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Gymnastics Training & Conditioning Using Resistance Bands

Gymnastics Training & Conditioning Using Resistance Bands


Lockdown has been tough, both physically and mentally. Your body feels stiff and aches more than normal – likely as a result of a dodgy home office setup and being less active. But what about those who were constantly active and on the go? How have children and young, sporting athletes been dealing with the situation? Could stretching be the answer? It’s important at a time like this to look after your body, and moving in a functional way could help relieve pain and stiffness.

This is why we recently worked with MK Springers Gymnastic Club, a centre based in Milton Keynes with over 1000 members. The gymnasts were provided with our Latex-Free resistance bands, as a way to maintain flexibility and continue training, during and after lockdown.

The club itself provides recreational and squad sessions, 7 days a week for ages 3-18. Offering a variety of activities, programmes, events and competitions suitable for all genders, age groups and abilities, the club contributes to personal health, fitness and well-being. It develops balance, co-ordination and confident body movement. Gymnastics help to build self-esteem, strength and flexibility, preparing the body & mind for life’s challenges. It is a sport for life and is conducted within a safe environment which caters for personal growth and development.

How have Gymnasts been Staying Active During Lockdown?

Each gymnast was given a bag of essential workout equipment (below) including a Meglio Resistance Band, to use at home and as part of the reopening of the club. British Gymnastics sent out weekly exercise sheets for gymnasts to do at home during lockdown, and later in small outdoor workout groups whilst exercising in the club car park.

How will the gymnasts be using resistance bands?

  • As part of a warm up & cool down
  • To enhance their stretching & flexibility
  • To develop their fitness & strengthen key muscle groups
  • Using the bands as beam bars for control. The resistance band can be placed down flat on the floor, allowing the gymnasts to perform cartwheels on,

What are the benefits of using resistance bands for gymnasts?

  • Help to prevents injuries
  • Reduces lactic acid build up within the muscles
  • Great to use as part of a warm up & cool down routine. The gymnasts perform lots of leg stretches using the bands
  • Aid Flexibility. Especially important in the shoulders for gymnasts.

Top Moves for Gymnasts to do with resistance bands?

There are lots of resistance band workouts for gymnasts out there to add into your training routine. Here are a few great examples.

Name of stretch/ position /move

Monster Walks with a Resistance Loop

Target

Glute Activation

Why do it?

Perfect for glute activation, this exercise is designed to activate the muscles in your hips and glutes. The hip extensors and abductors play a majorly important role in building your stability and posture.

Instructions of “How To”

Place a resistance loop around your ankles, calves or thighs, bend your knees slightly and sink into a squat position. Your feet should be hip width apart. Take big (Monster) steps making sure that you try and keep your knees above your feet to work on knee tracking and glute activation. Walk forward with a diagonal step and then step back to where you started. You will soon feel the burn after a few sets of these!

Number of repetitions (if they were to be used in a “circuit”) and/or how long to hold for.

Perform until you feel your glutes burning, rest and then go again. Aim to complete 3-4 sets.

Name of stretch/ position/ move

Standing Hip Extension with a Meglio Resistance Loop

Target

Glutes and hamstrings

Why do it?

This exercise really targets your hip extensors.

Instructions of “How To”

Place the resistance loop around your ankles and stand tall. While keeping your left leg straight and stable, engage your core and kick your right leg outwards. Hold for a moment, then slowly return to the starting position. You can hold on to a chair or the wall to keep yourself balanced. Don’t be tempted to rotate your hips. Instead, keep your focus on using your glutes . Repeat this 10-12 times and then switch legs.

Number of repetitions (if they were to be used in a “circuit”) and/or how long to hold for.

Complete 12 reps on one leg, then repeat on the other side

Name of stretch/ position/ move

Side leg raise With a Meglio Resistance Loop

Target Muscles.

Glutes & core

Why do it?

This exercise will help work the muscles in your glutes and core, which will aid your stability, balance, and overall power.

Instructions of “How To”

Lie on the floor, turn on your side and loop the band around your lower leg. Slowly raise your top leg whilst keeping your core stable, focus on squeezing from the glutes. Aim to perform this motion in a slow, controlled motion.

Number of repetitions (if they were to be used in a “circuit”) and/or how long to hold for.

Complete a total of 10-12 repetitions, then repeat on the other side.


Name of stretch/ position/ move

Ankle Plantar Flexion with a Meglio Resistance Band

Target

Calf & Ankle stability

Why do it?

Strengthening calf muscles can place less stress and impact on your feet and legs when you make contact with the ground. Strong calves will help to support your ankles and prevent sprains and rolls. This exercise really helps minimise the chance of developing achilles tendonitis.

Instructions of “How To”

Wrap a resistance band around your forefoot. Grip the ends of the band with your hands, taking up the slack to your desired resistance level. Push your foot down into the band, hold and slowly return to the starting position. Switch to the opposite foot and repeat.

Number of repetitions (if they were to be used in a “circuit”) and/or how long to hold for.

Aim to complete 10-12 repetitions on each foot.

Name of stretch/ position/ move

Squats with a Meglio Resistance Loop

Target

Quads, Hamstrings, Calves & Glutes

Why do it?

Squats provide a full body exercise that work on strengthening key muscles in your legs.

Instructions of “How To”

Place the resistance loop just above your knees and open your legs slightly wider than hip distance apart. Keep your knees in line with your feet and begin to lower yourself down. You can raise your arms to help counterbalance yourself. When lowering yourself down, aim to push your bottom out behind you, as if you were about to sit down on a chair. It is important to keep your back straight and maintain good form throughout. Only lower yourself down to a comfortable position (aim for thighs parallel to the floor). Return to the top and repeat.

Number of repetitions (if they were to be used in a “circuit”) and/or how long to hold for.

Aim to complete 15-20 repetitions, resting as little as needed between moves.

Summary

It takes extreme balance, flexibility, and agility to perform gymnastics moves, fact! Resistance Bands are a great tool to help develop and encourage muscle stretching and conditioning for gymnasts. Upper body strength and body control are essential and resistance bands can be used to target these specific muscles groups.

Included as part of a long term fitness and stretching routine, resistance bands can help gymnasts prevent injury, improve posture, aid flexibility, strengthen key muscle groups and are a great to make part of your daily routine at a young age to solve aches and pains in later life.

After approval from the government and British Gymnastics, the centre is starting to reopen and members are returning this August.

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