If you are a budding gymnast, you may want to enhance your balance in order to improve a variety of skills. Balance is key to success in gymnastics because athletes are required to maintain composure while contorting their bodies and maneuvering through events. We’ve found 3 great things you can do in order to improve your balance, so when you’re back to training again, you’ll have even more ability than before.
These drills can be practiced from home or in the gym meaning you can work on your gymnast skills anytime and anywhere.
Practice the V-Sit
The V-sit is a gymnastics position that requires both strength and balance. Sit up straight on the floor with your legs together and your toes pointed forward. Place your palms flat on the floor behind your butt. Lift your legs in front of you, keeping them straight, until they’re angled about 45 degrees to your torso. Hold the position for three to four seconds, then return your legs to the floor. When you master this skill and can get back in the gym, perform it on a low balance beam, and then on a standard beam, with mats on the floor to protect you if you fall. When you’re comfortable doing the V-sit on a standard beam, lift your butt and try to balance on your hands. Plus this is a great way to increase body and core strength.
Balance to the Side
As a gymnast you must be able to balance while moving in all directions, this is true for all types of routines and practices. You can work on this skill with a side scale drill. Stand up and extend your arms away from your sides, so your arms are parallel with the floor. Keep both legs straight as you lift one foot off the floor sideways as high as possible. If possible, grasp your foot with your hand and lift the foot a bit higher. Hold the position for three to four seconds, then return your foot to the floor. As with other balance exercises, you can progress from the floor to the balance beam as your skills improve. If you are also looking to increase your flexibility this is a perfect drill to try.
Perform an Arabesque, Needle and other stretches!
Balancing on one leg is important in several gymnastics disciplines, particularly when you’re on the balance beam, which is only 3.9 inches wide. practice balancing on a single leg, stand straight while facing a wall. Position your toes about 1 to 2 inches from the wall, then lift your non-dominant leg back as far as you can while still maintaining your balance. Do not allow any part of your body to touch the wall. Balance on one leg for three to four seconds, then return to the starting position. When you become proficient with the drill, move away from the wall and perform a more advanced version by raising your leg higher and simultaneously bending forward from the waist. Stop when your torso and raised leg are roughly parallel with the floor. Hold the position for one to two seconds before returning your foot to the floor. This can also be used to increase your flexibility. If you feel the arabesque is getting too easy move on to other standing stretches such as a needle position.
We know you can’t wait for sports to return to normal but we hope these drills keep you busy whilst you are training from home. Got another sport you want tips for? Let us know and we’ll find the best advice for you.