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Discover The Secrets Of High-Performance Gymnastics Through Strength Training!
 by: Steve Preston

Gymnastics in a unique sport to develop a proper strength training plan for. Gymnasts have incredible neuromuscular connections. Gymnastics requires, strength, power, flexibility, speed, and complete control over the body. The momentum required for gymnastics puts extreme forces and stresses on the gymnasts body. For these reasons, strength training is a MUST for gymnasts.

You must approach strength training for gymnastics in a methodical, sensible fashion.

The following tips should help any gymnast improve their performances in competition.

1. Emphasize The “Gymnastics Muscles”

When you create a strength training plan exclusively for gymnastics, you should emphasize the shoulders, back, chest, arms, abdominals, and thighs. These are the “order of importance” for your workout. The shoulders are used more than any of the other muscles, and therefore are trained first in a workout when your body is fresh.

2. Select Exercises For the “Gymnastics Muscles”

There are many, many exercises that you can perform for each of the body parts. Think about what body parts are sore after a practice or performance and consider exercises that will train that area. Generally, you should try to perform 2 exercises for each body part when designing a sport specific strength training plan for gymnastics.

3. Start Slowly Then Move Faster

For gymnastics training you should start the exercise slowly and methodically. As your muscles start to tire out, you then try to speed up the repetitions. The weight probably won’t move faster at this point, but the increased effort to speed up will tax the muscle fibers more. Continue until you cannot perform another repetition with perfect form. Use a spotter if training with free weights.

4. Train the Individual “Heads” Of the Shoulders

The shoulders have three separate heads or areas. They are the anterior deltoid, the medial deltoid, and the posterior deltoid. It is a good idea to train these heads individually. Front raises, lateral raises, and the reverse pec-deck machine are good choices.

5. Use A Thick Bar

If you want to get maximum muscle stimulation on the gymnastics muscles, try using a thick bar. This is a hollow metal bar that works like a barbell, and loads regular plates on the ends. The thick bar is great for pressing and curls. It forces the muscles to work extra hard. If you don’t have one where you train, you should consider getting one.

6. Do Your Abdominal Work On a Swiss Ball

A swiss ball is amazingly effective for working your abdominal muscles. It allows you to stretch your abdominals before flexing them. Most abdominal exercises don’t allow for a full stretch of the abdominals, and are therefore less effective for a gymnast, who wants very strong abdominals.

Copyright 2005 Sports Strength

About The Author

Steve Preston is a Sports Performance Specialist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He specializes in sports-specific strength training programs for athletes seeking improved sports performance. For information on consultations and clinics go to his website at Steve has recently created the Champion Strength Training For Gymnastics DVD Program. You can see it at

This article was posted on January 03, 2006


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