I’ve put together a list of 10 exercises you can do at home to improve your gymnastics skills. Maybe you take a gymnastics class once or twice a week and you want to take your gymnastics to the next level without having to pay for more gym time. Or maybe you are already on a gymnastics team and want to keep improving your gymnastics while you aren’t at the gym. There are many ways to improve outside of the gym and here are some exercises that can help you do that.
- Spider-man Against the Wall: Spider-man against the wall is a way to work on your handstands. The handstand position is one of the most important positions in gymnastics. Gymnasts do handstands on floor, on beam and on bars. Cartwheels, round-offs, back-handsprings and front-handsprings are all performed by passing through the handstand position. Spider-man against the wall is basically a handstand against the wall, but it’s a way to practice handstands with correct form. To do spider-man against the wall stand with your back against a wall in your house. Put your hands on the floor in front of you, and one at a time put your feet on the wall. Walk your hands closer to the wall as you walk your feet up the wall, until your stomach is touching the wall and you are in a handstand position. Keep your head neutral but look at your hands with your eyes. Hold this for as long as you can before coming down. While you are in the handstand concentrate on tightening up all your muscles and think about pulling your feet up to the ceiling. This is a great way to practice good form because the wall forces your body to be absolutely straight.
- Sprints: Practicing sprints are a great way to improve your Vault skills, and you can practicing running fast anywhere. Great vaults are quick and powerful, so the faster your run–the more power you will have during your vault.
- Splits: Working on your splits is a way to improve your flexibility at
home. The split shape shows up frequently in gymnastics; the split shape is seen in leaps and jumps. The better you can do splits on the ground, the better you can do them in the air.
- Pull-Ups: Another great exercise for improving your gymnastics skills at home is pull-ups. You can practice your pull-ups at home by installing a pull-up bar in one of your doorways. A pull-up bar (here is a great one from Amazon for less than $30) is a great piece of home gymnastics equipment.
- Scales: Practicing your scales at home will help you improve your balance, flexibility and strength which are all crucial for gymnastics. If you aren’t sure what a scale is, stand on one leg and lift the other leg directly in front of you for a front scale or directly behind you for a back scale. Try to stand as long as you can without losing your balance.
- Jumps: Improve your jumps by practicing straight jumps at home. Keep your body as tight as possible and jump as high as you can while maintaining your body position.
- Leaps: Gymnasts are required to do leaps on both beam and floor in their routines. Practice makes perfect so practice your leaps at home. Concentrate on keeping your legs straight and coming as high off the ground as you can. Also make sure the angle you make with your legs is even on both sides.
- Turns: Turns are requirements in both floor and beam routines, just like leaps. You can practice your turns at home on the carpet or on the kitchen floor wearing socks.
- Conditioning: Any conditioning exercises that make your muscles stronger will help you improve your gymnastics. Gymnastics is one of the few sports that uses most of the muscles in your body. Push-ups, Sit-ups, calf-raises are all great exercises to increase your muscles strength.
- Your Routine: If you have a gymnastics routine, you can practice it at home without the tumbling skills. This is called a “dance-through”, when you do the routine practicing just the dance elements. The more you practice your routine, the less likely you are to forget it at a meet. So practice, practice, practice at home!
I hope these exercises help you practice gymnastics at home. You might also be interested in 5 tips for improving your gymnastics score.