The Importance of Body Awareness

💡Topic of the Day:

Why is it important for all athletes to implement basic gymnastics skills into their training routines?

Body awareness is an understanding of the parts that make up one's body, where they are located, how they feel, and even what they can do.

👉🏽Body awareness develops as we grow, mature, and in this case, practice gymnastics.

How do we develop body awareness?

Think about your movement when you first started gymnastics.

Most likely, you were (or currently are) a little out of control, confused as to what you’re actually doing.

You may be lacking the level of body awareness needed to train correctly. 

As you grow from an “infant-gymanst” into a “toddler”, your movement becomes more controlled and intentional as a result of motor development, refined through repetitive practice.

Gross motor development occurs when the large muscle groups(like arms and legs) get stronger. Fine motor development refers to the growth of the smaller muscle groups, like fingers.

The most obvious statement on the planet: Developing fine and gross motor movements are important in gymnastics, especially when working to improve your body awareness.

Olympic gymnasts were not born with the ability to flip four times in the air and know how and when to land on their feet.

Only through thousand of training hours (doing the same skill over and over and over again) do gymnasts develop such refined body awareness that they’re able to easily adapt to new movements, and know exactly how to hold themselves in space during powerful skills.

What are the benefits?

Improved body awareness has many benefits for the gymnast and general fitness enthusiast. Knowing correct posture & positions from your training will spill over into the other activities in your life – sitting at your computer or at your desk, standing in line, texting.

You'll be more in tune with how you hold yourself in everyday tasks— Pulling your abs in and pushing your shoulders down while standing for long periods of time, even bracing your core and elongating the neck, instead of slouching at your computer or while scrolling Instagram.

Yes, body awareness will dramatically improve your gymnastics performance, but it's so much more than that.

My recommendation?

Take the time to train basic gymnastics skills that will challenge (and thus improve) your coordination and body awareness, and your fitness performance will improve dramatically.

Including:

  • Forward and backward rolls
  • Headstands
  • Handstand holds
  • Cartwheels
  • Roundoffs

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