Warmup Games for Gymnastics

Little Gymnast Doing a Straddle Split
Warmup games children get loose before a gymnastics routine. (Image: Brian McEntire/iStock/Getty Images)

Warmup games for gymnastics are designed to help your kids get loose and limber prior to an instructional gymnastics workout. In addition to stretching, warmup games can help reduce the children's risk of pulling a muscle or straining a ligament during a rigorous gymnastics routine. Warmup games range from leap frog to cartwheel games.

Follow The Leader

This warmup gymnastics game is designed to improve flexibility as well as get the joints going. Have your kids line up in a straight line on one end of a gym mat. Instruct the first child in line to choose a movement to perform across the gym floor, such as a crab walk, bear walk or chicken walk. Once the child starts moving, instruct all the kids to perform the same movement across the floor. Have them take turns leading, changing the movement each time.

Relay Race

Divide your gymnastics class into two teams. Have them get into straight lines and stand at one end of the gym. On your mark, have the first child in each line run as fast as possible to the other side of the gym. Have her touch the gym wall before running back and tagging the hand of the next player in line. Repeat this pattern until everyone in line has gone. The first team to finish wins.

Add-On

This gymnastics game is designed to improve skill and technique on the floor. Have each child grab a partner and stand together. Start the game by having one child in each partnership perform one gymnastics move. Have the partner perform the same move, adding an additional move to the back end of the trick. Have the first child perform both moves, adding another move on top of them. Continue this pattern until somebody fails to properly execute the trick.

Shape Game

This game challenges your kids to apply the moves and techniques they have used in your gymnastics course. Stand in front of a group of students in a ready position. Perform a basic gymnastics move, such as a handstand or pike. As soon as you perform the move, have all of the kids imitate the move. The last child to get into proper position is out of the game. Continue to play, changing shapes each time until one kid is left.

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