Looking to extend your gymnast’s practice time? A coached session at the gym is a great start, but if you want to keep the interest level up in the younger gymnast or give the older ones the ability to practice outside the gym, nothing beats a well-equipped area at home for practice.
Unless you live in a mansion with a full gymnasium, it’s difficult to squeeze in an entire gymnastics workout area. The backyard might be good for some aspects of routines, but for spot training in specific areas like balance and floor, there are a couple of ways to bring the practice home that won’t require building an addition.
Start with some solid tumbling mats. For younger kids, it’s easy to incorporate gymnastics into play and tumbling mats facilitate this while keeping them safe. Depending on the space you have, a crash pad might even be in order, but one simple tumbling mat that can be folded and stored easily will encourage the kids to play safely, in a specific area, and to extend their practice time at home. Unfinished basements are easy to convert to tumbling areas, especially with tumbling mats that connect with hook-and-loop fasteners. These are affordable and can be added to as your gymnast’s space requirements change.
Balance beams set close to the ground with tumbling mats on either side can be a huge encouragement to younger gymnasts. As they gain confidence on the lower level, supervised practice on the real apparatus at the gym will become easier. There are even beginner beams with solid foam cores for the youngest gymnasts.
For the more advanced gymnast, practicing back handsprings can be a challenge at home. A properly sized and easily transportable incline mat can be just what’s needed to practice this core skill at home with supervision. Different sizes are available for the very young through the teen athlete. Ask your gymnast’s coach which would be best for your setting.
There are many other gymnastic supplements that work well at home. Do your research, read the reviews, then decide which pieces are going to be best for your budding Olympian.