MAG Why gymnastics is for youngsters?

Men's Artistic Gymnastics
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raenndrops

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I'm in my mid 30's and I just started practicing handstands a few months ago. Before that I had to get my weight under control first.

Just a comment about this from a 90% self taught gymnast whose weight is what it is at any point in time ... the last time I did a beautiful, straight leg cartwheel (on land), I was 5'3" and about 450 lbs.
I learned a one-handed cartwheel at 4'9" and 180 lbs. I also learned a handstand into a bridge on a low balance beam that same year.
I am in my late 40s now and I weigh less than I did in January of 9th grade. I can still do the splits (right leg forward) with only minimal warm up / stretching.
I am not allowed to do any of the "fun stuff" unless I am in water, so I practice roundoffs and back handsprings whenever I go swimming.
Water is great for practicing handstands.
 

ninjawannabe

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I would advise you againt back and front limbers if you are not naturaly very flexible (and maybe even so...) as they are very demanding on the back and can result in overuse injuries.
There are other skills that are also very basic but that are less demanding : cartweels, forward and backward rolls, backward roll with straight arms, handstand forward roll, front somersault if you have access to a trampoline or tumbling track...
Thanks for sharing. I did handstand forward rolls to get out of my handstand before I decided trying to land on a bridge. It's in another thread I was actually asking something about it but unfortunately its zero replies. I will probably do the backward rolls though and then backwards roll with straight arms. I don't have space for trampoline or tumbling track so I'm making do with rubber mat and foam matress in the living room.
 

Carabistouille

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Sorry, I didn't know if you were doing it at home or in a gymnastics gym, hence the trampoline suggestion.
For backward rolls and backward rolls with straight arms, I find one the main keys is doing it with fingers turned in (as opposed to hands being parallel to each other or, even worse, turned out).

Here are some relatively easy, relatively safe skills that can be learned without much supervision with a bit of general fitness and coordination. Please remember that the human body isn't made to be in handstand (wrist issues are relatively common) and that no skill is 100% safe (you can always fall awkwardly, or onto something that isn't meant to be fallen on).
I am assuming you have more or less mastered the handstand already.

Handstands-like skills :

- obviously holding a handstand without moving the hands, which is actually hard.
- split handstand (like a regular handstand but with legs in split [or as close to a split as possible]) (I'm assuming you are female with an average flexibility for a woman). Unless your house is huge, maybe doing it outside is better than the living room
- double stag handstand, which is a split handstand but with both legs bend (which will probably look nicer than a split handstand and which I find a little bit easier),
- against a wall, shifting weight to one hand and raising the other above the floor. Be careful not to fall sideways.
- walking in handstand (quite easy, but very hard to do in a controlled, well-shaped handstand). Outdoors is probably better. If too easy, walk backward or, even harder, sideways.

Cartweel-like skills :

- regular cartweel
- bad side cartweel. Be properly warmed up for that.
- one-handed cartweel : with only the first hand (easier) or the second one (harder)
- cartweel, pause in the middle, get the legs together and go down like a regular handstand.
- "pop" cartweel (not sure of the english name for that) : like a cartweel but faster and with a flight phase after the hands touch the floor. Make sure you are properly warmed up. Might be a bit too challenging right now.

I'm sure there are others that I am forgetting right now.
Then, obviously, you could probably have fun in an adult gymnastics class, but those can be hard to find and/or expensive.
 

raenndrops

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Cartweel-like skills :
- one-handed cartweel : with only the first hand (easier) or the second one (harder)
Lol, THIS is why I didn't learn my 1 handed cartwheel until the 8th grade. I am ambidextrous, but left dominant ... EXCEPT in gymnastics. I do a righty cartwheel. Everyone who tried to teach me would tell me to put my second hand behind my back or on my hip or across my stomach. BUT I figured out that it was easier for me if I "tricked" myself ... I would act like i was going to do a regular cartwheel, but then pull my first arm back before it could touch. My left arm was strong enough to support me. Once I did the first one, they were easy after that.

So, if a gymnast is opposite handed in gymnastics as opposed to the rest of their life, they may have an easier time doing it the other way. ;)
 
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ninjawannabe

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My handstands are still inconsistent and they say it takes at least a year to really get it. I started doing regular practice since April and 1 year still seems to be a long time to come so I was more than ready to entertain practicing the handstand into a bridge so I can practice 2 things together. I have figured out landing on my feet and keeping my hips up but its the shoulders and elbows that I cant seem to figure out. They just bend and plop. I doubt its a shoulder mobility issue because I can do a bridge from the floor.Perhaps its a cue or habit I am unaware of?

Regarding the cartwheel though, I am 3x more afraid of doing it compared to handstand. I don't really know why. Maybe it's the twisting before landing the hands that disorients me or there seems to be a narrower plane where the legs are supposed to move past on.So I considered learning the handstand first.
 

kecks

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cartwheel is a great example for the motor learnig window i mentioned earlier: i learned a cartwheel in recreational gymnastics ad age 6 or 7. i can still do this nicely at 42 no problem with average fitness without practicing it ever - muscle memory. i have been trying to learn a cartwheel on my "bad" side for months. never did this as a kid. it takes ages, i am sure i will be getting there eventually, but it just takes so much more time.
 

dan129834

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cartwheel is a great example for the motor learnig window i mentioned earlier: i learned a cartwheel in recreational gymnastics ad age 6 or 7. i can still do this nicely at 42 no problem with average fitness without practicing it ever - muscle memory. i have been trying to learn a cartwheel on my "bad" side for months. never did this as a kid. it takes ages, i am sure i will be getting there eventually, but it just takes so much more time.
You can say this, but i learned riding a bike when i was 8, and today im 22 and i have no idea how to ride a bike. And muscle memory is a different subject. As a kid i never did a cartwheel, and the first time i tried in adult gymnastics, i did it easily, and also did a round-off. Sure these are eaay skills, but i skipped that learning window before a long time. Im looking for more researches about this, but as i said, i found one study that says there is no motor skills learning window. I need to find more studies, i will share what i found.
 

kecks

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did you really try riding a bike in the last months or so ? if you are able to execute a cartwheel first try as an adult and you learned to ride a bike and practised it (!) as a kid, you can probably still do it unless fears are coming up. anything else would be highly unlikely since you obviously have above average coordination since most adults are anything but able to do a cartwheel on their first try.

i am a teacher, we do a trip to berlin each year with year 11. about 100 students are participating. part of the program is "berlin on bike", a seightseing tour by bike. nearly allways all the kids are able to participate easily and many of them did not ride a bike for years at this point but usually learned it as a kid. the ones having problems are most of the times are just afraid and adjust after a few meters of riding in the parking lot.
 

dan129834

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not only a cartwheel on my first try, but i did learn pretty fast back and front flips, back handspring, round-off and handstand. i do have potential, my coach said that, i just need to work a lot to get over my fears. i also learn techniques by wathching others, and then i perfect them as i try myself. thats why i really focus on gymnastics right now, cause not only potential, but im really passionate about it. i never really wanted to raise a family or something like that so i dont have to worry about adult stuff. i just need to find a source of passive income, or work in gymnastics(which im working on both currently) and i will have time to train at any level without worries(even 40+ hours a week if needed). and my body can tolerate that degree of training, im getting close to that, and i almost never feel sore.
 
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