A gymnast’s training starts at a very young age and continues on throughout her whole career. They never stop learning and crafting new routines to showcase in every competition. Their skills also have to be adjusted according to the Code of Points that changes every four years. Based on this, I think it is safe to say that gymnastics training isn’t that easy.
If you would like your child to train at home in the beginning, it is possible. Teaching your child some basic exercises will help them build a healthier, fitter and stronger body. Also, letting them start at a very young age could help them develop a healthy habit of which they can carry throughout their teenage years and adulthood.
According to the Gymnastic Academy of Boston, children who take part in a gymnastics class can improve their muscle coordination, flexibility and balance. So this is how a rhythmic gymnast’s skills are honed:
Tumbling could be a great way for a toddler, which is usually full of energy, to release some of his pent-up playfulness. It also serves as a foundation for a more advanced gymnastics exercises as he grows older.
For toddlers, you could easily teach them some basic tumbling exercises by showing them how to do it. You can encourage your child to imitate your actions by simply doing a simple tumbling in front of your child. Some of the basic exercises that your child will be able to comprehend are somersaults, hopping, rolling, jumping and stretching.
Of course, when doing these, as an adult you have to make sure that their safety must come first. You can guide or spot them while they try these tumbling so they don’t fall on their critical body parts which may result in an injury. It can be done on a trampoline a la trampoline gymnastics, on a bed like how we used to do it in our younger years, or on a pit full of foams akin to what artistic gymnasts use.
4-7 years old
Some of the exercises that can improve the flexibility of kindergartners, first, and second graders who are new to gymnastics are backbends, straddle splits and front splits. Aside from splits, the kids can start doing balances, leaps, rotations, fouette and arabesque that are done by ballerinas but are essentially the base of rhythmic gymnastics.
It is very important for kids that are just starting out on gymnastics to improve their flexibility, as it is one of the most important quality a gymnast has to have, along with balance. Without sufficient flexibility, a gymnast won’t be able to do certain gymnastic skills that require extreme ranges of motion.
The exercises which improve flexibility are best done at this age which is why most gymnasts start at age 4. Kids of this age group have bones and joints that are like gold, malleable enough to flex, but strong enough to hold and not cause extreme injuries. Any flexibility that is achieved at this age is retained until the end of a gymnast’s career.
Ages 7 and Up
Older kids who have already learned the basics of gymnastics will benefit from using Olympic regulation-sized apparatuses for their exercises. Some of the apparatus that these kids can use are the ribbon, clubs, hoop, ball and rope. For each of these apparatuses, there are different skills as well. For example, in ribbon there are snakes, spirals and circles. On the other hand, the hoop can be rotated in different parts of the body like neck, arms, thigh, and ankle. The rope can be used pretty much the same way as a ribbon and hoop, only slightly different. The ball is used to defy the laws of gravity by rolling and holding it in different parts of the body. And lastly, the clubs require great eye-hand coordination for the throws and catches, which is also true for the other apparatuses.
This sport is pretty exciting if you’d think about it. However, do keep in mind that certain exercises and techniques, especially those that involve a high risk of injury can only be performed with the supervision of professionals who trained specifically for this sport and have a background of competing in gymnastics as well.
Your child will benefit the most if you will provide them the right environment to train their gymnastics skills. So why not send your child to a school that teaches gymnastics for kids? Bianka Panova Academy offers various kinds of gymnastics and ballet lessons. You can visit our official website in order to learn more about what the school can offer for you and your child.