Gymnasts should be training at home during this COVID-19 virus situation. Tips for gymnasts to maintain their strength at home.
Nearly every coach will say conditioning and stretching should be done at home. The skills will be there if the gymnast continues to perform general strength and sport-specific conditioning through this COVID-19 time. Most gymnasts remember the conditioning they do in the gym, but they all have favorite exercises. If they have space, they should perform their entire pre-workout warm-up to help stay in shape.
All gymnasts need hip flexor conditioning. The hip flexors play an important role in the gymnast’s training. They not only allow the gymnast to lift her leg very high, but they help with posture. And when the hip flexors are weak or tight, the gymnast may feel low back pain. To keep the hip flexors conditioned I recommend the pike-sitting leg lifts. And for the stretch, I recommend the quad-psoas stretches.
But there are other things that will be helpful. For example, balance drills and visualization. For balance, the gymnast can do simple exercises such as RDL and slow-motion needle kicks with and without light dumbbells. They can also perform arm routines with their eyes closed. The gymnast would stand in place and perform her beam routine with just her arm and head movements. That is for both visualization and balance. When that is easy, the gymnast can perform it in a passé leg position, one foot touching the inner side of the other knee. The gymnast should do this drill with each leg. Most gymnasts have a sharper sense of balance on one side. When this is easy, the gymnast can add very light ankle/writs weights to the wrists or hold 1lb dumbbells in each hand. And to bring it one step further, the gymnast can do this standing on a Bosu or balance disc.
And finally, for a change maybe they can do the Legs Plus or Swing Set Fitness workouts. Many of the exercises in my swing workouts are gymnastics conditioning exercises my gymnasts have done using a barrel mat. The Legs Plus workouts are really good general fitness as well as landing and bars conditioning. My gymnastics drills and conditioning book is useful to all gymnasts.
Gymnasts should try really hard to stay in shape and keep their sanity. Athletes can use this time to get stronger and heal any aches and pains they may have had.
And let me know how I can help your gymnast.
Karen Goeller, CSCS