How to Work Out Like a Gymnast

How to Work Out Like a Gymnast

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Perform cool-down stretches at the end of your workout.

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You can't be out of shape to be a decent competitive gymnast as the sport requires skills such as strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular endurance. Gymnasts must exercise their bodies virtually from head to toe, so even if you never walk on a beam or swing on the rings, working out like a gymnast should help you achieve a high level of fitness.


Perform a five- to 10-minute aerobic warm-up, such as light jogging or using an elliptical trainer at low intensity. You should break a light sweat but not be winded by the end of the warm-up.


Perform four or five warm-up exercises. Focus primarily on your core. For example, do a cat-cow stretch by dropping to your hands and knees on the floor. Straighten your back and tighten your core muscles to assume the starting position. To begin the stretch, round your back by dropping your head and lifting your spine toward the ceiling. Hold the position briefly and then raise your head and arch your back, dropping your spine as low as possible. Maintain the stretch for about 10 seconds and return to the starting position to complete one repetition. Do two sets of 10 to 12 reps of each stretch or exercise.


Target your upper body with exercises such as bench presses, lying dumbbell pullovers, chin-ups or parallel bar dips. You can also do a back-support, leg-touch activity. To begin the latter exercise, assume an upside-down plank position with your body straight and above the floor as you balance on your hands and heels. Position yourself face up with your arms extended, your hands below the shoulders and your fingers pointed away from you. Lean a bit to your left as you quickly lift your right hand and touch your right hip before returning your hand to its original position. Repeat the move with your left hand. Do 20 reps with each hand.


Work your core by doing supermans, standing cable rotations and standing wood chops. Perform cable rotations with an exercise band or a medium-cable machine. Stand straight with your right shoulder pointed at the band or cable's anchor point. Hold the handle with two hands in front of your sternum and your elbows bent at right angles. Keep your hands in the same position, relative to your torso, throughout the exercise. Rotate your upper body as far as you can to your left, pause for one or two seconds and then rotate as far as possible to the right before returning to the starting position. Do two or three sets of eight to 12 reps in each direction. Extend your arms for a more intense workout.


Perform exercises such as deadlifts and do explosive moves like the squat thrust jump and medicine ball throws to strengthen your legs while working your core and upper body as well. Do medicine-ball slams for a total-body workout. Stand straight and hold the ball in front of your chest with your elbows pointed down. Bend forward from the waist and swing the ball between your legs. Straighten your knees and hips as you swing the ball forward, up and behind your head. Thrust the ball forward and slam it into the floor. The entire exercise should be performed in one smooth motion. Do two or three sets of eight to 12 reps.


Cool down and improve your flexibility at the end of your workout by doing activities such as yoga stretches, lat stretches or shoulder-mobility exercises. Try the yoga Child's Pose to stretch your abs, back, glutes and legs. Sit on the floor with your heels beneath your butt and your feet together. Bend forward from the waist so your forehead touches the floor. Keep your knees and feet on the floor and extend your arms past your head with your palms flat on the floor. Maintain the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.


Select at least six exercises -- for example, you can do two upper-body, two core and two lower-body activities -- and perform your gymnastics workout once or twice each week, with at least 48 hours between sessions. For added cardio intensity, do your selected exercises in a circuit, with no rest between activities. Perform at least two circuits.

Things Needed

  • Barbell
  • Dumbbells
  • Weight bench
  • Exercise band
  • Medicine ball