Gymnastics conditioning plans are one area that a lot of gyms "wing," but at a cost. You would never hire someone off the street to coach your top level athletes. Why, then, would you allow someone who isn't an expert in exercise physiology design your team's conditioning program? Just having been an athlete yourself that did the conditioning your coach gave you isn't enough.
Gymnastics is arguably the most physically demanding sport in the world. The athletes deserve the best information you can possibly gather to optimize their health and results as well as the time they are investing in the sport.
Why else is having scientifically based gymnastics conditioning plans so important? Well, it's one of the only things you can control in gymnastics.
...You can't control when someone hits a growth spurt and it throws off their skills.
...You can't control when someone's dog died and her head is somewhere else.
...You can't control when someone gets sick the morning of Regionals.
But...You can control the conditioning plan. You can control the physical and mental preparation.
The two go together. When our mind is weak, our body won't be strong and vice versa.
1. A strong athlete will learn more quickly. The limiting factor when learning many skills is going to be strength. Don't make strength the reason your athletes don't pick up skills.
2. A strong athlete will score better. Strong athletes hold better shapes. They are not so gassed during their routines that they can focus on form. They will be able to keep up if they are the last to warm up and the first to compete.
3. A strong athlete will tend to stay healthier. Whether it be fewer crashes because the athlete can keep his or her body in control, or reducing nagging injuries that can be prevented with a balanced conditioning plan, strong balanced athletes are less likely to miss time due to injury. Having balance in the body means that the body doesn't have weak links. You can't always see it unless you are trained to do so.
4. A strong athlete has less fear. Many cases of fear are due to a deep-seeded understanding that the body isn't quite strong enough to handle the skills being attempted. By strengthening the body and gaining experience in the positions demanded, fear is reduced.
Flexibility is also about more than just hitting 180 on that leap. Flexibility and mobility need to be addressed separately. Mobility is how the joints move. Flexibility is the range the body parts can get to. Both are important for gymnasts. Depending on the gymnast's age and body type, different flexibility and mobility issues need to be addressed. I can offer plans to cover all needs.
1. A more flexible gymnast learns skills faster. If the athlete's body can easily attain the positions needed, the skill becomes much more achievable and consistent.
2. A more flexible gymnast scores better. 180 leap? No problem. Open hips on your giant? Easy. Good shapes on tumbling? No big deal. Straight arms on flight on beam? Every time.
3. A more balanced flexible gymnast stays healthier. More is not always better. There is an optimal level of how flexible a gymnast needs to be since stability and flexibility are usually two sides of the same coin. We don't want to sacrifice stability in the pursuit of extreme flexibility. Meeting in the middle tends to work best. We want to maintain balance within the body as well, both with left/right side and with upper and lower body. The more out of balance a body becomes the more prone to injury. That's why it's critical to have a general program to address all joints as well as both "good side" and "bad side" splits.
Start with a Free 15 Minute Discovery Call on My Calendar. You can explain your needs and I'll let you know if I can help. Who can schedule a call with me?
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Did you know that young kids as well as women and men who have never had children can get hernias and diastasis recti? Furthermore, pelvic floor issues often develop in the tweens and teens. The deep core system and the pelvic floor are important parts of our core's overall functioning, and if we don't address these muscles, we are leaving lots of core strength on the table. Not to mention, issues like these can cause many young woment to leave sports altogether. What a tragedy!