Gymnastics Lower Body Conditioning

The need to develop explosive powerful legs is essential for gymnastics. The more height you can generate, the bigger skills you can do. These exercises will help develop that spring.

  • Mountain Climbers - Start in a push up position. Bring one leg forward to a tuck position, then in quick succession switch which leg is tucked. (This will work your shoulders a bit as well.)
  • Calve Raises - Standing on a step, block, chair or other firm stable object. Stand so that the ball of your feet is supported and your heels are suspended. Lower down so that your calves are in a stretch position, then extend your feet to stand on toe. This can be done with your feet turned in, out or neutral.
  • Running Stairs - Fairly self explanatory. Run up stairs. This is one of the best ways to develop strength and power in your legs.
  • Block Jumps (fast) - Stand on the edge of a mid-thigh height block, heels out. Jump backwards off the block rebound back to the top of the block. Done in quick succession this helps develop explosive power for floor and vault.
  • Block Jumps (slow) - As above, but instead of rebounding, stick at the bottom and jump to the top of the block. This will help develop strength.
  • Pit Jumps - Just jump up and down in a pit, on a worn resi-pit, or other very soft non-rebounding surface.
  • Sprints - Run as fast as you can. Should be done in intervals. eg sprint a certain distance, jog back to the start point, sprint again. Repeat.
  • Squat Jumps - Keeping your back as vertical as possible, bend down deep touch the floor with your fingers and spring in a stretched position. During the squat phase your heels should remain on the floor.
  • Squat Jumps Across the Floor - Start on one side of the floor/room. Bend down and leap as far forward as you can. Be sure to fully extend your body into a slight arch as you leave the ground. Challenge yourself to cross the floor/room in as few jumps as possible.
  • Wall Sits - Sit against a wall. Legs will be bent at about 90 degrees. This isometric exercise helps build primarily quads and glutes.