Friday, January 13, 2017

Flexibility Exercises For RG

Flexibility is by far the most important and focused aspect of the sport of rhythmic gymnastics, while some other aspects like core strength is just secondary. This is important because the routines require great flexibility of the gymnasts to bring the music to life through their bodies—so important that stretching and flexibility takes up most of the warm up routine.

While stretching the body to its extremes is necessary for success, a rhythmic gymnast needs to make sure that they are performing this task without causing any injuries. While stretching, she should listen to what her body is telling her because there are two types of pain: good and bad. A good pain is described as the uncomfortable feeling of the muscles being stretched and although the gymnast is uncomfortable, she should still be able to control her breathing and remain somewhat relaxed. On the other hand, a bad pain is described as the feeling of muscles being pushed too far, the feeling of something dislocating, pulling, or being in so much pain that she starts tearing up and breathing abnormally.

Sadly, some gymnasts who want to increase their flexibility endure through the bad pain just to have immediate results. What they need to remember is that this is a slow process and needs to be taken with caution.

Many coaches and gymnasts have different approaches to achieving their desired level of flexibility, but here we have gathered some exercises to help someone out there get started with their flexibility foals.

1. Butterfly Stretch

This is probably the most famous and most basic kind of stretch for someone who’s just beginning their flexibility exercises. Although even when a gymnast is already in an advanced level, they still do this.

The butterfly stretch is done while sitting down on the floor. Starting position is sitting with your feet stretched in front of you, flat against the ground. Now pull your legs together, with your knees to the sides, until your soles connect. Now pull your heels as close to your groin as possible. In the beginning of course you can only pull your heels in for a little distance, but as you continue doing this for weeks, eventually your heels would connect to your groin.

After you’ve pulled it as close as you are comfortable, start gently bouncing your knees up and down to loosen the muscles. Do this for about 10 seconds, then use your elbows to gently press your knees toward the ground for another 10 seconds. After a while you’ll notice that your flexibility has improved because it has become easy to press your knees to the ground.

2. Swan Stretch

This exercise is commonly seen in the gym. You can do this like how gymnasts do it by lying face down on the floor with both hands in front of your shoulders, fingers facing forward, like how you would start a push-up. You should then press into your hands to lift your belly off the floor. While keeping your abs tight, shoulders down and pelvis grounded, lengthen your upper body away from the floor, reaching out and up from crown of the head. Pull your shoulder blades together, at the same time opening the chest, and then hold it for 30 to 45 seconds. Release and then repeat.

3. Ceiling And Toe Touch

This exercise is what its name suggests. While sitting on the floor, extend both arms over the head, fingers pointing to the ceiling, for as far as you are comfortable. Then, stretch your left arm towards the ceiling for 10 seconds. Relax it and then do the same with the other arm.

Once those are done for a couple of reps, lower your arms in front of you. Bend your waist and reach for your toes. Do this for 10 to 15 seconds too.

This exercise can be done while standing up as well, but sitting down is better as it lessens the weight in the lower back.

4. Over-splits

Before doing this particular stretching, it is important to remember that this is only done by gymnasts who has some degree of flexibility already and not for beginners as this is really hard and dangerous if not done right.

Over-splits is what it is called when a regular leg split went over 180 degrees angle. You can do this by putting one foot on an elevated object like a chair or table while the other leg is stretched directly behind you. This position is held for 2 to 3 minutes.

It is important to keep in mind that while in this split position, the torso should be up and hovering above the ground. If your pelvis is touching the ground, then you need to increase the height of the object her elevated leg is resting on. Conversely, a coach or team mate can help increase flexibility by carefully pushing your pelvis towards the floor.

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