Gymnastics Bars For Both Beginners and Pros

Gymnastics BarsA set of Practice Gymnastics Bars are great tools for both young boys and girls to help strengthen their core muscles and develop muscle memory for bar related gymnastic skills.

Young boys often train for strength moves on practice bars in the gym and young girls practice and compete whole routines on them.

Many sets of practice bars are perfect for a basement practice area – some are low to the ground so the gymnast, if they do falter, will only fall a few inches to a crash mat (if at all) and getting into and out of practice positions is so much easier.

Practice bars are made out of many different materials, from wood to plastic and most resemble push up bars that adults often use.

Young gymnasts can practice their hand placements as well as developing the muscles needed to hold themselves upright on the bars or in a tuck position (working just about every muscle in the body!).

Practice Gymnastics Bars For Those Just Starting Out

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B003YU9S6U” locale=”us” height=”175″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31jFRd9E85L.jpg” width=”175″]For those little ones just starting out, these 4ft Purple Horizontal Bar and 6ft Pink Folding Gym Mat are the perfect set.

It also includes a custom mat that is guaranteed to fit correctly underneath help to ensure everyone’s safety.

Practice Gymnastics Bars For Those Well On Their Way

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B002U1PHKA” locale=”us” height=”153″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UJTgu-n8L._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]We recommend this practice gymnastics bar for the more mature gymnast, they are perfect for at home practice. Gymnastics Expandable Junior Training Bar.

These at home practice bars have a very stable base and are relatively easy to move around, when necessary and they are also adjustable, so as your young gymnast grows these practice bars with can grow with them.

We also recommend that you purchase a high quality gymnastics crash mat to put underneath your new practice bars, to keep your little tumbler safe.

 

Top Blog Photo by abbybatchelder

Gymnastics Leotards For Girls: For Safety, Performance and Confidence

Gymnast in LeotardThe most basic piece of gymnastics apparel is the leotard, so luckily there are many gymnastics leotards options to choose from.

Gymnastics Leotards Are Good For Both Safety and Performance

A leotard is advised during gymnastics events since it is tight fitting and won’t get caught on anything.

Loose clothing can get caught, or move around and impair vision (think of a loose shirt coming up over the eyes when a gymnast goes upside down in a handstand – not good!).

There are several versions of leotards, and many recreational gymnastics can find them with attached shorts (very similar to a singlet worn by wrestlers).

A leotard also allows coaches to better correct form and position by seeing the line of the body as it moves through a skill or a finished landing.  Even someone attending a first class or special event (maybe a birthday party or open gym for guests) should be advised to wear tight fitting clothing if they don’t have access to a leotard.

For practice, most gymnasts will prefer a tank leotard with no sleeves.  This will allow a gymnast to practice without any scratching or overheating.

For competition, most clubs/teams will have gymnasts wear all the same leotard – usually long sleeved, sometimes with the club logo, and often quite elegant!!

Leotards typically come in sizes similar to swim suits – and parents can gauge the size their child might wear based on their swim suit size.

To help you get started on your search for the perfect leotard we have provided a couple of great gymnastics leotards for girls that you might be interested in:

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B003W0F64K” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41uE9XoktTL._SL160_.jpg” width=”124″]This specific leotard is a great first practice leotard for the older girls.  It is both stylish and reasonably priced.Pink Safari Leotard (Adult Small).

This leotard has gotten good feedback for the younger girls Fuchsia Twister Leotard (Child Medium).

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B003W0I7VY” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZRD%2BRVMrL._SL160_.jpg” width=”119″]Keep it in mind that these are just 2 options to choose from.  There are many more options available online and finding the right size and color is very important for your little girl.

Top Blog Photo by PictureYouth

Gymnastics Beam: When Practice Makes Perfect

Your young gymnast will likelyGymnastics Beam try to use just about anything as a Gymnastics Balance Beam – the curb, the countertop, the railing, you name it.

To keep them safe and recreate their practice environment in your home, consider purchasing a practice gymnastics beam.

There are a few varieties, all low to the ground while still giving your athlete an opportunity to practice skills.

As an added bonus, those tricks they are scared to try on the high beam in the gym can be tried on the low beam in your own home (with a mat, of course) until their confidence is ready to take them to new heights in the gym in front of their coaches.

Several Varieties To Choose From

As mentioned, there are a few different varieties.  You can opt to go with suede for a feel similar to the one your athlete practices on in the gym, or foam for easy care and soft landings, or even folding varieties that can be stored away when not in use.

Some are nearly flush to the ground (raised an inch or two with a side that slopes down to the floor) and others mimic a high beam and actually provide your gymnast with an inch or two of clearance between the bottom of the beam and the floor (see featured products).

These practice beams cover a variety of needs.  We bet you’ll find one that works for you and your athlete!

The Gymnastics Folding Training Low Beam is a perfect beam[ solution for those of us who have storage as a high priority.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B0021VW2IE” locale=”us” height=”87″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31j3Rn5SoxL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]Very few people have the room necessary for a permanent beam setup, so this very light weight, folding beam option may be just the solution your are looking for.  Its even light enough that most kids can fold it and put it away themselves!

A Good Gymnastics Beam If You Have Extra Space

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B000P93ZA8″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/3162oy2XvbL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]For those who are lucky enough to have a large basement or other area that a more permanent solution can be utilized then we think you should consider The Beam Store Pink Suede 8-Feet Gymnastics Balance Beam.

A Beam For Those With More Limited Space

This beam is not made to be disassembled often so make certain you have an area that this can stay in for long periods of time.  This beam is very sturdy and will last a very long time.

One feature we really like with this particular beam is that higher legs can be added to it in the future to raise the beam as your child advances!

Top Blog Photo by Raphael Goetter

Gymnastics Grips: Helps To Stay On The Bar

A pile of gymnastics gripsGrips are pieces of leather sewn together with buckles or straps that cover a gymnasts hands while they practice and compete on the uneven bars (for the women) or the high bar and rings (for the men).

There are a few different kinds and sizes, and certainly the grips vary for men and women. When it comes time for your gymnast to start using grips, ask the coaching staff to help determine the kind needed – then you can place an order.

At What Age Should Grips Be Purchased

Young gymnasts won’t need grips right away, so don’t see them as a barrier to entry into the sport in any way. Once your gymnast reaches a level of difficulty at which they need better grip on the bar, or rings.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B001FCZ2P0″ locale=”us” height=”130″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/213nwjr12-L._SL160_.jpg” width=”130″]Here’s a good “first” pair of gymnastics grips for young girls Nastia Liukin Beginner Hook & Loop Grips.

We all probably remember Nastia Liukin as the 2008 Olympic All-Around gold medalist.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B0001WAJOY” locale=”us” height=”130″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414PN1HH78L._SL160_.jpg” width=”113″]Here’s a reasonably priced “first” pair of  grips for young men Beginner Grip (Large, Black Velcro).

Grips Allow For Better Control

Grips cover the hand and wrap around the wrist, protecting the hand from friction and also creating a fold of leather that allows a gymnast better control of the bar or rings.

Wrist bands are worn under the grip on the wrist to protect the skin and add a layer of padding under the buckle.

They Will Wear Out Over Time

Grips do stretch out over time, and even rip sometimes, so they do need to be replaced eventually. If your child is a competitive gymnast and plans to be in the sport for several years, plan on ordering new grips a few times – perhaps once a year.

Since you don’t know when the stretching or a tear might occur, it’s always a good idea to have an extra pair ready that the gymnast has broken in already – you don’t want to be at a meet facing a bar routine or ring routine without a back up pair of grips!

For the the more advanced gymnasts these are highly recommended grips that you can’t go wrong with (girls): US Glove Women’s Dowel grip w/Buckle

or these for men: Reisport Men’s High Bar Grips – Double Buckle – Medium

Top Blog Photo by Rick McCharles

Different Gymnastics Mats For Different Stages

Gymnastics MatsGymnastics mats will help to keep your gymnast safe at home while they tumble around (let’s face it – what young gymnast hasn’t used the couch as a landing mat?) is a top priority.

One way to promote a safe practice environment in your home is with a few high quality tumbling mats.

Learning to do a handstand or cartwheel, or later a back or front walk over is easier when there is some assurance of a softer landing!

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B006FF7PNO” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MkDziuY0L._SL160_.jpg” width=”151″]Heck this Pink Children’s Gymnastics Cartwheel / Beam Training Mat even comes  with hand and footprints to guide your young gymnast as they learn basic moves.  Pretty cool, huh!?

Best Tumbling Mat For Limited Space

This soft landing mat can be easily folded away for storage, meaning you get your basement back when needed or can bring out the gymnastics mats easily when your child wants to do an impromptu show for his or her grandparents.  Most are covered in vinyl which makes them effortless to clean.

[easyazon-image align=”center” asin=”B006FF7M0A” locale=”us” height=”372″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31dosG3RbtL.jpg” width=”500″]

A Landing Mat To Protect and Teach

Landing Mats

Aside from flat, gymnastics folding mats, you can also help your budding star with a few gymnastic specific tools – like an incline mat or Folding Gymnastics Incline Mat Wedge Block 24x48x14 Firm (for learning backward rolls, etc.) and a “mailbox” form (for learning back bends and back walkovers).

This bright and colorful mat, will make your young gymnast smile every time they practice!

[easyazon-image align=”center” asin=”B005HAP4O0″ locale=”us” height=”351″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41gQRdevSCL.jpg” width=”500″]

Thicker Crash Mats For More Advanced Skills

For the gymnasts who have mastered the basic moves and are beginning to step up the level of difficulty then thicker landing mats are what we recommend.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B006FFEUH8″ locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31LYmuJ29zL.jpg” width=”333″]These thicker mats will make the inevitable stumbles and falls a bit less painful.  This Tumbl Trak Pit Pillow Soft Mat with Denim Cover, 3-Feet Width x 4-Feet Length x 8-Inch Height is a full 8 INCHES thick.  That is a about 2 times thicker than your basic tumbling mat.

Each of these gymnastics mats makes for a perfect at home practice area.  It will help to ensure safety, which as parents is the most important thing for our youths.

The next step is to provide your little one some basic guidance on what moves to focus on at home.

We have found a great resource for exactly how to perform those first basic at home gymnastics moves.

Blog Photos by Rick McCharles