Gymnastics is fast becoming one of the most popular participation sports among young people in the UK. The added focus on health and wellbeing has led to people looking for different ways to keep fit. Now while there is no doubt that going to the gym is probably the first thing everyone thinks of when they decide to get fit, it is certainly not the only option. If you don’t fancy spending hours and hours on a treadmill or lifting weights why not give gymnastics a try.
Now for the uninitiated gymnastics might be that sport you see every four years at the Olympics, where highly toned athletes perform complex routines on gymnastics bars and other pieces of apparatus. However, it is much more than that. Gymnastics is a great participation sport open to anyone that comes with a wide range of benefits to those involved. Not only does it help you get fit, but can also help with mental health, weight loss and improve your posture.
Right now we’ve piqued your interest in how you get started. So, if you are the type of person who likes organised competition there are clubs around the UK where you can hone your craft. However, gymnastics is a sport that can be done just for fun as well, but whatever level you want to attain there are certain things you should do when you first start. To give you an insight we have put together 5 tips for you to follow when you start your gymnastic journey.
Stick to a Schedule
Any experienced gymnast will always tell you that having a proper training framework is one of the ingredients of success. The consensus is that beginners should train 3 times a week as that will help you target all necessary muscle groups. Versatile training programmes will help you build up physical endurance and flexibility. A regular schedule will also ensure you get the correct rest which will allow you to recover faster.
Make sure you Master the Basics
Learning the basics is a key component of any sport, and that is certainly true when it comes to gymnastics. This is because failure to master the basics can lead to injury. Upper body strength is an important part of most gymnastic exercises, so the first thing to do is start to build that up. One way to do that is to start with basic push-ups. Build up slowly and increase reps as you go along. Once you have increased your upper body strength you can then move on to things like handstands and somersaults.
Always Stretch Before You Start and Finish any Routine
If you start a routine before you are properly stretched off you are putting yourself at risk of injury. Stretching before and after training will help relax your muscles and reduce stiffness and cramping. The more stretching you do the more flexible you will become leading to a wider range of motion and balance. Stretching will also help improve body strength and prevent fatigue making your gymnastic experience much more enjoyable.
Always Wear the Correct Protective Equipment
Like any sport, there are several ways you can injure yourself when doing gymnastics. Common injuries include ligament tears, bone fractures, muscle tears and sprains. Wearing things like wrist guards and grips can help minimise the risk of injury. By taking the right precautions you can significantly reduce the chance of injury, especially for amateur gymnasts.
Make Sure you Get Enough Sleep
Sleep and exercise should always go hand in hand. You cannot train properly if you are tired which means the correct amount of rest is essential. Sleep will help aid with the recovery of muscle soreness, especially after your first few sessions. Training in the evenings is ideal, as workouts in the early morning can lead to tiredness during the day. Beginners should always give their bodies complete rest and recovery and training in the evening gives you the best chance of this.
So, hopefully, the tips we have given you will help you when you start in gymnastics and hopefully we have shown that gymnastics has something to offer to everyone.