Winning Open Warm-ups for Gymnasts and Gymnastics Coaches

One of the signs of a very well coached team is an effective, well-planned and executed team warm-up. With individual gymnastics performances only taking a few minutes total, warm-ups are a big part of the physical activity that takes place at a meet. And while “winning” warm-ups does not result in any medals, it can be a satisfying start to a meet.

Set Goals, Then Choreograph

Coaches need to first determine and plan what their goals are in warm-ups. Next, create a spectacular choreographed warm-up routine for the open warm-up before the meet. You may need to create one that uses both the full floor exercise mat and one that covers only a part of the mat for more crowded meets.

Distract the Competition

A spectacular choreographed warm-up routine can cause other teams to be distracted and watch instead of warming up and preparing themselves. If sufficiently spectacular, it can intimidate the opposition. Not having a professional appearing routine may put you in the situation of attracting a lot of attention but performing poorly. This is the exact opposite of what you are trying to do.

Play That Music

The routine should include normal warm-up exercises, dance and acrobatic elements. It could be choreographed to music. If the meet is large enough and meet officials control the sound system, a boom box system might have to be used to play the music.

Multiple Warm-Ups

You can create more than one routine. You could set two or three routines to songs. You could have different routines for different levels or you could have one general team routine and a separate different routine for each level.

Do It All

All the necessary warm-up exercises do not have to be included in the routines. Include only those that fit smoothly into the choreography and are impressive. Other warm-up exercises can be done in a more traditional manner.

Do Your Partner Stretching

Co-ordinated partner stretching exercises may be done during open warm-ups after the routine. They are impressive if your team is sufficiently trained and flexible. Again highlighting and drawing attention to your team if they are not flexible is not the concept you are going for.

Set-up for Max Visuals

Don’t forget to arrange your team in a pattern even while doing partner exercises – a circle, V-shape, U-shape, or a line for maximum visual effect.

It’s Fun

The visual effect of your well-planned and executed warm-up, even if not intimidating, will give the image of a well-coached team. Winning warm-ups can be a great start to winning the meet.

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