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Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2019
does your young gymnast use bars or beam or anything else art home to help with gymnastics? if so what?
I would encourage your gymnast to work on handstand holds against the wall, press to handstands, sit ups, push ups, pull ups, etc. Also lots of bike riding, tree climbing etc. My level 10 has a saying "strength makes everything easier" and it really is true. Focus on the strength and the rest will come quickly. :)
A beam was fun when she was younger and probably go the most use (which still wasnt a ton) the Bar we got I hate. Its really hard to make it safe so it doesnt rock or move and is the first thing to become obsolete its a waste of money and my daughter wont let me get rid of it even though all her skills are too big to do on it and it just takes up space. The ONE thing I recommend has been the cheapest and is used daily is a pull up bar. She does pull ups all the time and leg lifts etc. You just have to set firm rules not tap swings on the pull up bar lol. Honestly most home equipment you can use for level 3 skills then never again. If you must get a beam get a fold up floor beam so they can maybe do other things on it but it wont take up a ton of space. Most people on this forum are against home equipment as it creates bad habits and I agree but just from a practical standpoint they outgrow them so quickly skill wise its not worth the money investment.
We had a small floor beam and a kip bar for a period of time. I'd say she used them a lot for about 6 months when she was in level 3. I agree with MuggleMom that honestly it just wasn't a wise investment. I don't think she picked up bad habits from playing around on them, but they didn't improve her gymnastics skills either. And all too soon they started collecting dust.
I built a bar for her to learn her kip on. I don't think it helped her learn her kip, and probably contributed to the awful muscle up form she started with, but we had fun playing with it, she would get so close to a kip ask me to record her "first kip" thinking the next attempt will be her first, not get it, but laugh about how close she would get. She cried when I took it apart as it was clear she had outgrown it and kept doing things on it that were too dangerous.

Built her a floor beam as well, she still uses it to practice handstands on and watch youtube upside down.
We have an 8x10 panel mat and that's enough. Bought it mostly because she would not stop doing cartwheels and handstands across the living room and a mat just makes it safer. My boys use it as a wrestling mat and I use it for Pilates and yoga, so it gets a lot of use!
I bought my DD a beam years ago. It was a waste of $$....she barely used it and now she won't let me sell it. When your DD is young and just getting started in the sport you don't realize how little time it will take them to outgrow a beam or bars. You truly don't need a beam or bars and having the equipment won't help them 'get ahead' (and can in fact hinder them if they learn bad form). If you are inclined to get something, I would suggest a panel mat or two. Our entire family has gotten use from ours - everything from yoga, forts, extra padding for sleepovers and yes, gymnastics. My DD would use them both inside and outside during the summer.
We got a bar when she was five and a beam when she turned six. There isn’t a day that goes by that her and her sister aren’t on it constantly. Her sister is 4 and has gained a lot of strength from it. The 6 year old practices cartwheels, round offs and full presshandstands on the beam. Also lots of splits and leaps....she goes to a low hour gym though and we live in the Midwest where it is freezing outside 6 months out of the year. I would say the older has about 1-2 years left on them and then her skills will outgrow them for sure.
We have a training bar and I made a floor beam. My son has a mushroom. If I were to do it over, I would not have gotten the bar. My dd quickly outgrew the bar, but my son still uses it, mainly just to swing on. It takes up a lot of space. My dd still occasionally uses the beam and I don't regret making it for her.
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We bought a used bar for Christmas for our brand new level 2 gymnast. It's helped her become super confident and consistent... 9.4- 9.6 on her routines in meets but I don't expect she'll use it after level 3. I don't regret it- we got a great deal and will be able to sell it for almost as much as we paid.
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thanks everyone. we got her a bar for her birthday and she loves it and is on it all the time as well as her little brother. they don't just use it for gymnastics they play games too. but she has been asking for bars. I was actually considering it but think I will leave it now. thanks everyone.
We’ve had beam and a bar for about a year and a half and both get used a few times a week, mostly with dd and her brother playing on the bar. Except beam, she loves doing anything and everything on the beam and seemingly can’t get enough of either one. Worth noting though I also just posted my dd can’t kip so clearly not actually helping gymnastics. ;)
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