The strength and height of the spring often depend on strength and capacity of calf muscles, ankle and knee joints. That’s why, it’s important to strengthen ankle joint first before training the spring ability; as ankle should be string elastic and able to withstand injuries. To reach this goal it’s recommended to spend 5 minutes for heelstring and ankle joint strengthening every morning. Here are some simple, but effective exercises:
First, warm ankle muscles by the massage, then start bend and unbend ankle joints. After that rotate your feet during 2 minutes. Then repeat the exercises with your both legs – 100-150 movements (lean on the table or wall).
It’s useful to bend the feet with the damper, ankle weights or trying to overcome partner’s resistance. Medicine balls are good for rolling. Walk and jump on your tip-toes with the weights on the wrists or shoulders. Springs on the sand, with the rope, barrier jumps on the tip-toes, with one or both legs are also very effective for feet and ankles strengthening. Twist movements are useful for knee joints: 30-40 rotations both sides.
Besides, it’s recommended to bend the knees with the weight, jumps with weight, walking on bended knees with a barbell in the crouched, semi-crouched positions and with the turns with every step. Having strengthened ankle and knee joints, you can start increasing the intensity of spring exercises.
Many springs done by young rhythmic gymnasts are normal for talented and very strong male folklore or classical dancers.
Georgian dancers are so good at their spring on the knees, but they have leather boots with special sole, which can damp the landing, make it softer.
Methods of spring ability training
Rhythmic gymnastics spring ability is speed-and-strength quality and it depends on the strength, elasticity and speed of muscle contraction. Moreover, the effectiveness of pushing, flight and landing techniques is important.
In this respect, the methods of spring ability training are:
- Exercises on legs and feet elasticity – stretching
- Exercises on legs and feet strength development: feet, ankles, thighs
- Exercises on muscular contraction speed development
- Exercises on learning and perfection of the following techniques:
Landing - going down or jumping down from the rise
- Bouncing movements, jumps on the one or both feet with coordinated arms, torso and head.
- Flight phase – spring positions
- Springs to the deep
Exercises on the height or length of the push (with rise, barrier or mark)
- Exercises on spring endurance (tiny multijumps, jumps with the rope)
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