PERFECT 10.0 Tips
to Keep Your Optional Healthy This Season

By Brandi Smith-Young, PT

Perfect 10.0 Physical Therapy

Gymnasts take time to stretch every practice. This is important to keep the muscles and joints limber and help prevent injury. The most important things about stretching are form, technique, and doing it every day. There are many ways to stretch and many different tools you can use. Below are some of the most basic important stretches, which are many times done with bad form, leading to bad habits, and over time microtrauma and injury to the tissue.

Hip Flexor Stretch:











Get in half knealing with back knee directly under the hip.
Engage abs keep the back in a straight position.
Lean forward from the hips making sure not to arch in low back.
Gently squeeze glutes.
Should feel a stretch in the front of the back leg hip.
Hold 1 minute.

Hamstring Stretch









In half knealing, straighten the front leg.
Engage abdominals keep the spine straight.
Bend from the hips with a straight back leaning forward over the front leg.
Hold 1 minute.

*Only go as far as you can with a straight back.

Calf stretch












Against a stationary object
Place foot stretching back with toes straight forward
Create an arch
Gently lean forward

Do NOT let arch collapse

Hold 1 minute 3 times a day

Pec Stretch









Place the heel of the hand on the front of both shoulders.

Gently lean into the partner, pushing toward the floor.

Hold 1 minute

Robots (lats)


















Ly with knees bent

Pull ribs toward the hips with Abs.

Take a breath in to open the ribs expanding on the sides.

Elbows close together.

Keep ribs down and elbows in as reach over head toward the floor.

x10 slow, hold 10 sec x10

There has been some recent research done by Dr. Bill Sands on using vibration to help trick the muscles into relaxing and improve the athletes tolerance to stretching. This is done using a large massager on the muscle being stretched during a sustained stretch (IE. Massage the hamstring of the front leg and/or the hip flexor of the back leg while stretching square hip splits with hands supported on panel mats or parallets). He found greater than 100% increase in split after vibration. (presented by Dr. Bill Sands at Congress 2009, High Performance Flexibility).

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