Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Flexibility!

Status
Not open for further replies.
G

gymnasticsbabie

Guest
WHY, please tell me WHY im am not flexible!? i stretch all the time, while waiting around for things, at home, at the gym, whatever. but i've just never been really flexible in my middle split or my shoulders. I can see that it's really starting to post a big problem in my gymnastics. in the past i've been able to get by with pure power and good left and right splits. but now im at a different gym that is more technical. the more technical my coaches get, the more that i have to use the flexiblity that i DON'T have. im starting to get yelled at a lot by one coach in particular because im not making corrections, and its not that im purposely not making the correction its just that i simply can't because of this lack of flexiblility!

so my question is. please if anyone has any stretches or anything for tight shoulders and a tight middle split please tell me. i really would love anything. also how often should i be stretching everyday? when should i start seeing results!
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Verified Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Jan 4, 2008
3,207
Country
Australia
Some people just struggle with flexibility while others gain flexibility easily. It sounds like you have good strength even though you lack flexibility and strength is the most essential element in creating an outstanding gymnast.

You can improve your flexibility but it will take a great deal of work. I have always struggled with flexibility aswell. I work on my flexibility for 2 hours a day 7 days a week. You probably will not have to do that much but it just gives you an idea of how much committment is required to fight a real flexibility problem.

You will need to put extra time and effort in at home to make it work. When you start your program do it every second day and once you find the soreness is going away faster it can be upped to every day. Always do a really good warm up before you strech, if you don't warm up properly at best you will not get anything from your streching session and at worst you will seriously injure yourself.

Do a light head to toe strech of all muscle groups before moving into bigger streches like splits. When you do splits and bridges hold them. The first 30 seconds will not gain you any flexibility, this is just the time it takes for your body to relax to the point of it's current flexibility. So splits should be held for at least a minute, 2 minutes is better and done a few times not just once. Hold bridges for at least 30 seconds.

Breath deeply while you strech, it will send oxygen to your muscles which will loosen them. Also remember to relax while you strech. If you are tense your muscles will be tense too. Don't ever push it to the point where you are in pain. Streching should be uncomfortable and not painful. It can be tempting to push too hard in order to speed up the proccess but you can tear a muscle which will have you out of gymnastics for a long time and when it heals it will have lost any flexibility that it has gained.

Do your coaches physically strech you at the gym? This is probably essential for your progress.
 
M

margymmom

Guest
I don't know if you can fit it into your schedule, but yoga is the best thing you can do for flexibility (at least for those of us who are older and not gymnasts!). It helps you relax your entire body while holding stretches, and it teaches you to breathe effectively to get more out of each stretch. It makes you feel great also. If you can't get to a gym or a yoga studio that offers a class, you could try a video. Hope that helps.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

gymgymgymnast08

Active Member
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Dec 8, 2007
1,233
Country
USA
Do your coaches stretch you? Maybe ask them? Sorry I have like none because i'm very un fleaxable too. For shoulders maybe like bridges ? That might work sorta? Idk mine were never that flexable and they are kinda better now maybe its the bridges..
Yeah sorry I didn't help at all.
 

pink ranger

New Member
Mar 31, 2008
25
new york city
Some people just struggle with flexibility while others gain flexibility easily. It sounds like you have good strength even though you lack flexibility and strength is the most essential element in creating an outstanding gymnast.

You can improve your flexibility but it will take a great deal of work. I have always struggled with flexibility aswell. I work on my flexibility for 2 hours a day 7 days a week. You probably will not have to do that much but it just gives you an idea of how much committment is required to fight a real flexibility problem.

You will need to put extra time and effort in at home to make it work. When you start your program do it every second day and once you find the soreness is going away faster it can be upped to every day. Always do a really good warm up before you strech, if you don't warm up properly at best you will not get anything from your streching session and at worst you will seriously injure yourself.

Do a light head to toe strech of all muscle groups before moving into bigger streches like splits. When you do splits and bridges hold them. The first 30 seconds will not gain you any flexibility, this is just the time it takes for your body to relax to the point of it's current flexibility. So splits should be held for at least a minute, 2 minutes is better and done a few times not just once. Hold bridges for at least 30 seconds.

Breath deeply while you strech, it will send oxygen to your muscles which will loosen them. Also remember to relax while you strech. If you are tense your muscles will be tense too. Don't ever push it to the point where you are in pain. Streching should be uncomfortable and not painful. It can be tempting to push too hard in order to speed up the proccess but you can tear a muscle which will have you out of gymnastics for a long time and when it heals it will have lost any flexibility that it has gained.

Do your coaches physically strech you at the gym? This is probably essential for your progress.
That was great advice, that was something that has concerned me as well, thanks.

When you speak of warming up before you stretch, what do you mean by that? What do you do when you warm up, and than for stretch [sic]?
 
Oct 15, 2007
60
Tennessee
in our gym we have a wall with a thing on it where it has like, metal bars in a row, i dunno what it's called! but we stand and garb it with our backs flat, and have another girl stand on our shoulders and that's helped a lot, but if you don't have one, ask a coach to stretch your shoulders for you during a break or stretches.
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi Aussie_coach i have to disagree with you that
strength is the most essential element in creating an outstanding gymnast
. Otherwise this suggests that a Rings specialist should be phenominal on all apparatus, what about the fact that flexibility is a huge component on a Women's floor exercises and Beam? Not to mention that most skills have technical requirements that require a great deal of flexibility (eg.. Split leaps, jam dislocates on bars, walkovers, and so on).. so really that is a very misleading comment. Gymnastics is a balance sport you need to match flexibility, and strength in order to be an outstanding gymnast. As gymnasticsbabie said herself, the more technical you get the greater the flexibility component need to show the high degree of amplitude.

I also have to disagree with
the first 30 seconds will not gain you any flexibility,
. There is PLENTY of evidence to contradict this statement (if want references i can provide them). The first 25 seconds are actually the most effective for the time invested. You are right to when you say that 2 min is better then 1, and 3 is most likely better then 2 and so on (there is no evidence to suggest a cap time), but if don't have the time to do 2 min per stretch in a session (like most gyms) then no one would be getting any benefits.. Well i can tell you that in our gym no one does more then 30sec per stretch and everyone gets down. sooner or later. One thing that is important is not to get stagnant, you need to keep pushing your stretching, If you have been doing 30sec for like 2-3 months, then increase the time, or increase the number of times you repeat the stretch. 30 sec rotation between stretches actually works very well.

If i were you gymnasticsbabie i would do this. Stretch in the morning as you get out of bed (generally speaking your muscles are warm, and your CNS is maybe not quite fully fucntional so it wont fight you as much). I would do as aussie_coach suggested a quick light warm-up...something like 50 start jumps, 10 push-ups (this is really dependant on how hard 1 push up is for you really), so light gentle dynamic kicks front, back, side, i would do some basic abs and lower back work as well. This constitutes as a light dynamic warm up.
Following this i would do rotation of pancake holds, and side splits hold each for 30 the least and if you have the time go up to 2min (to start anyways). Repeat each stretch at least 3 times. Because of the rotation you don't need to include a rest, but if you want rest 20sec between stretches will do.
Repeat this twice a day (at night before a shower is also a good time) on alternating days (as Aussie_coach suggested). Same procedure as above.. Do this for 4 weeks, and then increase the intensity, by either elevating you middles (remember to alternate legs if you elevate 1 at a time), increase the time (if you are under 2min). Push yourself to new limits (pain tolerance wise), if you can get someone to stretch you, by pushing on you in the pancake or elvate your legs, or sit against a wall and get someone to push your legs against the wall (MEAN!!! but great stretch for middles), as well increase the frequency, do 2-3 days in a row, then rest 1 day, then again 2-3days in a row and so. Do for another 4 weeks and increase again and increase the volume, so more repetitions from 3 to 4-5, and do the stretching 3 times a day. and work it 4-5days in row then rest. .

If you do this i am 99.9% sure that you will see the benefits you need.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads