What to do when you have run out of things to do

Spending more time at home than usual? Us too. When the lockdown first dawned on us in March, you may have been utterly panicked or totally calm and enjoying the time off (both are totally normal feelings). But as August rolls around and the tight restrictions in NSW have been lifted, we are still spending more time than ever at home and there are only so many Tik Toks one can watch. So, instead of mindlessly scrolling through social apps in your free time, why not work on yourself, your mindset, your flexibility and mobility? We know all of these things will help our gymnastics, but usually we are so pressed for time, they end up falling to the bottom of our to-do lists. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be sharing some of the tips which helped some of our High Performance gymnast get through the first stage of lockdown.

TIP 1:

Shoulder range/mobility

Something every gymnast need is stable shoulders with a good range of mobility. In gymnastics we use our shoulders every day, no matter what gym sport you are. So, set aside a few minutes in your week and try these exercises to help get your shoulders moving and stable.

Wall Angels

Wall angels are a great way to get the shoulders moving and upper back activating! Start standing with your back against the wall and your arms in "goal post".

The most important part of this exercise is that each part of your arms stay completely connected to the wall!

Start to straighten your arms, keeping everything glued to the wall, until they are either above your head or until you feel your wrists or elbows come away from the wall. 

Return to goal post and repeat 10 times for 3 rounds.

Bent Arms Stick Stretch

Using some sort of stick or towel, hold it from underneath with your hands shoulder width apart and facing you. Bend your arms and place your elbows on the edge of a raised surface, such as a chair. Let your head fall between the chair and your arms.

The most important part of this exercise is that you keep your stomach engaged! You should not be extending into your lower spine, you want to think about "core on", "pressing shoulders down".

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 rounds. 

Handstand shoulder shrugs

Handstand shoulder shrugs are great to put your lat movement to the ultimate test! Start in handstand position with your stomach against the wall. 

Un shrug your shoulders or think about relaxing your shoulders (keeping the rest of your body tight and engaged!). Your head should come away from your shoulders. 

Then push up through your hands, shrug your shoulders and close the gap between your ears and shoulders. You should be thinking about how tall you can grow in your handstand for this step.

Repeat 10 times for 3 rounds. 

Book Openings

A pilates favourite to get the thoracic moving and shoulders stable. Start laying down on your side, with your legs at 90 degrees, arms straight in front of you with your hands together and your head relaxed on the floor. 

The most important part of this exercise is to keep your head heavy on the floor, it shouldn't come away when you move, and to keep your knees together and on the floor (hips still!).

Looking for your hand the entire movement, take your top hand up over your head and behind you, until you almost touch the floor or your hips start to move. Pause for a few seconds and return to start position. Maintaining the look for the hand the whole time!

Repeat 10 times on each side for 3 rounds.

Band wall goal post hold

Time to build that upper back endurance which will help take the load of your traps and give you more movement in your shoulders. 

Grab a sweat towel or theraband , hold one side in each hand and stand or sit with your back up against the wall, with your arms in goal post. Similar to the first exercise, you want to keep each part of your body glued to the wall!

Hold this for 1 minute. If that is easy, increase the time or get a family member to hold the middle of the towel/theraband directly in front about 30cm to act as resistance.