WAG Any exercises to help arched back?

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mouey77

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I'm going to try to do a search, but offhand is there anything that can help with an arched/curve back? One of DD's coaches mentioned that she foresees big deductions on flat back vault and floor. We actually have started trying more handstand exercises against the wall and holding handstands, and it seems like she truly can't help it. It's weird. Her rib cage sticks out if you try to hold her back in as straight a position as possible, and then she says it is hard to breathe. At the same time, she is really flexible and can practically bend herself backwards in a complete circle, but apparently the tight/straight handstand is a problem. I don't think it's for lack of trying though.
 

hammy1207

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Girls have a natural arch in their back--some more than others. I have my girls concentrate on learning how to have a straight/flat back by:

1. Kneel in front of a mirror. Stick your ribs & belly out. Pull ribs & belly in while tucking bottom under to form a flat back. If you can do that, try it standing.
2. Lay flat on your back on the floor. Put a hand under your child's back and have her squash your hand by tucking her bottom under and pulling belly button to the floor.
3. Standing with back against wall, heals against wall, and arms up. Then, place a hand behind her back and have her try to squash your hand. (same as 2 but standing against wall)
 

fliptwisttwirl

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Hollow rockers on floor. If she isn't able to do these with her back flat on the floor then start tucked ones first and slowly open the tuck.
If she can't keep her back flat on the floor while laying down then start by laying down on floor but have legs tucked and feet flat. Slide feet out until she can do it all the way flat.
 
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iwannacoach

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It could be that she's built that way. When you mentioned her ribs sticking out and not being able to get rid of her arch, which I assume is slight but stubbornly present, I pictured a child who's rib cage seems to be tilted back from bottom to top. Based on my inexact experience, if that's her normal at rest posture there's little chance of changing, but every effort to strengthen her core will help her make the best use of her posture. In the end, there really is little to worry about because the posture issue isn't really a deal breaker.
 
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mouey77

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It could be that she's built that way. When you mentioned her ribs sticking out and not being able to get rid of her arch, which I assume is slight but stubbornly present, I pictured a child who's rib cage seems to be tilted back from bottom to top. Based on my inexact experience, if that's her normal at rest posture there's little chance of changing, but every effort to strengthen her core will help her make the best use of her posture. In the end, there really is little to worry about because the posture issue isn't really a deal breaker.

Yes, that sounds right. I found a post about "hollow back" and that sounds like her. If you try to hold her in a straight up and down handstand, it just doesn't work. Hopefully the arch in back won't lead to too huge a deduction.
 

AmandaLynn

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Many kids that have a severe arch in their back have a lack of flexibility either in their shoulders and/or their hip flexors. If a child can not open their shoulder up, they have no choice but to arch in a handstand in order to maintain their balance.

Sometimes, it is an issue of poor abdominal strength.

Sometimes, it is a matter of a child being too young to understand how to push through the shoulders and keep their body "tight".

Hard to tell where the issue is without having the kid in front of you.

As a side note, bending in a complete circle is not necessarily indicative of the correct type of flexibility, many young kids achieve this position by using their low back, rather than their shoulders.
 
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mouey77

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I don't think it's the hip flexors bc she has fantastic splits. Could be shoulders though. Even if it's a structural thing, will those above exercises help?
 

AmandaLynn

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I don't think it's the hip flexors bc she has fantastic splits. Could be shoulders though. Even if it's a structural thing, will those above exercises help?


But are her splits squared? Or are her hips turned sideways in a forward split?
 
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mouey77

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And yes, I'll bet she is using her lower back to form a circle.
 
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mouey77

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Not squared. They are sideways, and when they try to turn hips, they pop back sideways. Has a beautiful middle split though.
 

AmandaLynn

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When the hips turn sideways, the stretch is no longer in the hip flexor. ;)
 

iwannacoach

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Ahh. Is there any exercise that could help with this?

If her shoulder problems are due to being built that way the best she can do is maximize the range she has potential for. With few exceptions that's something most gymnasts need to do irrespective of their structure, but don't, so working on it should inch her a bit closer to the rest of the gang.

She can do the same for her hip flexors and improve her split work alignment.There are a few things to keep in mind...... First, she probably thinks she's just fine in both areas and will be a tough sale when asked to buy into stretching homework. so you may just have to grit your teeth and hope the gym can individualize something for her.

I think you can search chalkbuckets archives for past threads concerning shoulder work, but will have less success in the hip flexor search.
 
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mouey77

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Lol! Yes, she does think she is just fine. Her meet is weekend after this one coming up, so probably can't do much to help her by then, but maybe going forward. Thanks-
 

iwannacoach

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Lol! Yes, she does think she is just fine. Her meet is weekend after this one coming up, so probably can't do much to help her by then, but maybe going forward. Thanks-

Improving shoulder flexibility in a child with funky shoulders and ribs is a long term proposition, so put a month into anything you do before deciding whether the results are coming or not.
 
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mouey77

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Update to this: head coach told my husband when he picked daughter up from last practice that he believes the problem is 95% lack of core strength and that this is something that is very workable. Then he said we should have her do core strengthening exercises at home. Is there any possible way to make this fun? I don't want to nag a young kid to do exercises when she's not at the gym, but the gym doesn't spend much time at all doing conditioning and admitted this. And what sort of exercises? He didn't really specify though I guess I can ask him.
 

JoyAvenueMom

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After searching this forum for a while, I posted a similar question recently. I received a lot of similar replies. Kipper has a "natural" arch in her back as well. She always looks like her belly is sticking out, even though she does not have extra girth. Is your dd fairly young? I have noticed that Kipper's arch has improved over time, probably mostly due to changes in her body. However, I have seen a big improvement since we switched to a gym that focuses on conditioning. Her core strength has improved dramatically since we started at this gym in May. The kid almost has a six-pack now! Even though she still tends to stand with her back arched when relaxed, she is much closer to being straight in her handstand. She does press handstands at home for "fun"...it's not something they do in class. I just can't stress the value of core strength enough. Now that Kipper can hold her handstands longer, and is struggling less on bars, she really "gets" it, and often does extra sit ups and leg lifts on her own at home.
 
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mouey77

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She's 6, so yes, very young. She can't hold her handstands very long either due to this arch. I fear for her flat back vault score tomorrow! Yes, he told my husband the core strengthening is crucial for her. We are exploring options for next season, but in the meantime, I'm not sure how we can help her at home. Planks? I was watching her during push-ups at the end of practice the other week, and she was literally doing downward dog to upward dog, which made me giggle, but no one corrected her or got her in correct plank form, and I know that's core stuff. She has a little belly too, despite being barely 40 pounds. :)
 

iwannacoach

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Standing on one foot and then the other. Holding your balance really puts your core to work, so see if you can get her to play any game that can be done on one foot....... and then a game on the other foot. I bet she could give you a run for your money in a game of tag.
 
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