Finding my Shine

71jgtpegtmlI just read a fantastic book!  I recommend you read it. It was so inspirational. It was called Finding my Shine by Nastia Liukin. The story tells how Nastia Liukin, an all around Gymnastics Olympic Gold Medalist overcomes all odds and never gives up to chase her dreams. Her road to success was not an easy one but she shares her personal journey of success, her challenges, including her career ending fall in the 2012 Olympic Tryouts which she now says is the defining moment of her life and motivational tips. Throughout this book you will learn how to reach any goal, overcome obstacles, and when you fall learn how to pick yourself back up again.

How to do a Back bend

I would love to teach you guys a new trick so here it is. To do this you must be able to do a bridge, with your arms straight. Hope it helps!

Step 1: Warm up and Stretch.

Step 2: Do 5 bridges and hold for 15 seconds each. Push through your shoulders to get a good stretch.

Step 3: Turn your back against the wall and start walking down the wall with your hands. Try to walk back up again if you can. Do this 7 times.

Step 4: Next have a friend or family member spot you by holding their hands underneath the ridge of your back. As you slowly bend backwards have them steady and hold you up. Land with your arms straight or you will hit your head. Try this as many times as you want until you feel comfortable. Do no less than three.

Step 5: Try it by yourself with a pillow under you or have a spotter be there but have their hands just under you as they follow you down to catch you if you fall. Once you have done it ten times by yourself with the spotter there try it on your own. Hopefully you get it although it may take some time!

Step 6: Now try to stand up by pushing your hips forward and lifting up your hands at the same time. Or try walking on your hands and feet towards a friend. It is funny to see their reaction.

Have fun with this and enjoy learning it with friends or family!

Skills in 30 seconds

Here is a very fun gymnastics game you can do with friends or family. I love it. It is called: Gymnastic Skills in 30 seconds.

How to play:

Pick an event. Floor, Vault, Bars, or, Beam. Floor is the easiest to do and you can do it at home, but if you have bars, beam, or a vault at home do both floor and another event.

Have one person pick a skill. For floor I would do a roundoff or a cartwheel. For Beam I would do pivot turns or cartwheels. For vault, handstand flatbacks or tuck jumps onto a mat. For Bars, Chin up pullovers or mill circles, if you are a beginner. Or any other skill that all of you can do.

Then you will set a timer for thirty seconds and see who can do the most of that skill in the thirty seconds. Whoever gets the most wins.

Have fun!aid1529908-v4-728px-make-the-team-for-gymnastics-step-13

Workout Every Day?

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Some people workout every day. I workout Monday through Friday. On those days I do an ab workout. It isn’t hard yet it isn’t easy which is why I like it. I would love to share it with you so here it is:

1.  Reverse Crunch ( Hold for 1 min )

  • Lie on the ground in a traditional crunch position. Have your hands underneath your head.
  • Press your lower back into the floor and pull in your belly button to lift your feet off of the ground.  Keep your knees together, bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • Using your core, pull your knees into your chest so that your tailbone raises off of the ground and perform a traditional crunch, lifting your shoulder blades off the ground. Use your abs, not your head or hands to lift off the ground.
  • Slowly lower yourself back to starting position. Stop when your feet are just above the ground.
  • Repeat the movement making sure you are squeezing those abs.

 

2. Scissor kicks ( 20 each leg )

  • Lie flat on your back your arms straight against your sides. Bend your knees and draw them into your ribs. This will make it easier to pull your navel in toward your spine and actively press your lower back flat on the ground.
  • Lift both legs straight toward the ceiling still pressing your back into the ground. Slowly lower your right leg toward the ground keeping your left leg up to the ceiling.  Right before your leg is about to hit the ground slowly raise it up. Hit your right leg to your left and start to bring your left leg down to the ground.

 

3. Elbow to knee crunch ( 20 each side)

  • Start by lying flat on the ground with your lower back pressed to the floor.
  • Place your left ankle on top of your right knee
  • With your hands behind your head, bring your knees toward your chest until your shoulder blades are off the floor.
  • Continue slowly and squeeze your abs.

 

4. Flutter kicks ( 50 total)

  • Lie flat on the ground hands by your side. Press your back into the ground.
  • Lift your feet off the ground and try to keep them as low as possible. Keep your head off the ground and squeeze your abs.
  • Slowly start kicking and then start to speed up.

 

5. Mountain Climber (90 total)

  • Start in a traditional plank.
  • With your core engaged bring your right knee forward under your chest, with the toes just off the ground. Return to the basic plank. Switch and do your left leg.
  • Start speeding up until you are running and continue running for 30 more.

 

The Dance

Gymnastics is a mix of Dance and skills. Without the dance you wouldn’t have the full idea behind the skills and it would look clumsy. The stick and the finish on floor is the switch between dance and skills. To have a great performance, be in time with your music and have your routine memorized so you don’t have to think about it. Instead it just flows.

A Tough Workout

11             Workouts are supposed to be hard. Usually when you start a workout your like ‘I got this’ then in the middle of it your like ‘Is this ever gonna be over?’ and you want to quit but one thing I always tell myself is ‘Once your done your gonna be glad you did it.’ It is true and it keeps me motivated. So today is Workout Wednesday and here is a workout you are gonna be glad you did.

100 jumping jacks

90 squats

80 lunges

70 burpees

60 second wall sit

50 crunches

40 buttlifts

30 second side plank (each side)

20 v ups

10 pushups

Art

Here is a drawing of an gymnast doing an elbow stand. I colored and drew it myself. Hope you like it. Also for fun try to do the skill but always have a spotter when you are first trying it because if you get too much power off of your kick you flipover and it hurts.

Flipside

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Hey, I just read what has to be one of my favorite books of all. Flipside by Shawn Johnson is of an autobiography of Shawn Johnson ‘s life in highschool. In the book the main girl’s name is Charlie/Charlotte and she is training for the olympics but she isn’t homeschooled like most training gymnasts are, instead she goes to regular school but hides her gymnastics identity from her classmates because she doesn’t want to be treated differently. Will her classmates find out who she really is and is the boy of her dreams gonna distract her from earning a place in the American Olympic Team?