25 Simple Things You Can Do At Home Now to Improve Your Gymnastics

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Right now it might seem like there’s not much you can do to improve your gymnastics without your regular gymnastics practice. But here’s a list of 25 things you can do right now that will help you:

  1. Create a Vision Board for Gymnastics – While you might not get in the gym in the near future, you can still think about some goals you’d like to achieve next season. When you write down your goals you are more likely to achieve them. Putting those goals on a vision board and looking at them daily will help you in your future and will give you something to focus on right now.
  2. Practice Your Turns – This is a dance skill that often gets overlooked but is an essential element in most routines and a common source of potential deductions. Work on maintaining proper foot form (don’t sickle) as you lift your foot to your knee or ankle and focus on pressing down into the ground while lifting up through the top of your head. Do your turns every day so that they become easier when you return to the gym.
  3. Do Spidermans Against The Wall – This is one of the best exercises for learning form and gaining strength in your handstands. Every day you can practice this drill and then aim to hold it a little longer than the day before. Keep a log of your time so you can look back and see all your progress.
  4. Complete a Cartwheel Challenge – Download one of our challenge worksheets and fill in a star for every 10 cartwheels you do. See if you can make it to 1000. Repetition is key to getting better at gymnastics. You can do this for all different skills using our challenge worksheets.
  5. Visualize yourself doing a skill you want to learn – While you can’t train new skills at home, you can visualize yourself doing those skills in your mind. Even though you might think it’s silly to envision yourself doing a skill you can’t currently do, “practicing” the skill in your mind over and over will give your body the muscle memory to be able to learn the skill faster when you get back in the gym. When you visualize, try to include as many senses as possible, such as feel, smell, sound, and sight. 
  6. Relieve Some Stress By Coloring – After being cooped up for so long, it’s normal to feel stressed or on edge. And it’s also normal to miss gymnastics and feel sad about not being able to see your friends. Coloring is a great way to calm yourself down and has proven to elevate mood. We have the perfect coloring book for gymnasts that you can color in. 
  7. Do the Leap The Creek Drill  – This is a fun drill that will help you practice the feel of jumping off one leg and landing on the other like you do in a split leap. Try moving your jump ropes further and further apart and see if you can still make it to the other side of the creek for a challenge.
  8. Practice your toe point – Good form leaves a lasting impression on judges so why not practice pointing your toes which is one of the most simple ways to improve form. You can do an effective exercise with a theraband daily by placing the band around the underside of your toes and trying to push down against the theraband. This will help to increase your toe point which will help your feet stand out in a good way when you return to the gym. 
  9. Practice your high releve – Judges want to see your heels lifted throughout your beam routine and we have the perfect drill to help you with this. Do our Domino Releve Drill a few times a week to strengthen your ankles and help you get used to walking in high releve.
  10. Sit in your splits every time you watch tv – You know how important flexibility is to improving in gymnastics. Why not make it a habit to sit in your splits every time you watch tv. Be sure to rotate through all three splits.
  11. Do the Baby Shark Ab Challenge – At home, it’s important to keep up with your conditioning and especially your core strength. Fun challenges like the Baby Shark Ab Challenge will make it more exciting to do your conditioning drills. 
  12. Practice your split leaps – This is another dance element that is in every floor and beam routine and is another source of common deductions. You can join our Leap Bigger Into Spring Split Leap Challenge in SkillTrakker for some focused practice or else just work on your split leaps every day, focusing on straight legs, pointed toes and good height/length.
  13. Watch old meet videos to see what areas you need to improve on. It’s been a while now since you’ve competed but it doesn’t make those old competitions any less important. Go back and watch some of your previous meets and take notes. What could you have done better to have scored higher? What stands out to you when you watch your routines? How can you make it better in the future? Figure out those things and then practice them!
  14. Watch Katelyn Ohashi’s Perfect 10 Floor Routine for an example of what good artistry in gymnastics looks like. Judges love to see you putting on a “show” during your routines because it makes them more exciting and fun to watch. In fact, it’s such an important part of your routine that judges can take off deductions for artistry. Watch Katelyn’s routine and take note of what makes her routine so good. Then practice those kinds of things at home. 
  15. Keep a home training log. During this time be sure to write down everything you are doing so you can show your coach when you return to the gym. When you track and record things, you are more likely to follow through on your training plan, plus it will be a good record for you to look back on in a few weeks.
  16. Watch the 2016 Olympics for some inspiration. We might not be able to enjoy the Summer Olympics in 2020 but we can go back and re-live the U.S. gymnastics team win gold at the 2016 Olympics for some inspiration. If you watched it the first time around, you might notice new things this time around. Watching elite gymnasts perform at such a high level is a great way to get re-motivated during this pandemic.
  17. Stay connected to your teammates. You might not be able to go to the gym like you used to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected to your teammates. Keep them an integral part of your life through zoom calls and drive-by parades. Mail them letters or message them to let them know that you’re thinking of them. When you feel more bonded to your gymnastics family, you’ll feel more positive about your life which will help you excel at gymnastics.
  18. Watch our judging videos to learn more about some common deductions that judges take. One of the best things you can do during this time is to learn as much about gymnastics scoring as you can. Many gymnasts get stumped when they do a routine and earn a much lower score than expected but it’s usually a result of not understanding the places in their routines where deductions are being taken. Watch as many scoring videos as possible to get a better sense of how judges score.
  19. Practice straight leg form by sitting in your pike sit and envisioning having straight legs during your split leap. We already talked about how important form is to your score. Along with toe point, having straight legs is an important indicator of how good your form is. During split leaps, especially, bent legs can add up. So work on ingraining the feeling of straight legs into your body with the pike sit visualization drill.
  20. Practice dance-throughs of your routine. Your routine might change next season but there’s much to be gained by practicing a dance-through of your routine and focusing on lifting your chest up, pulling your shoulders down, good artistry, and some facial expression. The more you practice the “presentation” of your routine, the more you will feel comfortable when it comes time to compete.
  21. Write down 3 things you love about gymnastics. Gratitude has been shown to have positive effects on our life, if practiced frequently. Make it a habit to think about all the good things you like about gymnastics and write them down daily. You’ll not only start to feel better, but you’ll also notice things changing for the better around you.
  22. Challenge a family member to a plank challenge. Remember how important we said conditioning was while you’re stuck at home? Well, why not make it more fun by challenging a family member to some conditioning contests? Who can hold a plank longer? Who can stay up in releve the longest? Who can hold their scale the longest? These are all fun ways to practice conditioning without realizing it. 
  23. Go through the Simone Biles course. It might sound silly to buy a course about gymnastics right now, but the great part about this course is that you’ll learn some of Simone’s best tips and tricks for tackling the mental side of gymnastics. You can watch through this video training while you’re stuck at home and save the physical gymnastics training for when you’re back in the gym. 
  24. Watch the Gabby Douglas Story (or another movie based on a real-life gymnast). When you watch how hard an elite gymnast works to get to the top, as well as all the sacrifices she makes, you begin to realize that all top gymnasts got to where they are despite all the things that happened to them. This will help you feel better about the current situation and potentially re-spark your passion for gymnastics, which will help you stay focused during this time at home. 
  25. Do our Gymnastics Home Workout Plans. If you’re searching for a specific workout plan, our downloads are a great place to start. Or, you can map out your own home workout plan (with the help of your coach/parent) so that you have a road map to your success. 

 

 

These are 25 simple things you can do while you’re away from your gym during this pandemic. What are some other things you can do? Comment below and let us know.

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2 comments… add one
  • Elisa May 10, 2020, 8:17 pm

    Thank you for creating this website for us. It is really helpful, and ever since a started skilltracker my gymnastics has really improved!! I can’t wait till this quarantine thing is over so I can show my coaches my new skills!

    Reply
    • gymnasticshq May 12, 2020, 2:45 pm

      That’s so great to hear Elisa! We’re happy you are seeing results with SkillTrakker!

      Reply

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