Gymnastics is an exciting sport that lots of young people want to learn in hopes of becoming Olympic level tumblers or just so they can show off their acrobatic skills to friends. Although it is recommended that you undergo professional coaching and training, you can learn some skills on your own. Learning gymnastics at home should be done cautiously and with great attention to detail as safety needs to be your main concern because gymnastics tricks, although fun, can be quite dangerous.
Things You'll Need
- Mats (optional)
- Stretch clothing
- Gymnastics equipment: beam, bars (optional)
Get a space in your home ready for gymnastics practice. Move all furniture and potentially harmful or hazardous objects. This includes anything on the walls that could fall if you were to run into the wall, things hanging from the ceiling that are low and any wires or protruding objects along the walls. Set down some padded mats if you have wood or tile flooring. Depending on the skills you practice, you might want to prop some mats up against a wall in case you overshoot a landing or stumble out of a trick and hit the wall.
Get dressed in comfortable, stretchable clothing and bare feet. Start by stretching. Warm up your arms, legs and abdominal muscles well. Do some stretching lunges, toe touches, arm circles, circular crunches and more. After your stretch period, continue with basic strength training exercises such as pushups and situps.
Watch gymnastics skills online (see Resources 1 and 2). Choose a skill to practice and learn, and start with the most basic first. Watch the video several times, studying every detail.
Walk through the sequence of movements you must do to complete the skill. This is your dry run practice. Think through each movement so you are able to understand what you have to do for your brain to tell your body the proper movements to complete the skill.
Practice your skill. Make sure you are completely focused so you concentrate solely on the skill you're performing. After you've done it once, evaluate it. Did you complete it? Did you have difficulties? Try again, and improve your technique.
Have someone watch you and give you a critique. Have them watch the videos as well if they aren't sure how the skill should really look; this will allow them to assist you and coach you how to fix your errors and perform the skill properly.
Tips & Warnings
- Ask someone to videotape your practice so you can watch your own form and performance to improve your technique.
- Never practice without someone watching in case you injure yourself or need help.