We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Side scale drills can help improve your balance.
Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Balance is a foundational skill that every gymnast must learn. In a typical gymnastics routine, your body begins in balance. You then perform moves that force your body out of balance briefly before you work to regain your balance. The key is to remain in control of your body, even when it's out of balance. Performing progressively difficult balance drills is an efficient way to learn to control your body and maintain good balance.
Practice the V-Sit
The V-sit is a gymnastics position that requires strength as well as balance. Sit up straight on the floor with your legs together and your toes pointed forward. Place your palms flat on the floor behind your butt. Lift your legs in front of you, keeping them straight, until they're angled about 45 degrees to your torso. Hold the position for three to four seconds, then return your legs to the floor. When you master this skill, perform it on a low balance beam, and then on a standard beam, with mats on the floor to protect you if you fall. When you're comfortable doing the V-sit on a standard beam, lift your butt and try to balance on your hands.
Perform an Arabesque
Balancing on one leg is important in several gymnastics disciplines, particularly when you're on the balance beam, which is only 3.9 inches wide. practice balancing on a single leg, stand erect while facing a wall. Position your toes about 1 to 2 inches from the wall, then lift your non-dominant leg back as far as you can while still maintaining your balance. Do not allow any part of your body to touch the wall. Balance on one leg for three to four seconds, then return to the starting position. When you become proficient with the drill, move away from the wall and perform a more advanced version by raising your leg higher and simultaneously bending forward from the waist. Stop when your torso and raised leg are roughly parallel with the floor. Hold the position for one to two seconds before returning your foot to the floor.
Do a Lever Drill
Controlling your balance when your torso moves forward and down is important to moves such as front rolls and front handspring vaults. Perform a lever drill to help control your torso when it pitches forward. Stand straight on the floor with your arms extended toward the ceiling. Step forward with one foot, flexing your front knee a bit while keeping your rear knee straight. Bend forward slowly from the waist. Move your entire body -- except for your front leg -- as if it were one unit. As your torso leans forward, raise your rear leg, so your leg and torso continue to form a straight line. Lean forward as far as possible. Try to touch your fingers to the floor, but keep your arms aligned with your torso. Return under control to the starting position. Perform the drill on the floor, then on a low balance beam, and then on a standard beam. Place protective mats on the floor below the standard beam.
Balance to the Side
As a gymnast you must be able to balance while moving laterally, as well as forward or backward. Practice this skill with a side scale drill. Stand erect and extend your arms away from your sides, so your arms are parallel with the floor. Keep both legs straight as you lift one foot off the floor sideways as high as possible. If possible, grasp your foot with your hand and lift the foot a bit higher. Hold the position for three to four seconds, then return your foot to the floor. As with other balance exercises, you can progress from the floor to the balance beam as your skills improve.