Gym Closed – those are two words that no gymnast wants to hear, at least no one with the ambition to succeed as a gymnast.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has not just closed gyms all over the world, but it also canceled all gymnastics events. Even the Olympics were canceled, which was a big blow for many gymnasts that work very hard and sacrificed a lot to get there.
The only smart play is to make the best of the current situation and stay safe. Here’s how gymnasts from all over the world are coping during the pandemic and how they try to stay in shape while the gyms are closed.
How To Keep Up With Gymnastics When The Gym Is Closed?
First of all, know that just because you can’t go to the gym, it doesn’t mean that you can’t workout at home. There is a wide selection of exercises you can do at home to keep your flexibility, skills, endurance, and strength. It’s even better if you have a backyard for outside practice.
In any case, you should reach out to your gym or some of the trainers that work there and ask for workout plans you can do at home. Lately, many gyms brought their workout plans to social media (Instagram, Facebook), followed by exercise tips and recommendations by the coaches that work there.
The second most important thing is to remember that working out at home is not as safe as in a gym where coaches always supervise you. There won’t be anyone who knows what you are performing and won’t handle every eventuality. At home, you are pretty much on your own, and it is quite risky to consider.
That means you shouldn’t train new skills that are riskier. At the same time, that doesn’t exclude doing the smaller things and perfecting some of the skills you have already learned. Plus, you can always work to condition and strengthen your skills.
The following list contains things you can do while your gym is closed. Check it out and see which of them can be added to your daily routine.
6 Things You Can Do At Home To Keep Your Gymnastic Perseverance
There isn’t too much fun in conditioning, but its importance is enormous. That’s how you stay strong and keep up your stamina while the gym is closed. Some of the conditioning exercises you can do at your home include burpees, mountain climbers, side lunges, front lunges, back lunges, glute bridges, jumping jacks, and frog jumps.
Maintaining good flexibility is super-important for every aspiring gymnast. Yet, more than often, new gymnasts forget about that and skip stretching altogether. While you are exercising at home, make stretching an integral part of your daily routine.
The choice is between active and static stretching. Static stretching includes doing pike sits or sitting in your splits. According to some studies, active stretching is somewhat more effective than static stretching. But if space is limited, then static stretching works just fine.
3. Practice Handstand
Handstand is a great fundamental skill upon which you lay the foundation for many more difficult skills. By doing a handstand, you get a good form while building arm strength. It neither takes too much time to do a handstand nor does it require too much space. Here is a reference on how to practice handstand the right way.
4. Train Leaps and Jumps
Often, gymnasts don’t have the time to perfect these skills even though they matter a lot. In most cases, that’s because they don’t have enough time during the season and focus more on the more difficult skills. The way things are, there is no better time to perfect these skills.
You can do this by video recording yourself while doing leaps and jumps. Afterward, you can watch the video and figure out which segments you can improve and where you are doing great.
Record and analyze until you are entirely pleased. Always analyze if your leaps/jumps need a better form, more extension, or even additional height. That’s the path to perfection, and there is no other way around. Another great idea is by visiting sites like fit2bmom.com, investing in gymnastics equipment to keep your skills intact. This way, you can gain the upper hand once gymnastics starts again.
5. Mental Training
All great gymnasts practice mental training and consider it a big part of their preparation. For this, you don’t need to be in a gym or with your coach as it all takes in a special place – within your head.
The idea is to take a little time every day. If possible, before going to bed or starting your workout routine, go through your routine within your mind. It is about creating a mental picture of you doing your routine in the best possible manner and form.
You need to see yourself doing the routine with ease and enjoy every moment while doing so. Try to capture that feeling of joy after completing a perfect routine. Make a habit of this, and soon enough, you will be able to get it out of your head and on the mat.
6. Perfect Your Dance Routines
Again, this is another segment that gets neglected by gymnasts. Practice your routines as many times as possible. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you feel 100% satisfied. Train your dynamics, your artistry, expression, and all the little things that could use some work. More often, the little details make the difference between a place on the winning podium and mediocre performance.
For example, sometimes the judges will give you a lower score because your feet were not pointed and in perfect alignment when making your turns. It might seem like a trivial thing, but those things happen.
So, now, when you have plenty of free time on your hands, don’t let that happen and perfect your routine.
Remember, one fine day the pandemic will pass, the gym will open, and your training will continue. In the meantime, it is essential to stay positive and do your best to keep yourself in shape as humanly possible. Other than that, stay safe and mind social distancing.