Get Fit with Gymnastics

Health, Home & Family, Outdoors, People, Sports
on October 25, 2011

Flabby, out-of-shape gymnasts? Never heard of them. If you’ve ever watched the Olympics, you have seen the physical results of gymnastics. Lean, muscular bodies flip, defy gravity and perform amazing tricks deftly and with ease. These short but intense bursts of energetic movement are an excellent form of anaerobic exercise and, according to Get Fit Fitness, a great, unique way to stay in shape.

Floor exercises make for excellent conditioning. Perform floor exercises such as forward and backward rolls, cartwheels, round-offs and handstands as a good basic warm-up or beginning for any complete gymnastic workout. Always start with gentle stretches before beginning any workout that your doctor has approved. Once you are comfortable with the basic floor exercises, you can expand your repertoire to include fancier moves such as the aerial cartwheel, backward handspring, fly-spring, planche and windmill. These are more advanced exercises, so you will need a trainer to assist you in proper form until you get familiar with the moves.

Parallel bar exercises test muscles. These super high bars may seem frightening at first, but they let you stretch your body as you flip, twist and swing your way to strength and fitness. The height, more than 6 feet, allows for flourishing dismounts to boot. Moves to consider on the parallel bars are swings, uprises, back-offs, peaches and pirouettes. Each provides a unique muscle challenge and encourages strength and coordination.

Body weight resistant exercises encourage core strength. Core strength is a requirement for any gymnast. In practicing and conditioning for gymnastics, core strength will naturally improve, benefiting gymnastic technique and abilities. Planks, crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges and balancing exercises all work together to increase core strength and improve gymnastic maneuvers as well.

Charge ahead in fitness with the pommel horse. This raised structure is more than 5 feet in length and stands about 4 feet high. The height is important for the average person to complete pommel horse exercises without impediment. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are tested and strengthened while coordination and flexibility increase, with such moves as scissors, swings, side swings, double leg circles and front loops. Try these moves with a professional before going it alone.