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3 Conditioning Moves to Practice

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

What’s one fantastic thing about summer in gymnastics? It gives you more time to focus on and improve your body’s gymnastic conditioning. Learning gymnastic training moves is excellent if your planning on taking lessons or joining our summer classes. Continue reading this piece to learn about the most-beneficial training moves for gymnasts.

It is common for gymnasts to get stuck in a rut when conditioning. We tend to practice the same gymnastic core and bodyweight exercises for months. You might want to try new gymnastic conditioning exercises yourself and develop a stronger core.

After all, core strength is crucial when using apparatuses like parallel bars, pommel horses, and uneven bars during your gymnastic performances. You legs need put in a lot of work when performing on gymnastic apparatuses, so it is critical to have a strong core.

You can improve your core strength, control, and flexibility through the following exercises. But first, let’s have a recap gymnastic conditioning.

What is Gymnastic Conditioning?

Simply put, gymnastic conditioning exercises refer to strength training primarily designed for gymnasts. It helps prepare the body for physical activities that involve endurance. We do a whole bunch of the at R&R to get you ready no matter which skill level you may be.

Gymnastics requires plenty of flexibility and higher range of motion. So, each of your body parts, such as the torso, arms, and legs, must exert strength to some extent.

A combination of gymnastics exercises and other strength training workouts like cardio can help build prepare your body for different gymnastics drills. For example, gymnastic flexibility exercises reinforce muscle memory, build muscle mass, all while improving balance and flexibility.

However, before you start taking up gymnastic exercises, you should consult one of our instructors.

Calf Raises

Calf raises are one of the most straightforward gymnastic strength training exercises, as it is best suited for beginner gymnasts. However, individuals in the field for years still prefer this gymnastic exercise to improve their legs stronger.

Doing several repetitions of calf raises is good if you want to see visible results and experience energy, fitness and gymnastics at its best. You can also hold weights while performing calf raises to incorporate your arms in the exercise.

2 to 3 sets with 15 to 20 repetitions is a good average you should aim for.

  1. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Make sure your shoulders are directly above your hips.

  2. Point your feet in front of you and grip the floor. Make sure you have a stable weight and position.

  3. If you’re using dumbbells, hold them by your legs on either side. Or, place your hands on your hips.

  4. Maintain this position, then shift your bodyweight on your metatarsalgia (the center of the balls of your feet).

  5. Pause in this alignment for at least 3 seconds.

  6. Lower back to the starting position and pause.

  7. Repeat.


Handstands are a gymnastic strength training exercise that comes in different forms and variations. The exercise is excellent for building arm and core strength.

Gymnastic core exercises like this help you enhance your muscles and gain more endurance for physical feats. ‘Press handstands’ are the most basic form of handstand gymnastic exercises. You can start with doing 2 to 3 sets while holding a each handstand for 15 to 60 seconds. However, you should choose the holding time and number of sets based on your ability.

  1. To start, get on all fours. Flex your knees and toes; they should be touching the floor. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders, whereas your knees need to be under the hips.

  2. Engage your upper back by rotating your shoulders. Keep your neck tucked and in a neutral position throughout the gymnastic exercise.

  3. Get in an inverted V position by pulling your legs and arms and straightening them. You can engage your core by tucking in your pelvis and pushing your ribs down.

  4. Grip the floor with your hands. Make sure you evenly distribute the body weight to maintain a stable shoulder and hand position. This is your starting position.

  5. Push your hands, sliding them across the floor. Meanwhile, move your upper body towards your hands. Doing so will shift your lower body weight.

  6. Now slightly curve your thoracic spine and pull your lower body off the ground. Fully extend your arms as you do this.

  7. Lift your legs slowly towards the ceiling until you can position then directly above your hands.

  8. You are now in the handstand position. Make sure your shoulders are directly under your hips with your wrists staying under your shoulders. Extend your legs fully.

  9. Bring both your legs together, gently squeezing your quads and glutes. Tuck your pelvis slightly and move your ribs downwards. Your body should form a straight line.

  10. Hold the handstand. Then, slowly lower yourself to the starting position.

  11. Repeat.

Back Handsprings

The back handspring is one of the best gymnastic strength training exercises to improve flexibility and increase balance and control.

The exercise is critical for gymnasts as it gives them better upward and backward momentum, which is necessary to perform various drills. Back handsprings help gymnasts complete a maneuver and move on to the next.

However, this gymnastic exercise is not suitable for beginners as it requires them to reach an existing flexibility threshold. So, make sure you know a few gymnastics move for beginners before progressing to back handsprings.

A back handspring comprises three parts: beginning, middle, and end.


It would help if you started the 'beginning' by getting in a neutral standing position. While the beginning makes it look simple and easy, it is just the beginning. In fact, the beginning is the starting point of a more extensive routine that may include whipback, salto, roundoff, or even another form of handspring.


The ‘middle’ of this gymnastic strength training exercise is central as it involves the handspring movement itself. You need to perform a backflip, which is a sequence of movements where your hands touch the floor.


The end of this gymnastic conditioning exercise requires you to get in an upright position. Raise your arms above your head, pressing them against your ears.

Bottom Line

Gymnastics conditioning exercises help strengthen the core and improve flexibility and control. Gymnasts must have a strong core, legs, and arms to perform on gymnastic apparatuses. The most beneficial options to building strength in these areas are exercises like calf raises, headstands, and back handsprings.

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