Watching gymnasts perform can be an incredible sight to see, but not everyone lives near enough to a gym that teaches it or can afford to pay for gymnastics lessons. Even if you do live near a gym and can afford to take lessons there may be other reasons why you want to learn at least the basics of gymnastics at home.
It is entirely possible to learn gymnastics at home if you have the right equipment by using things like YouTube videos and blogs to see what you need to do. However, if you want to compete in gymnastics meets you will still have to start in level 1 of gymnastics training no matter how good you get at home.
That being said, if you already know what you are doing then you can technically pass level 1 with as little as one gymnastics lesson. So, if you decide later on that you want to participate in gymnastic competitions, this fact will be very little hindrance as long as you know what you are doing.
What Do You Need To Do In Order To Learn Gymnastics At Home?
Much of what you need will for learning gymnastics at home will depend on exactly how far you want to go with your home training. If you plan on learning all the skills of a level 10 gymnast in your home than you will naturally need a lot more equipment, time, and space than you will if you simply want to learn the skills of the first 2 or 3 levels of gymnastics.
The first thing that you can do without having to purchase anything at all is to work on learning a few of the more simple basics. Some of these are a handstand, a headstand, a cartwheel, a somersault, the splits, and a bridge position. These are the foundations of many of the more complicated parts and you should work on fully mastering them.
If you can already do these, that is great, but if not there is tons of free info on the web that can give you tips and pointers of how to get to the point where you can do these things. Set a specific amount of time every day to practicing and perfecting these even if you feel that you already have them mastered, because these will be good exercises to help you to build up muscles for some of the other skills in gymnastics.
Once you have those down, or are at least close to it and are ready for more, then you should probably start practicing backward rolls. If you feel up to it then you can start working on other things like scales, split jumps, coup walks, and round-offs. If in doubt, refer to videos and diagrams of what each of these should look like.
One of the best things to do is to when it comes to deciding what you want to work on next is to look at the different levels of gymnastics. When you are first starting out you should probably stick to the things that level 1 gymnastics learn and then move up to more complicated things as you see in the gymnastics levels.
If you do not have the space for a bar in your home, then you can easily skip that part if you do not care to learn it. Above all you should be aware that the more complicated maneuvers require quite a bit more space. This space should be free of any sharp corners or anything that might hurt you should you fall onto or bump into it.
If you don’t have an empty room or a room that you can empty, at the very least you will want to attach pillows to any furniture edges. Give yourself a larger area than you think you will need since this does take more space than you might think.
Another key factor is to carefully watch lots of videos and to watch gymnastics competitions and note the scores that the gymnasts get. As you keep watching them, try to look for their mistakes. If you are new to this you might not be able to find any mistakes at all unless they are glaringly obvious, but try to keep looking as though you are one of the judges.
Doing this might seem pointless, but it is actually a great way to train your eyes to notice the details. This in turn will help you more easily pinpoint your own errors. To help you see what you are doing, you can video yourself and play back the video. By the time your eyes are trained you should be able to know exactly what you need to work on.
If you struggle with something and can’t figure out what it is that you are doing wrong, it is time to go to the forums. Gymnastics forums are a great place to ask questions and, if you explain your problem, there is almost bound to be someone that can help you solve it or refer you to a video that will help you.
What Things Will You Need To Buy For Home Gymnastics?
The first of the things that you will need are something to wear and something for your hair if it is even moderately long. You will at least want to keep your hair pulled back so that you do not accidently end up “stepping” on it with your hand when you are working on your handstand or anything like that. Nor do you want it to fall into your face while you are training.
While you do not have to wear a leotard if you do not want to do so, you should wear clothing that is not baggy, can handle you being upside down at times, and will be comfortable to train in. For gymnastics classes at a gym they usually insist on no buttons, zippers, or anything that might catch on something, so it is a good idea to do this at home as well.
While the clothing is more of an option when training at home, it is something that you should consider investing in if you do not already have something that meets these qualifications. This is because changing clothes to train, while it might take a few minutes of your time, can really help you get into the right mindset to work hard.
Next, the first piece of gymnastics equipment that you should get should be your mat. There are plenty of gymnastics maneuvers that you can learn to do with just a mat and it can make things like somersaults a whole lot more comfortable to practice than doing them on a hard floor would be.
You want to make sure, however, that there are no sharp edges near your mat. Having a table corner poking out near where you are practicing can make your mat useless if you hit that first on the way down.
Once you have that and have been practicing at it a while, you have two options for the next gymnastics apparatus: the beam and the bar. If you are going far in your training at home you will want to get both of these if you have the space to do so.
At this point you will also start needing other things too. While you can do the beam barefoot, there are specific gymnastics shoes that you may want to get. For the bar you will definitely need at least some gymnastics chalk if not grips and tape as well. At some point you will likely also want to invest in a couple of good icepacks for sore muscles.
Finally, an important part of gymnastics is watching what you eat. Working out and using your muscles takes energy. You also need the right vitamins and minerals to not only build up your muscles but to repair them when you pull or sprain them. You should always try to eat healthy, but any form of training needs this even more.