Practicing Gymnastic Skills at Home

Gymnastics is a very demanding sport. The grace and fluidity in motion of gymnasts at the

Olympic Games is a result of years of practice and dedication. Usually, gymnastic training starts

at a tender age. If your child shows an interest in becoming a gymnast or is already beginning a

journey into the sport, it is ideal that you provide your child with extra opportunities to practice

their gymnastic skills at home. This way, your child can develop the self-confidence needed to

learn the necessary skills. Here are a few ways on how to do gymnastics at home without

equipment.

Ensure a Safe Environment

The foundation of a good gymnast is mastery of the basic moves characterized by a lot tumbling

and turning from the floor and through the air. To minimize injuries and encourage your child

to gain self-confidence in executing the moves, make sure that the practice area is wide enough

to allow for comfortable movement.

You can prepare a practice area indoors or out in your garden. Clear out any harmful objects

that might get in the way and cushion the floor with a 4-5 panel gymnastics mat. A good

alternative to use are rubber play tiles that can also cover the designated practice area. Having

a clutter-free wall within the practice area is ideal when practicing cartwheels and headstands

since this ensures that nothing will be accidentally knocked down during practice.

Warm Up and Stretch

Cat StretchingMake your child wear proper training clothes like a leotard or exercise apparel that fit just right:

it must be neither too loose nor too form-fitting so that they do not get in the way of the

desired range of motion. Before you let your child practice, watch gymnastics tutorials

together to refresh your child’s recollection of the proper moves. This way, you can be aware of

how to spot and help your child through the moves. Let your beginner gymnast go through the

proper warm up and stretching routines taught at the gym to prepare their body and minimize

injuries.

Basic Gymnastic Moves to Master

Some of the foundation moves that all gymnasts should master are the forward roll, the

backward roll, the bridge, and the cartwheel. Listed below are simplified step-by- step

gymnastics tutorials for beginners on these basic moves.

The Forward Roll

Let your child do some proper warm up and stretching exercises before doing the forward roll.

Face the mat with feet firmly on the floor hips-distance- width apart. Then, let your child bend

over from the hips to place palms flat on the floor, shoulder-width distance with fingers spread

out. Tuck the chin in to look at the belly button. Then slowly bend elbows, tuck, and move the

shoulders closer towards the mat. Push legs over and across to land on feet and push up to

stand. Pull arms up to a V-formation.

If your child looks a little bit scared to roll over, help your child gain confidence by rolling

backwards, forwards, and side to side like a ball. You can also build your child’s confidence to

do the move by creating a wedge of cushions where they can do the forward roll from.

The Backward Roll

Reversing motions of the forward roll, the backward roll starts off with your beginner gymnast

facing backwards to the mat. From standing, make your child reach and stretch out both arms

up and tall. Then move towards a sitting position until the bottom touches the mat.

With a rounded spine and knees tucked in, start to lean the body back. Continue the motion of

rolling back by pushing both legs off the floor and over. Elbows bend simultaneously with hands

positioned just under the shoulders for the palms to touch the floor. Ride through the

momentum of the movement to kneel and stand.

When rolling, be aware that your child should keep knees close to chest to keep a tight ball

formation. Watch your child push off and stand with arms up in a v-formation to finish the roll.

The Bridge

To do the bridge, lie flat on your back. Let your child position their arms close to their ears with

palms flat and pointing towards the feet. Then move the feet close to the hips. Push the body

up.

Straighten the legs and arms to arch in one fluid motion. Adjust and keep legs close together

with arms shoulder width apart. Head looks at the opposite direction but is kept in between

the arms. Push down slowly to release the position.

When in the bridge position, make sure that your child is looking back out and not towards the

chest or stomach to make sure the head is in the proper position. Never encourage practicing

the bridge on a mattress because it does not give the right support.

The Cartwheel

When doing the cartwheel, encourage your child to do the proper warm up and stretching

exercises first. Some of the preparatory exercises are planks, donkey-kicks with leg scissors in

the air, see-saws from lunge positions, lunges, splits, and wrist stretches.

It is best to practice with a 4-5 cushion gymnastics mat. The sections can guide your beginner

gymnast on where to land their arms and feet. Imitating a wheel, the “spokes” that turn in

sequence are: leg – arm – arm – leg. To start the cartwheel, begin in a lunge position with the

strong foot forward. Then tilt forward and land with the same side palm on the floor followed

quickly by the other palm. Kick over with the back foot quickly followed by the opposite foot.

Finish off standing with arms stretched high in a v-position.

Spot that your child’s palms on the floor do not face outward. Practicing against a wall helps to

make sure the body is straight.

Journey through Gymnastics with Your Child Together

Although gymnastics as a sport is very rigid, all the required movements and skills can be

mastered with the proper guidance and practice. It is highly recommended that you enroll your

child in a gymnastics class before you let your child practice at home.

If you decide to let your child do gymnastics at home, watch tutorials videos online and explore

various gymnastics websites that are easily accessible. However, spotting and mentoring from a

professionally certified coach giving on-site tutorial gymnastics guarantees that your child

learns the proper form and builds the appropriate levels of strength and agility necessary to

succeed in the sport.

Guy Handstand At Beach

How to Accomplish the Perfect Handstand

Balance and strength are the two most important keys on how to accomplish the perfect handstand. This is very apparent especially in gymnastics, dance, and cheer leading..

Handstand is also evident in yoga. It demands a lot of time and patience just to achieve that perfect handstand.

What Is The Handstand?

FItness Lady HandstandThe Handstand is the act of lifting the body to form an inverted vertical position. It uses the hands through arms’ strength and perfect balance. The basic handstand involves fully extended straight arms with shoulder-width distance while the legs are fully lengthened way up.

Sports enthusiasts believe that there are several handstand benefits which include muscle toning. This is mainly intended for the core and arms sections. It also affects balancing, proper posture and even relaxation (doing the yoga handstand).

Meanwhile, doing a handstand is not that easy to accomplish. It takes a lot of practice to achieve the proper basic handstand.

 

How Doing Handstands Factor With Gymnastics

Among all the related sports, gymnastics have the most visible manifestations of handstands. The following are some of the benefits that one can get from handstand gymnastics:

  • Strength, Balance, and Spatial Awareness

According to USA Gym Organization, practicing handstands also helps the athletes in developing strength, balance, and spatial awareness. Aside from that, a proper handstand is a constant progression needed for the gymnast’s skill enhancement and discipline.

  • Upper Body Strength

This helps in the development of upper body strength among gymnasts. Since handstand involves supporting the body weight in an inverted position through balance, the upper body has to be stable and reliable.

  • Flexibility

The Gymnastics Revolution revealed that handstands could help the gymnast develop one’s flexibility more. They claimed that the position significantly affects the flexibility of the athlete. If the athlete has better flexibility than the usual, this requires lesser strength in the press handstand.

  • Strengthening and Controlling of the Core

The handstand does not only strengthen the arms and shoulders, but it also strengthens the core and keeps it controlled. As the gymnasts lift their weight from a handstand position, they should be able to monitor their core section. In this way, one can maintain a stable, balanced position.  

Muscles Involved in The Handstand

Drawing Side Arm FlexingAll the muscles in the body are involved when doing and practicing handstanding. The following areas are most developed through doing a handstand:

  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Fingers
  • Core

All of these muscles are involved in a handstand as you keep your balance. Aside from the fact that these muscles get well-toned in a handstand, here are some other benefits of doing and practicing it:

  • Helps you increase your balance

Aside from being physically healthy, you need to have a real balancing skill to hold and sustain yourself while doing the handstand. You can develop your balancing ability by making small adjustments while holding yourself up. This is to avoid from falling.

For beginners, one can practice handstand against a wall to prevent from being off-balance. As you progress, you can learn to balance slowly without depending on the wall.

  • Helps proper breathing and blood circulation

A handstand can help increase circulation towards the upper body and ease pressure from the feet and legs. The posture also strengthens and stretches the diaphragm, enabling proper blood flow to the lungs. This also helps in developing proper breathing technique  as one has to focus on his/her breathe while centered in the handstand.

  • Happier self

The nature of handstand can assist in boosting one’s mood since the blood flow towards the brain can increase energy. It also has a relaxing effect. This is beneficial for people who are under stress.

The focus and concentration that one gives while doing handstand can help him/her forget the pressure and anxiety around him/her. According to some experts, handstand can contribute to relieving anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.

Basic Steps in Doing a Handstand

It is not easy to accomplish a perfect handstand form. It requires practice, dedication, patience, and time to achieve the perfect handstand. The following are the basic steps in doing a handstand:

  1. Establish a strong foundation.

To practice a perfect handstand, you need to develop first a good foundation which starts by the hollow position hold. You can do this by lying straight on your back with your arms outstretch over the head and your legs fully extended. While lying, press your lower back onto the ground then slightly lift your legs up from the floor with your toes pointing out.

After which, raise your arms and head to form a straight line with your spine. For as long as you can, hold this position. Practice this position until your holding strength also increases.

  1. Practice the high plank.

After you have established a foundation, you have to practice the elevated plank. In this way, you can strengthen your arms and shoulders as well as your core. In this position, you are starting to develop your balance and flexibility.

In the elevated plank, you have to begin in a push-up position while your feet are against a wall. Slowly, walk your feet up to the wall until you have lifted your lower body off from the floor. Hold this position for a while making sure that your back is straight.

This is the wall stand. In this way, you are getting familiar with the upside down position.

  1. Try to practice without the wall.

As you are already familiar with the position, you can start practicing without the wall. Aside from kicking your feet towards the wall, you can curl up your spine in a position wherein you are trying to bring your knees towards your chest.

From here, you can start lifting your lower body up with your hands pressed on the ground and your arms slowly stretching out, lifting your body up. Hold this position until you can find your balance and focus on your breathing.

From here, you can start lifting your lower body up with your hands pressed on the ground and your arms slowly stretching out, lifting your body up. Hold this position until you can find your balance and focus on your breathing.

Meanwhile, you need not be a gymnast or an athlete to do a headstand. You can do this from the comfort of your home with the guidance of experts. Through regular practice, focus and dedication, you can execute eventually the proper ways on how to accomplish the perfect handstand.