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Stretching Safely in Gymnastics

By Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP, Athletico, 10/17/18, 12:00PM CDT

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When practice is starting, gymnasts should do a little cardiovascular warmup, such as jumping jacks or running around the floor for five minutes, to warm up the muscles prior to stretching.

Gymnasts require more flexibility than the general athlete to perform the necessary skills of their sport.

Summertime is a great time to focus on increasing flexibility. Since stretching is an important component of training, it is a good idea to review some of the safest ways to stretch to prevent injury and progress flexibility.

Types of Stretches

  • Static Stretching

Static stretching is what many people commonly think of when you say “stretching.” With this type of stretch, a position is held with the muscle on tension to a point of a stretching sensation. This position is held for a longer length of time. Static stretching has shown to be effective for increasing joint range of motion. Stretches with between 10-30 seconds of holding time is sufficient for this improvement in joint range.