The Athletic Benefits of Gymnastics Flexibility Training
Work towards a Straddle Pancake using the GB Middle Split Series.
When it comes to exercising for athletic benefits, many people often overlook the importance of flexibility training. If your muscles are too tight to allow your joints to move freely, then you will not be able to be fast and powerful on the field of play. Stretching can help you produce more force, increase your speed, and improve your overall athleticism.
If your joints lack flexibility due to having tight muscles and fascia, then you will encounter resistance whenever you try to move athletically through different ranges of motion. Consider the analogy of driving a car: if you press the gas pedal down while the parking brake is still engaged, then you will not accelerate very fast! Often many strong and stiff athletes move in this manner.
Here we will discuss the athletic benefits of flexibility, including how your body will look, feel, and perform better when you focus on balancing your strength and mobility. Coach Christopher Sommer, the founder of GymnasticBodies, has spent decades honing the physical preparation process for elite-level athletes, and now you too can benefit from his world-class experience and knowledge. Gymnastics Strength Training is the most effective and efficient system to get real results and create long-term health in the body.
Hip Flexibility and Athletic Movements
No matter what sport or activity you engage in, the chances are that the ability to fully extend your hips is a crucial part of the game. Think about it: strength sports, endurance activities, field sports, and the martial arts all require you to have the flexibility in your hips to reach a fully extended (or "hips open") position. This might look like a deadlift, a jump, a kick, or something else, but they all share the need to have open hip flexors and a strong posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, and lower back).
The Arch Body Hold can be found in the GB Foundation Series.
This is where a staple Gymnastics Strength Training core exercise enters the picture: the Arch Body Hold. As you can tell from the above photo, the athlete has full range of motion in the front of his hips, meaning that his quads and hip flexors are flexible enough to allow the joint to fully extend and open up. In addition, his glutes, hamstrings, and lower back are strong enough to hold his body in this position, something that will carry over well to a wide variety of athletic movements.
If you are like many sedentary adults who lack the flexibility in their hips to truly express their full athletic potential, then check out the GymnasticBodies Stretch Courses to learn how to stretch your way to better strength and power. Coach Sommer often points out how many adults walk around stiff and tight as if they are wearing a full-body cast that restricts them from moving freely. If this sounds like you, then your quality of life and athleticism will benefit greatly from working on your flexibility.
Hamstring Flexibility and Athletic Core Strength
Hanging Leg Lift progressions are in Foundation One and Two.
Another common flexibility deficiency that can limit your athleticism is tight hamstrings, especially when that means you cannot fully strengthen your core. Take, for example, the Hanging Leg Lift pictured above, which is one of the best gymnastics core exercises that you can do. The problem that many adults have with Hanging Leg Lifts, however, is that they are not flexible enough to get into the correct position!
So rather than beating your head against the wall with sub-par flexibility and tight hamstrings, learn how to stretch properly so that you can include these great core exercises into your gymnastics workout. The GymnasticBodies Front Split Series is centered around hamstring stretches that will make you more flexible, and this will carry over to all of your other training and sport activities.
- Gymnastics flexibility training has many athletic benefits, including moving your joints freely without restrictions.
- Try the Arch Body Hold to stretch your hip flexors and strengthen your posterior chain.
- If tight hamstrings are your issue, stretch so that you can work up to doing Hanging Leg Lifts.
- The GB Courses contain the most effective strength and mobility exercises for improving your flexibility and athleticism.