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If you think you’ve got a mini gymnast on your hands, why not look into gymnastics as an extra-curricular sports activity? Not just great for activity and fitness, gymnastics can also help improve posture, balance, enhance their social skills and concentration, and even improve confidence!

Children as young as two years old can participate in basic gymnastics exercises, which make them an ideal introduction to the world of sports and physical activity. Of course, many parents have concerns about whether gymnastic class for kids is really a safe activity for very young children.

So if you have questions about the safety, risks, and benefits of local gymnastics classes, chances are your question is addressed somewhere in the FAQ below:

Let’s be real, just how safe is gymnastics and tumbling classes for kids ages two through six?

Very safe! So long as your son or daughter attends a well-respected gymnastics and dance academy and has the right teachers, this sport is perfectly safe for young people. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids ages two through five can start gymnastics classes, so long as those lessons are geared for their maturity and motor skill development.

When you say gymnastics, many parents picture the high-flying flips and vaults of the Olympic stadium. But in gymnastic class for kids, young people aren’t likely to get off the ground (unless they’re lifted there by a teacher). Instead, kids practice basic stretches, motor skills, tumbling, and other fun, safe exercises.

What are the benefits of gymnastics classes?

Exercises like tumbling, running, throwing, and catching are all great for developing the motor skills of very young children. Plus, these fun classes teach kids that exercise and physical fitness can be enjoyable, while also introducing them to concepts like discipline and teamwork.

When and who invented Gymnastics ?

Gymnastics started with ancient civilizations doing strength and acrobatic exercises. Johann Gutsmuths, a German, is considered the great grandfather of gymnastics. He published a textbook that was the beginnings of the sport. Another German, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, is the father of gymnastics. He opened the first gymnasium in 1811.

Is there a risk of injury?

All sports come with a risk of injury, but a gymnastics academy will take great care to ensure no harm comes to your children. Young people have always practiced gymnastics, any many Olympic medal winners are just 15 or 16 years old.

What type of gymnastics classes are there?

Gymnastics has four major disciplines- Artistic, Rhythmic, Acro and Trampoline & Tumbling. Most gymnastics gyms focus on artistic gymnastics. It’s the most popular, and what you usually see on TV. If a gym focuses on rhythmic, acro or trampoline and tumbling you will know it.

Most gyms have an introductory or beginner gymnastics class that you can sign up for, and from there progress. Gyms usually have separate preschool classes.

Can I understand each of these type of gymnastics ?

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics: This is the most well-known form of gymnastics with the most participants. Tickets to attend women’s artistic gymnastics are the first to sell out at each Olympic Games! Women compete for both individual and team titles on four different events: Vault, Uneven Parallel Bars, and Floor Exercise. Women’s gymnastics is often considered to be a beautiful combination of power, flexibility, and grace.

Men’s Artistic Gymnastics: Men’s gymnastics is the 2nd most popular form of gymnastics and also the oldest form dating back to the very early Olympic Games. Men compete both individually and as a team on 6 different events: Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and High Bar. The Vault and Floor apparatus are the same equipment used by the women. Men’s gymnastics often has some of the highest flying tricks with amazing displays of strength.

Rhythmic Gymnastics: This is currently a female-only sport in the Olympic Games. Women compete both individually and as a group with 5 different apparatus including Rope, Hoop, Ball, Clubs, and Ribbon. These athletes often display amazing flexibility and grace.

Trampoline: Trampoline is the most recent type of gymnastics to be added and was recognized as an Olympic event beginning at the 2000 games. Both men and women participate in this type of gymnastics. Trampoline routines and tricks are performed using a double mini trampoline and in a synchronized event where 2 athletes perform at the same time on 2 different trampolines. The trampoline is significantly more bouncy than the floor exercise used in artistic gymnastics resulting in gravity defying flips.

Power Tumbling: Power Tumbling is performed on a spring runway much bouncier than the artistic gymnastics’ floor. Tumbling passes are performed consisting of a series of 8 elements. This spring runway is also much bouncier than the floor exercise used in artistic gymnastics allowing the athletes to compete complicated and difficult tricks in succession. This has not yet been recognized as an Olympic event, but is competed in the Junior Olympic program in the United States as well as in international competitions.

Acrobatic Gymnastics: In this event the athletes are the equipment. Teams consist of 2-4 people either all men, all women, or mixed. Athletes perform handstands, holds, and balances on each while other members of the team throw and catch their team mates. This is also not yet recognized as an Olympic event, but it is part of the Junior Olympic program in the United States and internationally.

How much old kids can start learning gymnastics?

You can start gymnastics as soon as you are crawling! There are parent and tot classes that kids join as young as nine months. As soon as kids are in preschool they can join preschool gymnastics classes.

Can older kids like teenagers also learn gymnastics ?

You are never too old!! Yes, if you start gymnastics later in life you might not be able to progress to the same levels as gymnasts that started at a young age. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy some of the other benefits of gymnastics. Gymnastics, like other sports, is a way to stay fit.

Is there a mandatory dress for a gymnastics class ?

Most girls wear leotards or tights/t shirts to gymnastics class. Girls should also make sure their hair is pulled back. Boys wear shorts and a t-shirt. The important thing is to make sure the clothing doesn’t have any buckles, snaps, zippers. Gymnasts practice with bare feet–no socks. Most of the clothing and accessories are available on amazon.in.

How to select the right class?

Is your child serious about being a gymnast? Do they just want to try a weekly class, or invest in multiple trainings and gymnastic meets? Take this all into account when choosing a class.

When you’ve decided on a gym, make sure you pay a visit to the venue – without your little gymnast-to-be – and watch a class in progress. Gymnastics is such a fast-paced sport, so well-kept safety equipment is essential. Look for lots of mats and padding around equipment, and ask about active safety precautions and if the instructors have certified first aid certificates. If you don’t feel 100% confident that everything’s super-safe, nix that venue and look for another.

Is the class very big? Smaller gymnastic classes will ensure your child gets closer attention and guidance. Does the rest of the class you see seem bored when it’s not their ‘turn’?  A structured, motivating program is key. Does the gymnastics coach seem confident and warm – and are the class enjoying the gym’s atmosphere? A fun vibe is essential for young children to enjoy gymnastics.

If you like the venue, enquire about a trial gymnastics session. If you child still loves the idea after a class, go ahead and enquire about the full term.

Shapingkids  takes the guesswork out of finding the right gymnastics class for your child. You can browse by location, and even look for options that suit your budget or provide extended and other special programs.

Didn’t find your question here?  Please don’t hesitate to call or email us at contact@shapingkids.com We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Read a related news article: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 

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Never too young to learn Gymnastics !

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