Parent’s want to help their child to succeed. However, gymnastics is a tough at home sport. Gymnastics requires equipment and often a spotter to be practiced safely. It also requires a huge amount of strength and flexibility. Here are a few ideas to help your young child build strength at home while staying safe and having fun.
1. Jump RopeGreat for endurance, learning to push through your feet, and overall coordination. Older kids can jump rope the traditional way. Younger kid can jump over a still rope or you can shake the rope and create a “snake” to jump over.
2. Monkey BarsHead to the park and create challenges for your athlete. Younger kids will need help. The monkey bars are no easy task.Try the monkey bars skipping a bar.
- Try the monkey bars with your legs in a tuck
- Try the monkey bars with a chin up on each bar.
- Try the monkey bars with a leg lift on each bar.
- The possibilities are endless. Make it a game or challenge, better yet, join in with your child.
What child doesn’t love chalk? Create a large hopscotch board and get moving building leg and ankle strength.
- Practice jumping from one foot to two feet. (The vault hurdle.)
- Jump feet together and apart.
- Skip numbers.
- Hop on one foot on all the numbers in your phone number.
4. Swing Set Abs
Have your child put their hands on the ground and their feet in the swing in a push up position. Give the following exercises a try:
- Push Ups
- Plank Hold
- Push Up Hold alternating hands
- Push Up Hold and move your legs from straight to tuck, with your feet remaining in the swing.
- Repeat moving from straight to pike.
5. Balance Beam
Make a balance beam at home. Use a jump rope, a piece of tape, or a log. Practice as many locomotion skills as you can.
6. Grip Strength and Water
On a hot day get out a bucket and sponges. Work on developing the necessary grip strength for bars (and writing). Fill the bucket with water and have your child squeeze the water out of sponges or water toys.
7. Wheelbarrow Walk
Hold your child’s waist and have them walk on their hands. This is a great way to build those handstands. The higher up you hold the feet the harder it gets.
Have your child be the teacher and lead you through their typical stretching.
9, 10, 11, 12. Run, bike, swim, dance
The possibilities are endless help your kiddo develop an active lifestyle. It will not only help their gymnastics, it will also encourage healthy habits.