Growing up, my Dad was an Elementary school PE teacher.
One summer, he decided to develop a strength training program for me.
It consisted of gymnastics related drills in the back yard using a mini-trampoline and a single bar he built in the backyard.
It also included a strength training program using a “Bo-flex” type workout bench.
This bench used super strong and thick rubber bands as the form of resistance and could be used to address all muscles of the body – upper body, lower body, and core.
He put a lot of time and thought into developing the program – so I appeased him.
I did the program 3x a week, in addition to my summer gymnastics schedule.
I grew to enjoy doing it – specifically the resistance training part of it.
I liked increasing my resistance as I got stronger. I really liked when I got so strong that I started to break the super thick rubber bands. It was like a small victory every time I broke one.
Eventually, summer was over and it was time to go back to school. But I continued the resistance training – waking up in the mornings before school to complete my quick 15-20 minute workout that he developed.
Fast forward to the next competition season.
It was my BEST season ever!
I upgraded my skills on EVERY event – the largest improvement between any two seasons of my entire gymnastics career.
It was also my highest scoring season of my entire career. It was the first year that I made Regionals as well as multiple event finals at multiple meets.
Knowing what I know now about strength, physical therapy, and gymnastics – I am certain that this strength program was the Secret Sauce to my success that year.
It wasn’t just my strength that improved. My power also improved. And power is a key component to gymnastics – on every event.
You certainly need power for Vault and Floor. But you also need power for jumps, leaps, tumbling series, and dismounts on Beam. And you need power in the Upper Body for Bars.
Power is the explosiveness that’s needed for quick movements. And most gymnastics skills are those explosive, quick movements.
And one of the best ways to build power – is with the right strength training program with the right resistance and the right number of reps.
Flexibility is also something that can improve with the right strength training program. There are specific strengthening exercises that can actually improve flexibility when performed correctly.
More importantly, strength training programs are safe and effective for all young athletes! There are so many benefits to a proper strength training program – including improved athletic abilities, improved confidence, and improved overall health.
But, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all program. Each person and each gymnast is different in what they need.
If you’d like me to help your athlete build more strength and power, send me an email at Jodi@motusvitapt.org and we can discuss all of the options.
I will work with her (and with input from her coaches) to develop the best strength and resistance training program to meet her needs.
And there is no better time to start than in the off-season!
Let me help you make this her BEST season yet!
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For more information about Motus Vita Physical Therapy, head over to my website (www.motusvitapt.org)