IMPLEMENTING A SAFE & SUCCESSFUL FLEXIBILITY PROGRAMME

Posted on 13/11/2015 in Education News

IMPLEMENTING A SAFE & SUCCESSFUL FLEXIBILITY PROGRAMME

Do you know the guidelines on acceptable practice with regards to stretching exercises and flexibility training for gymnasts?

Flexibility is an important part of gymnastics which should be encouraged from a young age.  Coaches should be knowledgeable and aware of the most up to date practices before issuing a flexibility programme.  Coaches should also develop the gymnasts understanding of why flexibility training is essential for gymnastics, keeping them motivated to improve gradually and progressively.  This in turn will produce more effective and longer lasting results.

  • Always remember there are a variety of ways to stretch, not just ‘hands on’ passive stretching. 
  • Situations where the gymnast is using their own body weight are usually more effective and longer lasting.
  • The coach should never use their full body weight to push down on a gymnast.
  • It is not necessary or desirable to experience extreme discomfort in order to become more flexible
  • In all situations the gymnast must be in control and able to say STOP.

To protect the gymnasts in our care and to protect ourselves against possible allegations of poor practice, coaches must carefully consider their actions and how they might be perceived by an observer.

Further information on flexibility and stretching can be found in the Code of Practice for Coaches and Officials. 

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