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The 3 pillars of Gymnastics fitness

The 3 pillars of Gymnastics fitness

What events will you be watching at the Commonwealth Games? If you enjoy your gym visits, take a look at competitive gymnastics, especially the ‘artistic’ event. The displays of strength, courage and agility are always breathtaking.

Most of us are unlikely to reach these standards, but we can use some of the concepts in our everyday workouts. The three main ‘pillars’ for both gymnasts and gym-goers are:

  • Strength - needed in large muscles for supporting body weight, and small muscles for supporting joints

  • Flexibility - smooth and flexible muscles cope well with exercise and are far less prone to injury.

  • Core stability - strength in the trunk muscles is the foundation of a healthy body.

Yoga and pilates are particularly good for building up these three pillars. You may think that these classes are easy because they are not aerobic – prepare to be surprised! The workouts complement each other, so try out both to see which suits you best.

  • The plank is part of both yoga and pilates, and is vital to build core strength and stability. For such a simple-looking pose, there is a lot to consider. Here are some hints for the plank pose.

  • Here are some more beginner poses for yoga. Once these become too easy, you can move on to the intermediate poses. The shoulder stand is more difficult than it looks, a definite test of strength and core stability.

  • Need more of a challenge? Try the boat pose for further abdomen and core strength building. The elegant upward dog will really make you feel like a gymnastics star.

Let the Games inspire you to try something surprising at the gym!