Gymnastic Warmups for Gymnasts

There are a number of reasons to warm-up before workouts. The primary reason to warm-up that everyone agrees upon is to warm-up your body and muscles, i.e. to raise your body temperature.

Pre-Stretch Your Body and Muscles

Gymnastic warm-ups can pre-stretch the muscles to prepare them for any potential purposeful or accidental stretching of the muscles during the workout. Depending on the workout structuring warm-ups can allow gymnasts to spend a period of time working before practice on increasing flexibility.

Build Up to the Intensity Level of Your Upcoming Workout

Warm-ups can be a method to build up to the level of intensity that your workout will be. Warm-ups can also be a time to spend time learning some new skills and drills. We frequently use warm-up time to develop skills for FX and beam.

Train to Compete

Warm-ups are also an excellent time when the team is all together to increase competition experience with contests, like handstand contests. This can also serve to build team spirit with this type of intra-squad team competitions.

Transition to Tumbling

Warm-ups also provide an excellent transition into line tumbling, beam line tumbling and tumbling practice.

Warm-up All Major Joints

You will want to do a complete warm-up. The first step is to warm up the muscles with some type of moderate aerobic exercise such as jogging for a few minutes until your body temperature rises. Then you want to stretch and warm-up all of your body’s major joints.

  • Ankles
  • Hips (Splits)
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Wrists
  • Neck

You don’t want to stretch your knees or elbows past a straight line position because excess flexibility can contribute to problems.

Recommended Exercises

Examples of exercises for the major joints might include:

  • Rock on Ankles
  • Planche (lean way forward) on Wrists with hands both forward and backward
  • Achilles stretch
  • Kneel, lay back flat (toes and heels together)
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Splits (left, right and straddle )
  • Shoulders
  • Bridge (backbends)
  • Sit with Shoulders at full extension

Warm-Up Your Neck

  • Knees by ears
  • Rock to Nose

Vary the Warm-Up

For variety, sometimes it can be fun to wear weight vest and ankle weights during some warm-ups, warmup on the tumble tramp or even on the beam.

Take the Time to Prepare for Practice

Take the time to carefully prepare your body for the stress of practice and anything that might happen during practice.

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7 Responses to “Gymnastic Warmups for Gymnasts”

  1. maureen parry July 18, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    Thank you for the information, it is appreciated. My one big question is, do we do cardio ie running before we start the warm up of muscles and joints. I look forward to your reply and thank you in anticipation.

    • Coach Howard July 18, 2011 at 6:59 am #

      The muscles, first, should get warmed up before they do any other physical activity. That probably is the real functional definition of warming-up. So you will want to do a warm-up cardio run (3 – 10 minutes) before doing the warm-up. For high intensity cardio work-outs, that you intend to have conditioning effects, those should best be reserved for after practice, when the intensity of exercise will not tire gymnasts to the point they are more of a safety risk, while they are doing their gymnastics practice.

  2. Sophia DosSantos August 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    I am a soon to be level 5 gymnast and I want to know when we should start using grips.

  3. JessicaLove March 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Thanks so much but I’m doing an Inquiry Project for school and I was wondering if you have any recomendations for professors i could interview?.
    I am looking forward to your reply. thank you. =]

    • Gymnastics Zone March 27, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      Bill Sands is the best recommendation I could make. The last contact information I have for him is:
      WILLIAM “BILL” SANDS, PhD. Director of the Human Performance Laboratory 1100 North Avenue Grand Junction, CO 81501 (970)248-1918.

  4. connie May 2, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    it’s so good this

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