GymnasticStrong's goal is to provide gymnasts with a strength training program that is sport specific, function-based, and designed to prevent overuse injuries. Through the GymnasticStrong DVDs, gymnasts, coaches, and parents can view each exercise and learn the correct movement patterns and biomechanics associated with each exercise. The exercises instructed follow the most current teachings in the world of strength and conditioning, and promote the most progressive training methods available for gymnasts today. Furthermore, our programs are age-based and gymnasts will be completing a training routine spedific for their age and skill level.
“WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL TRAINING?”
In the past fifteen years or so, sports training has progressed from solely using weight machines to using an athlete’s body weight as resistance during exercise. Many of the exercises in GymnasticStrong DVDs incorporate the use of several muscle groups at one time, instead of exercises focusing on the contraction of a single muscle. How is this more beneficial? In every sport, an athlete moves his or her body in various planes of movement which require several muscles to co-contract at the same time. Each joint requires the strength from several muscles to stabilize it for the action it performs. Functional exercises train the body in these planes of movement to mimic the motions performed in sports. Many sports require a high degree of strength that an athlete may not have naturally; that strength needs to be created through additional training. Gymnastics is no exception.....
“WHAT DOES A GYMNAST NEED TO SUCCEED?”
1) Core strength and stability
Core strength originates from the abdominal and back muscles. These muscles work together to act as a ‘control center’ for the body’s balance and stability. In the sport of gymnastics, athletes need exceptionally strong core muscles to maintain balance, check rotation and maintain the correct air position for tumbling, hold the correct position on bars, and much more. Without sufficient core strength, a gymnast would not maintain consistency of these elements, and would find it easier to progress through levels 1-10.
It's no secret that gymnasts require an extraordinary amount of balance. Some people are blessed with natural balance, but the majority of us need improvement through exercises. There are several factors which affect the sense of balance in our body. First, our vestibular system (the inner ear) helps us sense the body’s position while we are moving. Second, the eyes help us detect our surroundings. Third, and most important for gymnasts, the balance receptors in our feet and lower extremities tell us where our bodies are in relation to the ground. Many of GymnasticStrong's exercise progressions include a balance component to make them sport specific.
3) Strength and power
Without muscle strength, a gymnast would not be able to progress through the level requirements for all apparatuses. Strength creates power and can improve endurance, and is the number one necessity for a gymnast to improve and become consistent. Through exercise, a muscle’s fibers become tighter and stronger, and can withstand more repetition for longer durations when asked to contract. Increases in strength can correlate with more powerful tumbling, more stable landings, increased energy output, and increased muscular endurance. GymnasticStrong's programs focus on developing functional strength of both the lower and upper extremities.
Gymnasts also require an unnatural amount of flexibility, but it may surprise you which basic elements require a certain muscle length to be performed correctly. Muscle flexibility controls the angle of the knee, hip, shoulder, and ankle joints for many gymnastic skills, and a small deficit in muscle length can affect the quality of a skill. Each joint in your body needs a balance of flexibility on all sides to move in the proper range of motion. If there is an imbalance of muscle length, a gymnast may be more prone to injury.
GymnasticStrong's strength and conditioning programs are designed to help a gymnast improve upon and maximize their potential in each of the above areas.