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Shaping for Gymnastics

Updated on May 2, 2012

Handstand holds

What is Shaping?

Shaping in gymnastics means developing and perfecting the bodies various shapes to fit a specific skill, this can also be known as having the correct technique. Shaping not only helps to configure the body but is a key element in perfecting skills.

Why is shaping important?

Good technique and correct shapes and forms are key to advancing through the levels in gymnastics. If a student does not know these important gymnastics shapes or the student is not strong enough to hold the shape then he/she will not be able to correctly execute the skill. We are concerned about safety and want all students to know and learn correct shapes. Core strength and shaping are almost always tied together. The image below is a good example of this. The girl is working on her core muscles while holding the hollow shape!

Hollow holds

What are the important shapes?

There are many shapes involved in the sport of gymnastics! Listed below are the three most common shapes used:

1. Hollow

2. Arch (image to the right)

2. Straight Body(body alignment)

As a gymnast develops body control, she is able to develop quick transitional timing from shape to shape. This is an important skill to learn as many skills in gymnastics require fast shape changes several times during the execution of an element or series of elements.

Why do I need to know this?

As parents, you may look at your child's classes sometimes and say to yourself, "what in the world are they doing and how does that pertain to gymnastics?" Now you know the answer! "Oh, they are working on the shapes so they can become a better all-around gymnast!" When in doubt, always ask your child's coach to explain what they are working on so that you can stay in the know with where your child is at in her training. An involved parent is always welcome at any reputable gymnastics gym.

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