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Revealing The Rhythmic Gymnasts’ Perfect Balance Secrets

Admit it, once in our lives when we’ve watched a rhythmic gymnast perform the tip-toe turn like the Black Swan while twirling a ribbon, a high kick called grand battement, or just simply running to catch a ribbon in the air while in her tip toes—and she does this exquisitely—we’ve amazedly asked ourselves the question, “How can she balance that well?”

Well, you’re in luck! That question is going to be answered now, because we are revealing the rhythmic gymnasts’ perfect balance secrets.

Rhythmic gymnastics’ training revolves around regimes that improve strength, flexibility, and most importantly, balance. If a rhythmic gymnast cannot balance, then she might not be a real gymnast yet. Balance is the foundation skill that every gymnast must learn because in a typical RG routine, the body begins in balance. Simply walking on tip toes requires balance. However, performing other routines forces the body out of balance briefly before regaining its balance once again. The secret to this is full control of the body—and yes, even when it is out of balance.

How do rhythmic gymnasts do this, then? The secret is: a set of exercises they perform every day to achieve the perfect balance.

The Arabesque

The Exercises

These routines listed here could be done based on your own pace, done on the floor or a platform that vibrates to continuously throw you off balance. However, if you have some medical conditions, it is best to check with your doctor first.

1. Modified Balance Beam

Yes, a balance beam is an apparatus for artistic gymnastics and not for rhythmic, but any type of gymnast can still do this exercise, which is done by creating a 10 to 12 foot line on the floor with painter’s tapes. This would be the line where you would follow. Walk along the tape on tip toe back and forth, with arms extended to the side. Then, stand on one leg while still on your toes with eyes closed for 30 seconds. After that, jump up and down in place 10 times, with one foot in front of the other.

For extra difficulty, stand on one leg (at first the foot is flat but finally on tip toes once your balance has already improved) and lift the other leg back into the air with arms extended out to the sides. Hold for 20 seconds then do the same with the other leg.

2. The Arabesque

Arabesque is a skill often done in ballet, and is also common on rhythmic gymnastics. However, anyone who wants to improve their balance can start off with learning this skill. This is done by balancing on one leg while standing erect about 1 to 2 inches in front of a wall. The free leg is now lifted behind for as far as you can while still maintaining the balance and not allowing any part of your body to touch the wall. Keep the position for three to four seconds and then return to starting position.

Once you’re comfortable with this skill, add difficulty by standing farther from the wall. The waist can now be bent until both your torso and the lifted leg is parallel to the floor. Now for rhythmic gymnasts, this could be further done until the legs are vertically straight, the lifted leg pointed to the ceiling.

Rhythmic Gymnastics Balance

3. The V-Sit

This improves the balance and core muscle strength. It is done by sitting straight on the floor with your legs together and toes pointed forward. Your palms should be placed flat on the floor behind the butt. To start off, lift your legs in front of you until it is at 45 degrees to your torso. Hold this position for three to four seconds then return the legs to the floor.

For more challenge, this could be done while sitting on a narrow stool with foam under to catch you in case you fall. Remember, safety is first and foremost important.

4. Kneeling Arch

The initial position is standing straight and flat. Move then your right foot forward and bend your knee at 90 degrees, leaving your left foot extended behind and your torso still straight. From this position, lift your left arm up and over your head as you lean your torso to the right, keeping your right arm down. Don’t be afraid to lean as far as you can and pause for a count of sixteen. Return to the kneeling position, stand up straight, and then repeat on the other side.

The exercises listed above train the brain and condition the core muscles to stabilize the whole body in all planes of motion. They are done continuously even if the person doing it is already an established gymnast.

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