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How to make conditioning training fun for gymnasts

To thrive in gymnastics, you need to be an athlete with many attributes. You need to be strong, flexible, agile, and coordinated – All of which can be developed in different ways.

Conditioning training includes everything from strength training, cardiovascular fitness and plyometrics. Gymnastics routines have explosive movements. In fact, a study found that tumbling can cause a ground reaction force of up to 14x a gymnast’s weight on their legs with landings and dismounts can distributing anywhere from 18-30x their body weight through the lower body. Training like this helps to prevent injuries and improves endurance. Also, the regular increase in heart rate improves the ability to transport oxygen throughout the body.

We know you’ve asked how to make conditioning training fun. Here are 4 activities you can try to make your training sessions more engaging.

But before we go into the activities, we want to give you a few general tips for structuring your conditioning training sessions:

  • Deciding on a theme for each session helps to keep everyone aligned on an overall goal. You can also assign individual goals for your students to work on like a certain number of reps
  • A good warm up and cool down is important! Making sure to take at least 10 minutes to warm up and cool down is going to set your students up for success.
  • There are individual and group exercises you can do to encourage focus and collaboration. Some examples include doing individual and group balances

Now, let’s talk about some fun conditioning ideas…

1. Relay races

As we’re sure you know, competition is a natural part of gymnastics. That’s why relay races can be so fun. You can even add a prize for the winners. You’ll be fitting several different activities into one game, making it easy to reach every part of the body within one activity.

2. Set up stations

Ultimately, the goal is to make sure your students have worked on every part of their body. That’s why adding stations is so effective. You can target both the whole body and specific muscles. You can also combine workout moves with your gymnastic equipment. An example would be ring push-ups.

3. Challenge bingo

This one is simple but fun. Each student gets a sheet of paper with different activities on it. If they complete a line, they get a reward. You can even use stickers to mark when they have finished an exercise.

Example:

Complete a beam routine without a fall

3 stuck vault landings to feet

2 bar dismounts stuck

3 stuck vault landings

A floor routine with at least 3 big smiles

5 full bar routines

Complete a beam routine with no broken connections

5 stuck beam dismounts

20 push-ups straight after a routine

Complete a beam routine without a wobble

30 v-snaps straight after a routine

5 full bar routines

4. Obstacle course

An obstacle course may seem quite complicated to set up, but it doesn’t need to be. You can make it as challenging as you want and use whatever equipment you have already set up. Doing an obstacle course is not only good for conditioning, but also a great way to develop co-ordination. The key to success is to keep in constant communication with your students on how to progress. At the end of class, you can reward students with activities like rope swings.

5. 1000 points conditioning

To do this activity you start by giving each student a sheet with the exercises to do and the number of points they amount to. You’ll need 10 different exercises. Each exercise must have a total value of 100 points.

For example:

Leg raises to the top, so toes touch the bar – 1 rep = 10 points, maximum 10 reps

Push-ups – 1 rep = 4 points, maximum 25 reps

Give your students a certain amount of time to do the 10 exercises. Once they have finished an exercise, they can’t come back if they haven’t achieved the maximum number of reps. Whoever gets the most points wins. This is a great way to challenge students and add some competition into sessions. They’ll also get a sense of achievement every time they earn points.

Whether you choose to do something from this list or create something new, you’ll know what your students like, some will enjoy challenges and games and others will prefer to focus on straightforward exercises. What’s most important is that you mix it up so that every student is satisfied.

How can LoveAdmin help?

  • Use LoveAdmin’s industry leading comms features to send out bingo, relay or 1000-point sheets as attachment to download. You can also set up notifications for members leading up to a class, so they know what’s coming up
  • Use the unique timeline to share progress pictures, update parents on activities and more
  • You can add detailed class descriptions so that students know what to expect, how to dress and what to bring
  • Do you want to set up a development programme to track progress? We’ve got you covered

Explore more ways LoveAdmin can help your gymnastics club here

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