Gymnastics requires balance, strength, flexibility, and control – all attributes that any avid gym goer will certainly appreciate. The bodies of professional gymnasts prove just how effective their exercise routines and movements are and it hasn’t gone unnoticed in the fitness community. Gymnastics style exercises are entering local gyms up and down the country, you might even have spotted some parallette bars among the usual equipment.
While gymnastic moves might look complicated and impossible for some, there are many basic moves that are perfect for building up your strength and complementing other exercises. The power that many gymnastic moves require means that the coveted gymnast body is often achieved without any weight training at all. Incorporating these four basic gymnastic moves into your routine can help build up your core while improving flexibility and power too.
1. Hollow body hold – This is an exercise that all gymnasts learn when they start training, it helps to build up core muscles and improve stability. The result is more explosive power that can boost other common exercises, from squatting to jumping. You simply need to lie on your back, hands above your head and legs straight out together. You then lift your legs, head, and shoulders off the floor, contracting your abdominal muscles, and hold for a few seconds, gradually increasing the time.
2. L-sit – This is a move that you’ll often see gymnasts performing on the parallel bars and it’s a challenge despite looking simple. If you’re starting out it’s best to use parallets or flat edged dumbbells that can be rested on the floor. Sitting between the bars and holding onto them you should straighten out your arms, ensuring you keep your shoulders down, and lift your feet off the floor to create an L shape. If you’re finding this move a challenge you can start by brining your knees up towards your chest initially, known as the tuck position, and progress as your strength improves.
3. Handstand – Handstands are a gymnastic essential, paving the way for more complicated moves, thanks to improving core strength, balance, and stability. If it’s been a while since you’ve done a handstand start by using a wall to assist you, with your hands close to the base and your feet resting against it. Once you’re comfortable doing a handstand and can hold for more than 30 seconds you can try without the wall or even build in some dips to further work out your arms.
4. Hollow pull up – No doubt pull ups are already in your workout in some form but this gymnastic twist can help build strength quicker. Rather than holding your body vertically as you pull up, do some in a concave position, with your legs held out slightly in front of you. It’ll help improve your stability and engage even more muscles throughout the exercise.