3 Core Strengthening Exercises To Practice At Home

A strong tight core is essential to protect a gymnasts back as they progress in gymnastics. It is important that all of these exercises be performed while keeping your belly squeezed (or sucked) in.

1.) Push up to Plank Shapes 10 to 30 reps
Begin in a tight push up position

  • facing down
  • shoulders are directly over wrists
  • belly and butt squeezed tight
  • body slight angle descends from shoulders to toes (positioned so that bottoms of toes are on the floor)
  • head straight looking at hands

One at a time, with precision, move each straight arm to lower slowly to have your forearms on the ground facing forward

  • shoulders are directly over elbows
  • belly and butt squeezed tight
  • body very slight angle descends from shoulders to toes (positioned so the bottoms of toes are on the floor)
  • head straight looking at floor

One at a time, with precision, move each forearm back to straight. Repeat.

2.) Mini crunches 25 to 100 reps  

     Begin by laying on the ground on back; facing up

  • knees bent with feet flat on the ground
  • head slightly off the floor
  • belly sucked in toward spine
  • arms outreached parallel to the ground fingers stretched out toward calves

With small deliberate movements; while pulling belly in, lift shoulders up and forward while reaching toward calves in a
pulsing gesture

3.)Squeeze holds 30 seconds to 2 minutes 

    Begin by laying on the ground and elevating feet slightly (6 to 12 inches)

  • heels on elevated surface
  • arms straight by sides on floor
  • hands flat on floor palms down
  • belly, legs, and butt squeezed tight
  • head resting on floor

Simultaneously squeezing and lifting hips and butt off the ground then holding position

  • heels pressing against elevated surface
  • arms straight on floor
  • hands flat on floor palms down
  • belly, legs, and butt squeezed tight and raised off floor
  • shoulders on floor

Along with your regular gymnastics practice, these exercises will help you to keep your core strong and your back healthy.  Always make sure that your belly is squeezed when doing any abdominal exercises.  If you feel any stress or strain, stop immediately.

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