Tag Archives: nj

From 6 Inches to Split, 10 Minutes

I can’t believe the progress I had with one 14 year old gymnast yesterday.



Gymnasts must be able to do complete splits, 180 degrees. That’s a straight line from ankle to ankle. This photo is one of my gymnasts performing a split leap. It is better than the required 180 degrees a gymnast needs.

 A gymnast came to me for help with flexibility and other injuries. I asked her “stretch” on her own before we started. She spent about ten minutes stretching. I then asked her to show me her split on her less flexible side. She was about six inches from the floor. Her hamstrings had decent flexibility, but her hip flexors were very tight. To me it was obvious because her front leg was nearly all the way down, but the gap was between her upper thigh on her back leg and the floor. She was tilted forward.  

We then spent ten to fifteen minutes doing many variations of a hip flexor stretch seen here. I had her do the stretch with varying foot positions, leaning forward as seen here and upright. She said her coaches never allow them to do the stretch with their back leg up, but she said she always felt it more this way.

After that I asked her to try her split again. Her expression was priceless because she was able to go all the way down, 180 degrees for the first time in her life!!!  Why did it only take fifteen minutes to reach this success when it usually takes gymnasts several months to accomplish the same thing? The answer is simple. Many gymnasts are not actually stretching properly or they are not stretching the muscles they really need to stretch. They think doing a split will help the split, when in fact, it often will not. Wait, what? She said her coaches make her do “over-splits” for two minutes and it’s been that way for a really long time. Guess what, over splits do not really work.

You read that correctly. First, you must identify which muscles are tight. In her case it was the hip flexors, mainly the psoas muscle. Then, you must stretch that muscle individually. Stretch it slowly, in various positions, and in small increments.

The athlete and their muscles must be completely relaxed in order for any progress. This gymnast was happy the entire time that we were stretching. She felt the stretches, but no pain. After about ten minutes in the gym, her dad said “your voice sounds so soothing.” I just smiled and said there is no reason to yell or be angry.

Stressing an athlete out and making them hold one position for two minutes will not really do much for flexibility. And manually pressing on them while they are stressed can also cause problems such as locking muscles, reduced flexibility, and emotional trauma. Stretching an athlete to the point of tears is not necessary and it’s really abusive.

Once an athlete’s muscles lock up you not only prevent progress, you could be reducing flexibility, and causing injury. A gymnast’s skill performance may also decline as a result. Coaches want results and they want them fast, but why aren’t they listening to sports science? Unfortunately, many are just repeating what they did as gymnasts instead of doing their homework, going to clinics, and consulting with CSCS’s and physical therapists.

Let me know how I can help your team… Or check out www.GymnasticsDrills.com

Karen Goeller, CSCS
Gymnastics Coach 40+ years and CSCS
www.BestSportsConditioning.com
www.KarenGoeller.com

Advice for Athletes during COVID Pandemic

SONY DSCI hope that you and your family are remaining healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there is anything I can do for you. I’m still offering zoom calls at no charge for any athletes who have worked with me within the past year and at a very low cost for everyone else.
Some advice for our athletes…
  1. Try to make strength and flexibility goals for yourself now – for your return to the gym.
  2. Do activities that build strength (bike riding, stair climbing, swing set fitness, swimming, etc)
  3. Do activities that improve speed (sprints, sprints downhill, mountain climbers, flutters in pike and hollow shape)
  4. Try to keep up with body tightness and rebounding (bouncing, jump rope, hopping type drills, push up shape hops)
  5. Keep up with agility (do your pre-workout warm-up daily, playing tag with siblings)
  6. Try to have fun outdoors.
  7. Set a goal for the first week you return to the gym.
  8. Set a goal for two months after you return to the gym.
  9. Set a goal for the next state meet you compete in which would be next year.
  10. Always keep safety in mind when exercising at home and in the gym. You and your parents are responsible for your personal safety at home.
Swing Set Fitness is good conditioning for gymnasts. www.SwingWorkouts.com.
Legs Plus Workouts are great conditioning for gymnasts. www.LegsPlus.com
Gymnastics Drills Book www.GymnasticsDrills.com

Handstand Book  www.HandstandBook.com

Conditioning List, perform each exercise for 45-60 seconds non-stop or 25 repetitions non-stop. This is very little work compared to a four-hour workout.
  1. 1/2 Hollow Up
  2. Hollow Rocks
  3. Arch Ups
  4. Arch Rock
  5. Hip-Thrusts/Baby Candlestick
  6. Reverse Leg-Lifts, Single Leg-Lower-Lift
  7. Alternating Superman
  8. Arch-Legs Only
  9. Pike-Sit Leg-Lifts (Both legs straight and together)
  10. Pike-Sit-Flutters
  11. Straddle-Sit-Leg-Lifts (Both legs at the same time.)
  12. Straddle-Sit Leg Circles (Both legs at the same time.)
  13. V-Ups
  14. Alternating V-Ups
  15. Side Lifts
  16. Side Rocks
  17. Hollow-Arch (Both Sides)
  18. Hollow-Tilt Side to Side
  19. Arch Tilt Side to Side
  20. Plank
  21. Plank-Leg Extension (Lower-Lift Knees)
  22. Plank-Low Back Kicks
  23. Plank-Shrugs (Flat back-round back)
  24. Plank-Forward-Back (Planche-Back)
  25. Side Plank
  26. Side Plank-Lower-Lift Hips
  27. Side Plank-Small Side Kicks
  28. Plank-Side-Plank
  29. Walking or In-Place Lunges (Keep knees in line with middle toes!)

Gymnastics Drills Book www.GymnasticsDrills.com

Handstand Book  www.HandstandBook.com

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Goeller Signing Books

Goeller Signing BookKaren Goeller at a networking event in NJ was asked to sign a few of her books. Check out her fitness, sports, children’s, and health books, www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller

Dehydration

Have you seen my dehydration article? Dehydration, it WILL Happen…
https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/dehydration-it-will-happen/

#dehydration #hydration #drinkwater #health #diet #sports #fitness #outrdoors #summer #training

Your Personal Trainer May HURT You…

So, I hear this or a variation of one of these ALL THE TIME…

I got hurt after trying an exercise that my personal trainer made me do. I had trouble doing an exercise and they kept telling me to keep going. I was being rushed through an exercise.

I really do not understand WHY people who get hurt by personal trainers do not stop training with them immediately and sue them. The carelessness would eventually stop if the lawsuits started to be filed.

Some personal fitness trainers are trying to call everyone an athlete and train them as if they are really competitive athletes. The average adult looking for general fitness or weight loss is NOT a competitive athlete and should not be trained as if they are a competitive athlete. The average person who has not competed in a sport on a high level in recent months or years SHOULD NOT be doing advanced exercises such as box jumps, burpees, or sled pushes among other exercises on day one. There are specific progressions and fitness levels that must be mastered before the advanced exercises are introduced. That is like telling a person who never drove to compete in a NASCAR race.

It’s unbelievable how many personal trainers hurt people because they are feeding their egos or they have very little experience and knowledge. Did you know that many personal trainers just pay for and take an online exam without any real-world preparation, knowledge, or exercise experience? And then they call themselves fitness trainers. It’s SAD and the general public is paying for it.

Now, do you know WHY I am so proud to be an NSCA-CSCS? We know how to train athletes and we know when to hold back while helping an adult become more fit. We understand the SCIENCE behind the exercise and we know exercise progression. A college degree is required to take the CSCS exam and you are given (and need) six months to study all of the material. It is a serious certification and it must be maintained with continuing education once certified.

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Please DO NOT trust just anyone to train you. Do your research, get referrals, and check the trainer’s credentials. Many people come to me AFTER they have been seriously damaged by personal trainers. It’s your body, your money, and your time that will be spent by going to the wrong trainer. Please CHOOSE WISELY!!!

www.KarenGoeller.com

www.LegsPlus.com

www.SwingSetFitness.com

www.GymnasticsDrills.com

 

 

#fitness #personaltrainers #exercise #crossfit #fitnessprograms #exerciseprograms #workouts #sports #cscs

How to Increase Athlete Confidence…

How to Improve Athlete Confidence…

Someone asked how to build a gymnast’s confidence… The most common thing parents tell me after I work with their daughter is that their confidence has greatly increased.

Here’s my advice…
web-alexisbeamConfidence takes time to build. It happens after a series of successes and good days in the gym, school, or work. Confidence in an athlete/child is greatly affected by a coach, parent, or teacher. It is the adults along with those small successes often that help a child become more confident.

In sports lack of confidence can actually be a safety risk. lack of confidence can lead to worry, lack of focus, and even an accident. We should help our athletes build skills progressively and remind them of each success along the way. For the safest training possible, teach drills, build strength, teach skill progressions with perfect technique, then introduce the skill and build on that. Eventually the skill may be used in competition. Remind your athlete that they went through a long process to learnt hat skill and that is a great success. With each small feeling of success comes more confidence.

Remind your athlete often, possibly even daily, of all the progress she has made, the adjustments/corrections to skill technique she made, and how far she has come since she started the sport. We all started at the beginning, even coaches.

Give her a physical challenge (not extreme) daily and ask her if it was difficult. If she says yes, tell that she should feel good about getting through a difficult challenge and completing all the work. Remind her that many people cannot do all the work she has done that day and she should feel a real sense of accomplishment. Send her home with positive thoughts on her accomplishments and successes.

Increasing confidence is a process, but daily reminders of how hard she has worked, small successes often, and a reminders of her success work to improve an athlete’s confidence. As a coach it is important to help an athlete see how great they are. be the coach that boosts your athletes confidence. They will go through life happier, healthier, and remember your training forever.

Click here to read testimonials from my athletes parents.

Click here for info on Private Gymnastics Lessons.

Click here for info on Sports Conditioning.

#gymnastics #gymnast #sports #cscs #training #lessons #athletes #nj #privatetraining #privategymnasticslessons

You can’t cram last-minute for gymnastics competition!

web-trainingad-beam-2011Competition season is around the corner. Strength, speed, power, flexibility can’t be developed overnight. And learning new gymnastics skills takes time.

It’s not like school where you can cram for a test last minute. With sports there is a SAFETY factor. It takes time to become prepared for gymnastics competition each  season.

There is a learning and training process that must be completed for safe and enjoyable competition. Many drills, conditioning exercises, and skill repetitions must be performed long before the new gymnastics skill is used in a routine. And once in the gymnastics routine, the new skill or combination will still need to be refined. It will take time for the gymnast to comfortably perform the new gymnastics skill within the routine.

Do not wait until the last minute to call for help! Your gymnast’s safety will be at risk if you expect them to skip steps in the training process. If a gymnast is uncomfortable with a new skill they may lack focus. That lack of focus can easily lead to injuries, small and catastrophic.

Going from a new gymnastics skill to a competition-ready routine should be an enjoyable journey, not a season filled with fear, stress, and risk of injury.

Let me know how I can help your gymnast.

www.bestgymnasticstraining.com

www.bestsportsconditioning.com

#gymnastics #sports #training #gymnast #strength #usag #usaigc #ncaa #joga #highschool #newjersey

Gymnastics, Sports, Fitness Books

Gymnastics, Sports, Fitness Books by Karen Goeller, CSCS

Books are great gifts for kids and adults!

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Too Hot Outside for Exercise?

Too hot outside for www.swingsetfitness.com… But you can do my swing exercises using equipment created MANY years after I created Swing Set Fitness. Get one of my books, use their equipment.
Need 12 workouts? www.swingworkouts.com

Swing Set Fitness Books

Swing Set Fitness Books

#exercise #fitness #workout #trx #primal7

Lymphedema: Sentenced to Life in Bed, but I Escaped

Lymphedema: Sentenced to Life in Bed, but I Escaped
ISBN: 978-1-105-18750-6

The reader will see how Karen Goeller went from being the bed-ridden patient to who she is today. This is Karen Goeller’s story, dealing with a cancer diagnosis at age 25 and the lymphedema for a lifetime. You will be inspired to push yourself to beat the odds, accept the challenge, and reach your goals. Karen Goeller has accomplished great success after the doctors told her that she would never work again. More than twenty years later Karen Goeller is living a full life, the life she was told she would never have. Karen Goeller wishes to help others dealing with lymphedema with her tips on exercise, resources, and other daily care recommendations. Readers will be inspired to push themselves to beat the odds, accept the challenge, and reach their goals.

To buy this book go to http://www.KarenGoeller.com.

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