs are at a 90-degree angle making sure your knees don't extend past your toes.
Stay Split Focused
Splits are one of the most common demonstrations of flexibility shown by gymnasts. However, doing splits requires adequately stretched out hamstrings and quads. The pigeon stretch is a flexibility exercise to prepare you for doing front splits. Sit on the floor with one leg in front of you, and your foot tucked under your groin. The opposite leg should be extended straight behind you. Raise your arms over your head, bending one behind you and the other in front of you. Repeat the exercise with your other leg tucked in front.