Help with stretching?

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Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
I'm wondering if there are any good videos that show how to properly stretch a gymnasts legs? I've been told my dd is "muscle bound" & this is why she has difficulty with splits. I think daily stretching would help, but I don't want to hurt her. I've recently seen coaches(from other gyms) stretching girls at meets & they were all crying!!! Is this proper stretching??? I'd like to help my dd not hurt her. Any suggestions:confused:
It is probably a good idea not to physically strech her at home, only a qualified and experienced coach should strech gymnasts.

Daily streching at home however is a very good idea, muscle bound gymnasts need to strech more frequently than their peers. Before she streches at home she should always warm up well first. If she does not warm up correctly she can injure herself and her streching will not be effective. She should spend 5-10 minutes jogging on the spot, skipping, jumping on a trampoline or on the spot first before she streches.

After she has warmed up it is important to do a full body pre strech with every mucles from neck to feet and work on smaller streches like pike sit and straddle sit before going into big streches like splits.

When she gets to splits they need to be held. The first 30 seconds of any strech will not increase flexibility, the first 30 seconds is just as long as it takes to relax into the splits she can already do. She should hold each split for 1 to 2 minutes and aim to do each at least 2-3 times.

It can be difficult for a young child to be motivated to dedicate so much time to streching so it can be made easier if she does it in front of her favorite TV show or a DVD. You may even want to start a reward chart for her, she can place a star on the chart each time she does a streching session at home and each time she fills a line with stars there could be a small reward. Like a special dinner or a friend over to stay the night, or a special outing. It isnt bribery it is encouraging a child to reward themsleves for hard work.
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