Benefits of Gymnastics
Gymnastics offers many great benefits to the athlete who is involved. With many benefits that are only physical and many others that are also emotional and developmental, there are so many things that make gymnastics worth the time and effort that is required. From the first class until the very end of your career, you are sure to enjoy the benefits that gymnastics can provide to you.
One of the biggest benefits if the ability to slowly groom yourself into excellent physical shape. Because of the strenuous nature of gymnastics, it is important that all gymnasts be in the best physical shape possible. The natural movements of gymnastics works to groom fitness levels slowly so that overall conditioning as well as strength training is entirely possible without huge problems.
Additionally, gymnastics has been shown to greatly help improve confidence levels in children particularly. While many children particularly girls are quite shy when they are younger, gymnastics helps them come out of their ìshellî and be an active part of the world and connect to friends from all around the world. Because gymnastics is a sport that can adjust to the skill level of each gymnast, it is amazingly easy to feel almost immediate senses of pride.
Another major benefit to gymnastics is the need to create goals and a schedule for meeting those goals. Athletes who fail to make goals typically do not succeed very quickly which results in a serious loss. However, if you work quickly to create some attainable goals and start actively working towards the goals then it is possible to once again help learn how to create and follow your goals in order to be successful. Because gymnastics is so flexible in the opportunities that are provided it is a wonderful sport to use to learn how to make modifications to the goals as skills improve.
Gymnastics also has the ability to help teach responsibility. Each gymnast is ultimately responsible for his or her own results. By putting forth effort and practicing moves and techniques again and again, it is possible to determine just how successful you are going to be. This is not a sport that places the success factor onto the coach. While a coach is highly instrumental in learning the skills necessary, it is up to the individual gymnast to practice the skills and put them to good use.
One thing that many gymnasts really like is the ability to be judged based upon their own individual accomplishments rather than the accomplishments of those who are around them. Coaches work with each individual athlete to determine the best course of action. Some may discover that they need to increase their strength training while others focus more on flexibility training. Others may have greater difficulty in mastering techniques and tricks. Gymnastics are highly customizable for each individual person, which makes it very easy to measure the individual success as well as the success of the individual compared against the group results.
Many gymnasts also enjoy the ability to travel with their teammates whom become very close friends to various locations. Many competitions and meets are even held in exotic and exciting locations. This allows many gymnasts to see more areas than what they originally ever intended to see. While lower level gymnasts tend to stay closer to home, those who are in advance, elite and even professional levels are able to travel the country and even the world.
The final benefit is the ability to actively engage in a highly rewarding sport. Rather than relying on the ability of all of your team members to be successful, you achieve the results you desire. This makes it a very satisfying sport for many people who enjoy being able to control their own growth and results. If you are interested in being responsible for your own development, growth and potential then gymnastics is the ultimate sport for your individual needs.
Flexibility Basics for All Gymnasts
If you are looking to improve your flexibility then you are looking to improve your overall performance as a gymnast. If you are looking for a way to dramatically improve your skills then improving your flexibility is the single most important thing you can do. This means that simply changing your stretching routine can have a huge impact on your overall abilities.
If you are working towards improving your flexibility there are several things that you can do to improve quickly. One of the first is realize that if you improve your flexibility you are also able to improve how quickly your body learns new moves. This means improving your flexibility is a pressing need.
If you are looking at flexibility there are two ways to improve, the first is statically and the second is dynamically. Dynamic is also called active, and examples of that include split leaps and kicks. Examples of static flexibility include scales and other similar exercises. It is very important to mix up the type of exercises that you do to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit possible.
If you are working on improving flexibility, the use of your natural body weight is a great way to help you improve as well. This allows you to carefully put controlled pressure on the muscles and ensure that you are capable of improving your flexibility slowly and without causing an injury. Using body weight to help improve your flexibility is a very simple method to use.
Additionally it is necessary to work on building your strength in each stretched position. This is important because many gymnastic positions require you to get in positions that are stretched and hold them for a few moments. This is a very difficult skill if you do not have the muscle strength necessary to hold the position. Slowly working to build this strength is best, and one of the best ways to do it is by continuously working and practicing the moves.
It is very important to understand that in addition to leg and back flexibility being very important it is also important to have flexible shoulders and arms so that acrobatic positions look proper and feel correct. If you do not have the flexibility necessary to move in required positions then it is very difficult to control movements and to perform a routine correctly.
One of the best ways to improve your flexibility easily is to carefully work out a plan to inject a bit of stretching into almost everything you do in normal life. This could be something as simple as doing a few stretches while you watch a couple of minutes of television, or even stretching while you are in the shower, or walking up stairs. Looking at each thing you do in a day as an opportunity to stretch will allow you to use some creative thinking and make the most of your flexibility while improving your levels slowly.
It is especially important to build good levels of flexibility so that the judges can clearly see the positions that you are trying to execute. In addition, judges do notice when someone has an exceptionally high flexibility level and do tend to award them higher marks than those who are not as flexible. While having flexibility of 180 degrees is all that is required, going a step further and above and beyond the minimum requirements is also looked upon favorably.
Men´s Gymnastics Events
Menís gymnastics has been called by many a ìsissy sportî that is full of men who have no grasp about how to act manly, or even how to perform like a true athlete. However, overall menís gymnastics is treated quite roughly with most events involving great amounts of strength, coordination, and endurance in order to actually be considered a real gymnast.
The various aspects of gymnastics has always required great amounts of strength as well as athletic ability, however menís gymnastics tends to take the typical requirements up a few notches by expecting bigger, better and longer routines from men than what is expected from women. Menís gymnastics involves six different events that are used to help showcase the ability and talents of each gymnast. While many men train in all events equally, some gymnasts choose to train in one area more exclusively.
The first event for men is the floor exercise. The basis of the element is the same as for women, using a 12m square floor series of tumbles, woven together with handstands, acrobatic, rhythm and various other components are strung together. The typical time for a floor exercise is approximately 60 seconds; however, some can last as long as 70 seconds. Some contrasts to womenís events include there is no music during the routine, and also gymnasts are required to touch each corner of the floor a minimum of once.
The pommel horse is the next event that men partake in. This is an event that requires intense amount of upper body as well as arm strength as the gymnast is only allowed to touch the horse with their arms, while keeping the rest of their body in a continuously, fluid movement. It is vital to have a highly developed sense of balance, huge amounts of upper body strength and train extensively in body control in order to be successful on the pommel horse. This is a highly advanced event that young gymnasts are typically not allowed to partake in.
Still rings is an event that many people think of when they are envisioning gymnastics for men. Using two rings that are suspended from a bar that hang 5.75 meters from the floor, the gymnast is required to stay in the air, not touch the floor and perform a routine that emphasizes body control, strength and flexibility. In addition to the movements of the gymnast, they must also maintain complete control over the rings so that there is no movement other than the gymnast themselves. Gymnasts are required to perform at least one static strength move during the routine, however many choose to include more.
Men share the vault element with women as well, which required them to sprint quickly down a 25-meter runway and bounce off of a springboard while propelling themselves over the hurdle. Gymnasts are required to produce a successful dismount in which there is no falling or shifting of the weight.
Parallel Bars is another event in which men train and compete. Using bars that are approximately 1.75 meters off the ground and set a bit wider than shoulder width the gymnast performs a series of balances, swings, and various other acrobatic movements while ensuring they do not fall to the ground.
The final event for men to participate in is the high bar. This uses a bar that is only 2.4cm wide and rises an impressive 2.5 meters off the ground. Gymnasts are required to perform various aspects together such as twists, directional changes, flips, and even giants to produce a routine that is visually as well as athletically impressive. Most men wear leather grips while performing on the high bar to reduce the risk of injury to the hands.
Suggestions for Practicing Gymnastics at Home
Children and adults alike all tend to have a natural desire to practice a skill or hobby that they enjoy and gymnastics certainly is no different. However, one major difference that can occur from gymnastics and say dance or even basketball is the gym where you learn and practice gymnastics is heavily padded and designed to ensure your child is safe, while your home resembles just that ñ a home. This means there is a much greater chance of your child being injured while they are at home, than when they are at the gym.
There are some ways you can make it safe though so your child can still practice. While not all moves are able to be practiced at home, your child can still have fun, practice, and you can still have your piece of mind knowing they are safer. After all, practice makes perfect and most highly skilled gymnasts need plenty of practice.
You should know your childís limitations. Much as they may want to come home and work on a skill that they have not yet mastered you need to put your foot down and say no. Working on a skill at home that is not mastered is a fast track to being injured and not an advisable idea. Many children will whine about why they cannot practice the skill and you as the parent should be able to help them understand that new skills should only be attempted in front of the coach, and in a setting that is properly designed for instruction.
Another thing you should look out for is objects and furniture that are in the way. Practicing skills that are already mastered is generally not a problem as long as your child is not landing in the middle of the flowerbed, on the couch or crashing into the television. If they do not have enough room to practice, try moving some things out of the way and see if it is possible to create the necessary space. In addition, if your little gymnast is a serious enthusiast you may want to look into purchasing some tumbling mats that can be laid across the floor to make it even safer.
Monitor your child while they are practicing. While they certainly do not need you hovering directly over them, they do need someone to watch and make sure they do not injure themselves. It is advisable to keep an eye out to make sure that in the event they do get injured you can quickly help them. In addition, this allows you to really see what your child is capable of and what they have mastered.
Keep all siblings and pets safely out of the way. While it may seem like a great idea to let siblings practice gymnastics together it is a recipe for disaster since other children may not have any experience at gymnastics. Remember to limit the gymnastics practice to only those children that have been taking lessons and know what they are doing. If another child is expressing an interest, look into lessons for them as well rather than having the other child teaching.
With some careful consideration and thought, it is possible to still practice gymnastics whether you are at home, or anywhere else. Taking special care to avoid obstacles and hazards is the best way to allow you to still practice while having fun.