Even though the benefits of gymnastics are many, it is also a sport that holds many risks, especially as you progress to the more advanced skills. It does not only require you to just show up for practise. You need to be prepared physically and mentally. It is very important to follow the guidelines in this book, as well as any other guidelines issued by the coach, to get the best possible learning experience. Keep in mind that you do not need to perform every skill in gymnastics. What is easy for one person may be difficult for another person. For example, if you do not have enough strength to do a handstand, you must first condition and prepare your body with easier exercises. However, you may find that doing a forward roll is easier for you. Do not rush your training, progress slowly and you will be able to learn new things.
Use Safety Equipment
As you start learning more complex skills, you will undoubtedly experience a few falls. However, if you use safe equipment, you can limit the damage of these falls. For example, the use of mats can help reduce the risks of slipping and reduces significantly the impact of any falls. The use of straps and powder also helps to protect the hands and increases grip as well.
Most of the exercises found in this book can be done on a soft non-slippery mat in a spacious area. However, gymnastics clubs have very expensive and specialised equipment. The following is a list of equipment commonly found in gymnastics clubs.
Mats are found in all sizes, thicknesses, and colours. Mats are used to reduce the risk of slips and also to cushion against any falls.
The wedge (also known as an incline mat or cheese mat) is a special mat in the form of a ramp. It will help you gain momentum during rolling. The wedge comes in all shapes and sizes.
These mats are much thicker than the normal mats. They are used for safe landing while doing more advanced skills.
An octagon mat is a special eight-sided mat used as a teaching aid in those skills where the body needs to be supported partially or entirely on the hands such as the front walkovers, back walkovers, and backbends.
The trapezoid box or vaulting box is made up of three to five stacked trapezoid-shaped boxes which can be used as a vaulting platform.
Single Horizontal Bar
The single horizontal bar, also known as the high bar, is an apparatus used by male gymnasts . Bar s found in gymnastics gyms are often adjustable in height. Beginners should not work with a bar that is higher than chest height.
Uneven bars are two bars lying parallel to each other but at different heights. They are used in women’s artistic gymnastics. Just like the single horizontal bar, the height of the bars is often adjustable. Beginners should start with the bar closer to the floor.
These two wooden bars lie parallel to each other and are used mainly during the men’s artistic competition.
The springboard is a platform containing multiple springs to help gymnasts jump higher. The springboard is used in a variety of events in artistic gymnastics, including the vault, balance beam, and uneven bars.
A beam is an apparatus used in women’s artistic gymnastics. Beginners should start training using a low beam and slowly progress to higher beams once skills on the floor and low beam are achieved.
Thank you for reading,
Head Coach Darren