The Pre-Workout: 10 Tips to Making Practice Great Before You Even Get to the Gym



Gymnasts: want to have a great workout?

Here are some things you can do before you even get to the gym:

  1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep.  Getting sufficient sleep is difficult with school and gymnastics demands.  But it is essential to performing at a high level.  Lack of sleep impairs your reactions and can make it more difficult to tolerate frustration. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adolescents (ages ten to seventeen) need between 8.5-9.25 hours of sleep per night. Yet, the average adolescent gets only 7-7.25 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Have a Snack and Hydrate.  While a large meal before practice is likely to make your feel too full and cause digestive issues, working out on an empty stomach is also not a good idea.  Aim to eat 1 to 3 hours before workout.  Here are some ideas of good snacks.   We often think of water intake during workout, but did you know that it is important to arrive at the gym well hydrated?  Drink approximately 16 to 24 ounces of fluid two hours before practice
  3. Check Your Mood.  Several studies have found that listening to music can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve your mood. Laugh.  Or take a few minutes to meditate.
  4. Check How Your Body Feels.   Check in with yourself.  Notice any areas of your body that might need some extra stretching or rolling out with a foam roller.
  5. Pack Your Gym Bag. Make sure you have what you need.  That will help you feel prepared for practice.
  6. Make a List.  Make a list of any non-gym related things you need to do after practice.  Don’t hold in your head any of the “to dos” you have to do after practice, instead write them down.  By writing them down you free your mind to focus on practice.
  7. Get Dressed for Practice and Do Your Hair. Showing up to practice in ripped sweat pants doesn’t create the right intention for the day.
  8. Set An Intention.  Speaking of intentions, set one for the day.  This practice, which I stole from my yoga class, helps to get you into the mindset for a good workout.
  9. Get There Early.  It at all possible, arrive at practice 10-15 minutes early.  Rushing in at the start time of practice exactly, rushes feeling prepared.  Give yourself enough time to put your things away, greet your friends and use the restroom before your coach calls line up.
  10. Smile and Greet Everyone Cheerfully.  Act like you are happy to be at practice and the feeling will follow.  Bring in energy to spare for your coaches and teammates.