So now you have a couple pieces of home gymnastics equipment, and you’re wondering how to practice gymnastics at home.
Maybe you have a floor mat, a floor beam, a pull-up bar and a floor bar or a combination of some of those pieces of equipment. This equipment can help you maximize your learning in your gymnastics classes.
Additional hours of practice is the fastest way to improve in gymnastics. Here are some gymnastics exercises and skills you can practice at home using your gymnastics equipment. Obviously, the most important thing is safety, so make sure you only do exercises or skills that you feel comfortable doing.
If you’re interested in specific home workout plans, you can check them out.
Balance Beam Exercises
Here are some exercises you can do on your home beam. The walks and jumps are more basic for beginner gymnasts and then the acro skills are more advanced gymnasts. Even though the walks and jumps are more basic, they are great form practice for more advanced gymnasts. Advanced gymnasts should be able to do the walks and jumps with perfect form without any wobbles. The jumps are great practice for any gymnast too. Gymnasts can start out doing small jumps and then try to keep adding height.
- walk forwards and backwards
- walk sideways
- dip walks ( walk and dip one foot pointed to the side of the beam)
- walk in relevé (on tippy-toes)- forwards, backwards and sideways
- jump down the beam (small jumps and then larger jumps)
- kick walks
- kick walks in relevé (on tippy-toes)
- practice jumps- straight jump, tuck jump, straddle jump, pike jump, wolf jump, half turn, full turn
- split leaps
- scales- front and back (hold leg out in front, or behind you and try to hold for 3 seconds or longer)
- forward roll
- backward shoulder roll
- turn on one foot– half or full turn
If you have a floor mat with a line down the middle, you can start out practicing these skills on the straight line before you move to the balance beam.
Floor Mat Exercises
Make sure you set your floor mat up in an area with plenty of clear space like a finished basement or playroom. You don’t want to bang your feet on low ceilings or any objects near you. I mentioned it before, but its worth repeating. Safety is the most important thing to consider when using your home gymnastics equipment. I will start out listing basic floor mat exercises like walks and jumps and then list harder acro skills.
- walks- forward, backward and sideways
- walks in relevé ( in a tight body position, concentrating on keeping your legs really straight)
- kick walks
- log rolls ( for younger kids)
- split leaps (more advanced: switch leaps)
- crabwalk- forwards and sideways
- forward rolls
- backward rolls
- handstand forward roll
- back extension roll
- one armed cartwheel
- bridge kickover or more advanced back walkover
- handstand fall to bridge and stand up or more advanced handstand forward roll
I’m not listing more advanced skills like front and back handsprings, because I don’t think they are safe to practice at home. But, even if you are a more advanced gymnast, practicing the basics never hurts. And like I say in the 9 basic gymnastics skills you should master, the handstand is one skill you should be able to hold and do perfectly so it never hurts to practice it.
Pull-Up Bar Exercises
Pull-ups are an essential exercise in building the crucial upper body strength you need as a gymnast. So having a pull-up bar at home is useful. You can do some other exercises on your pull-up bar, but mostly its nice to have to be able to do a pull up here and a pull up there throughout your day. Before you know it your upper body strength will have really improved.
- hang on bar and do leg lifts
- hang on bar and do tuck ups (in a tuck position bring your thighs to your chest)
- pull-ups- and if you can’t do them yet, do small arm bends and work up to it
Mini Bar Exercises
With a mini bar the one thing you will have to consider is how tall you are. Shorter, smaller gymnasts might be able to do more than taller gymnasts depending on the sizes of the bar. But here are some exercises you can consider doing on your home mini bar. I’m not listing more advanced exercises, because you really need to make sure the bar is anchored well before doing them at home.
- elbow dips (bend arms while in front support)
- leg cuts (bring leg over the bar and back)
- hanging leg lifts
I hope these exercises help you get started practicing your gymnastics skills at home! The Power of Repetition is a key reason why you have to be practicing at home in order to improve your gymnastics.