The most basic movement in sport should be a breeze for a gymnast! But most gymnasts have no idea how to properly move their own body weight through a squat.
According to Dr. Bill Sands, the pre-eminent gymnastics researcher, the squat is one of the 4 basic moves a gymnast needs to do in order to protect themselves and increase their performance in the gym.
When a gymnast lands in the gym, they produce over 6 times their body weight, and level 10 gymnasts can produce up to 14 times their body weight. Wow! a 135 pound gymnast can produce up to a ton of force upon landing!
It’s why injury is so common in gymnastics and we have to teach gymnasts to prepare for this force. It starts with the squat.
Here are the basics of the squat, followed by our squat video. It’s the first video we ever put together, so it’s a bit rough, but you’ll get the idea of how it should work!
- The first thing to move in a squat is the glute region (butt) moves backward.
- The knees hinge in unison with the glutes moving back, but do not translate forward
- The gymnasts squat stops when the hips are just below the knees
- Throughout the squat, the gymnast should feel as if she is sticking her glutes back, or the butt back position. This can be difficult for a gymnast because they are always told to tuck their hips under
- On the up phase, the gymnast pushes up through her feet, squeezing her glutes as hard as possible, ending with her hips all the way in the open position.
Your gymnast will need help when beginning to to this for the first time. Be patient as this can be a difficult change in the way they move their bodies, but it’s been proven to prevent injuries and that’s our goal!
In our next lesson, we’ll discuss the proper landing position that all athletes should acquire when returning to the ground after being in the air!
Lesson 1, The Squat
Lesson 2, The Gymnastics Landing Position
Lesson 3, Adding Stress to The Landing Position
Lesson 4, Increasing Stress to The Landing Position