Train Like a Gymnast

Train Like a Gymnast

Gymnasts are phenomenal athletes with incredible physiques. They are strong, agile, flexible and quick. It is safe to say gymnasts possess all aspects of physical fitness at the highest level. Many of these skills can be attributed to the nature of the sport, but they also come as a result of the intense training routines and diets gymnasts use as part of their daily lives.


Train Like a Gymnast

Strength Training


Gymnasts have well-defined, muscular physics that could be compared to track athletes or bodybuilders. Performing on uneven bars, parallel bars, rings, and the horse all require tremendous upper-body strength, so strength training is an integral part of a gymnast's routine. Gymnasts develop their upper-body strength by performing mostly bodyweight exercises. They use equipment such as parallettes and pullup bars to lift their bodies off the ground and balance themselves in physically challenging poses. Some of the specific exercises a gymnast uses in their routine are handstand pushups, planche pushups, V-sits, L-sits and pullups.


Speed, Agility, Flexibility and Balance


Gymnasts must be able to move quickly from one challenging pose to the next with a high degree of accuracy. This requires a lot of speed, agility and flexibility. They also must have phenomenal balance. Gymnasts spend a significant amount of their time training stretching and balancing in various poses, in ways that could be compared to yoga. They improve their speed and agility by practicing the moves they use in their routines, such as handstands, front and back flips and cartwheels.


High-ProteinLow-Carb Diet


Gymnastics is an anaerobic sport. A gymnast depends more on strength and speed than endurance. For this reason, gymnasts eat a diet that primarily consists of lean meats and other high-protein foods mixed with small amounts of complex and simple carbohydrates.


Gymnasts' Workouts


Gymnasts spend hours at the gym each day. A typical week at the gym may include up to three hours of cardio, plus one hour of weight training, plus gymnastics training. 


1. Lunge Walk with Bar

Find an area or space where you can walk about 20 steps. Grab a bar with your hands, palms facing away from your body, and place your feet hip-width apart. Raise the bar so that it is in front of your chest and parallel with your shoulders. Holding the bar steady, perform a lunge by moving one foot forward and bending at the knee. Make sure not to bend your knee past your toes. Your opposite leg should bend as well. Stand up and bring your feet back up together. Repeat, this time lunging with your opposite leg.


2. Pullups

Another classic workout, the pullup works a wide variety of upper-body muscles. You may perform this exercise many ways. Start off with your hands shoulder-width apart and your palms facing away. After the set, move your palms so they face toward you. Other modifications include wide-arm pullups, inverted pullups, inclined inverted pullups and L-hang pullups, which require you to lift your lower legs up so that your lower half resembles a capital L.


3. Standing Side Jumps

Find a sturdy surface that you can jump on, such as an aerobics bench or a padded gymnastics mat, which is 5 to 8 inches off the floor. Stand next to the surface and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your arms and hands in front of your chest for balance throughout the exercise. Bend at your knees as if you are performing a squat, then jump as high as you can while propelling your body to the raised surface. Land on both feet, then quickly jump down onto the other side of the surface. Repeat starting on the opposite side.


4. Oblique Crunches


Olympic bronze medalist Louis Smith utilizes a list of classic workouts and exercises to work his abdominal muscles. In addition to doing standard situps and crunches, Smith also performs oblique crunches. To perform this exercise, lie on the floor as if you are about to do a situp. Instead of lifting your back and shoulders off the floor in a straight manner, lift and perform the crunch to the side. At the same time, slightly lift off the ball of your foot in the position that you are crunching.

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