Gymnast practicing

Gymnastic Mats for Training Future Olympians

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With this week's elections, now is the time where we as a nation reflect on what it is to be an American. No one understands that better than today's Olympic athletes. Training to be an olympian is a lifelong pursuit and it requires dedication and perseverance. Most gymnasts break into the big games in their teenage years and hang it up in their 20’s.

This means getting started at a young age is commonplace. 

In this article today, we took a look at some beginner exercises and provide you with recommendations of the equipment needed for them. 

3 Moves to Start Your Gymnastics Training

When you learn any new skill, it’s always best to start with the basics. Let’s walk through some training for beginners here. 

1. Tumbling Basics for Gymnasts 

Tumbling covers a variety of skills that all fall under the umbrella of gymnastics. Essentially, tumbling refers to the activities that are done on the floor. These movements can include rolls (forward and backward), cartwheels, twists, etc. These moves help beginner gymnasts develop the foundational skills that they will use throughout their development. 

While you can practice these moves on the floor, the safest way to train these skills are with padded mats.

Our 4' X 6' Gymnastics Tumbling Mat is a great option for anyone getting started. You can learn and practice all of the moves you need to with this mat and do so safely. It also folds up easily so it’s a breeze to carry and/or store. 

2. Balance Beam Skills for Beginners

The balance beam is another essential skill set for gymnasts. At first glance, using a balance beam may seem straightforward. In reality, there are many challenging skills that you can learn and each will make you into a better and more balanced athlete. 

Here are a few skills that you can develop. 

Walking on a Balance Beam

It’s logical that this is the place to start but it’s not as easy as it sounds. To make it from one side to the other you need to be calm, collected, and focused. As you get better you can incorporate walking both backward and sideways. 

Dip Walking on a Balance Beam

This is a jump from just walking on the beam. As you take steps moving across it you will bend one knee while dipping their other foot below the beam. This move requires strong posture, good balance, and smooth movements. 

Forward Roll on a Balance Beam

There are other steps in between these but let’s just highlight a more advanced move you can learn on a beam. Forward rolls are tough and can be difficult for beginners to learn. Especially early on, gymnasts struggle to execute a roll while staying center on the beam. Because of this, it’s best to learn on a low foam balance beam. 

This piece of training equipment is great for all of the above mentioned skills but it’s especially helpful and safe to learn more complex moves like a forward roll.

Learning Handsprings with Tumbling Octagons

As your gymnast gets more comfortable and skilled they will look to add more advanced moves into their arsenal. Handsprings are a staple in gymnastics and they take a good deal of work to learn. There are many variations of this move, but for your growing gymnast, learning to do  front and back handsprings will be crucial in their journey.

To learn the technique, a tumbling octagon will be an incredibly valuable tool. Our small tumbling octagon is a great piece of equipment for kids to learn this skill set as early as the age of three. It keeps your athlete safe while they learn and hone this new move.

Once you have yours, check these 15 tumbling drills to become a more advanced gymnast. 

Beginner Today, Olympian Tomorrow 

While we could go on and on with more drills and skills, we have given you a great foundational place to start. We wish your athlete the best of the luck and hope to see them on the world stage someday. 

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