The shutdown of training facilities has been a roadblock for athletes across the country, and the Gophers' women's gymnastics team has not been immune to the challenges of training without the proper equipment. Without access to Peik Gymnasium, staying in shape and practicing routines has become increasingly difficult.
“For gymnastics, it’s really tricky cause you can’t really train your skills, your technique, unless you have a trampoline at home or something like that,” said junior Lexy Ramler. “We’re forced to kind of be creative, but what we can definitely focus on is maintaining our strength.”
Although routines are exceptionally difficult to train for, sustaining strength is doable without equipment. There are many at-home workouts that are easy substitutes for not being in the gym, like crunches, pushups and even handstands.
Along with sustaining strength, Ramler also touched on the importance of staying fit and eating right during the pandemic. When the team is finally able to return to the gym, they will be ready to go.
“Staying fit and staying nutritious is key. Making sure that our bodies are in good shape for when we are able to return to the gym, that we are ready to go and ready to get back into it,” Ramler said.
One fun step the athletes have taken to help keep themselves in shape is assigning accountability partners. They check in on each other throughout the week, seeing what they're doing for exercise.
After finals wrap up, the team is going to take that to the next level.
“We’re going to break the team into groups and then do a point system. We’re going to include different challenges, fun challenges, and then stuff nutrition-wise and drinking enough water,” Ramler said. “[We're] sparking some competitiveness that way between us and at the end pool up all the points and have a group winner.”
While this break from competition has been difficult for the Gophers, it does give gymnasts a break from the constant strain on their bodies without a break in the action.
“I think there is definitely some benefit to [the break], it is nice to heal up for a bit and a time to focus on our rehab. We can use this time to strengthen up all those little muscles to prevent future injuries,” Ramler said. "There is some benefit, but I think we’re all just eager to get back into the gym.”
When that time comes is still an uncertainty. Until then, the Gophers will continue finding new ways to keep their competitive selves busy, while also staying prepared to get back in the gym and back to work.