Do you know the why we have our athletes warm-up and stretch at the beginning of their gymnastics class? Our athletes participate in an active warm-up for the same reason a professional athlete has a warm-up regimen, an active warm-up and stretch helps prepare their bodies for the exercise they are about to get.
Warming up and stretching their bodies’ helps to increase blood flow to their muscles which helps reduce soreness and lessen the risk of injury. In turn, this helps our athletes feel ready to participate. We incorporate 2 types of stretching into our lessons, Dynamic and Static Stretching.
Dynamic Stretching, or “stretching with movement”, is used to increase their range of motion and reduce muscle stiffness. Static Stretching “stationary stretching” is used to elongate the muscles and increase flexibility. As gymnasts both range of motion and flexibility are important for their skill development which is why we incorporate both into each lesson.
Warm-ups are also mental preparation for our athletes. The assigned warm-up and stretching movements are directly connected to the movements they are learning during the skills in their classes. This mentally prepares them for body positions they will encounter throughout their lesson by being familiar with and having already passed their bodies through these positions during their warm-up and stretch.
What is your favorite warm-up? Let me know in the comments below!