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History of Educational Gymnastics in British schools
February 13, 2018
Educational Gymnastics in Britain A popular conception of gymnastics today is of young girls in sparkly leotards with hair kept up in tightly bound buns.  This is a relatively new concept, with gymnastics originally being an all-male outdoor pursuit. Gymnastics has originated from several different sources, but all had the underlying principle of healthy movement. […]

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Flexibility Training

As part of the Excelsior Sports Training Programme, I did a joint workshop with scorpion stretchSarah Marshallyesterday on flexibility training. We had 30 young athletes doing 90 minutes of stretching.

The format was:

  • Warm up- squats and multi directional lunges.
  • Back stretches on the floor- rotational, flexion, extension.
  • Back stretches in standing- using a wall.
  • Hamstring and quad stretches in kneeling.

scorpion stretchThe major objective of the session was to get the athletes to go away with their own individual stretching programme.

They had to write down in their training diaries the various stretches we were doing and mark the ones that suited them.

The key points were:

  • Move slowly.
  • Breathe 5- 6 times deeply whilst holding a stretch.
  • Find the ones that work for you- if you aren’t getting a stretch, move to a different one.
  • flexibility trainingVariety of stretching is important, don’t just do the same 2-3 exercises and expect different results.
  • Take note the differences between front and back and left and right side and work on that.

(Pictured is me doing the scorpion stretch as requested).

Stretching works

Setting out the flexibility plan is relatively easy. Getting the athletes to do it regularly is more difficult. Having  a variety of stretches, and for different events helps.

Those of our athletes who practice do get more flexible.

This video shows a fun example of a stretch routine. You may wish to start with something simpler.

Further reading:


  1. […] right type, at the right time, and varying the exercises. Stretching is a big factor in injury prevention and recovery. When you know how to stretch it helps your […]

  2. […] strengthening of trunk / spinal muscles as well as improving flexibility with stretching can help correct any muscle imbalance. Manual Therapy and soft tissue massage can also be helpful […]

  3. […] stretching of the surrounding muscle […]

  4. […] All of this was accompanied by practical work on how to run correctly, what golfers should eat for breakfast, and examples of stretching routines for golf. […]

  5. […] to the single sided nature, shots and surfaces; flexibility is a key area of concern among many tennis players. From young age many players will have solely […]

  6. […] Mobility: How you control limbs over a range of movement. […]

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Client Testimonials

Dan James – Paralympian
During the build up to the Beijing Paralympics I was fortunate to be able to train with Excelsior. During this time James delivered a specific eleven month training block to me starting from base fitness up to more complex circuits and exercises. James would always take part in our sessions and this really helped motivate me, as we would push each other to achieve during the sessions. James was flexible around my shift work and would always answer any questions I had, however daft they sounded!

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Teenage movement seminar: Willand
10 Apr 2018

Your future success starts here Are you an active teenager who wants to get a bit fitter? Feel like you get overlooked by school teams? Do you want to learn how to become more agile and faster? Do you want specific advice on how you can balance study and becoming more active? Do you want […]