Category Archives: Gymnastics Tips

Get a Grip on Gymnastic Rips

Rips are a common and painful occurrence in the sport of gymnastics.  From novice to professional, each gymnast will likely experience rips some time during their gymnastics career.

How can you take care of your rips?

Prevention

1. After workouts, wash your hands with soap and water, and rub unscented hand lotion all through your hands. Use a brand recommended by your coaching staff.

2. Don’t let excess callouses build up. Prevent these by rubbing the areas with a pumice stone. What if your callouses are too new to find? Soak your hands in water for about ten minutes and you will be able to notice areas on the palm that retain a whitish color. These will be the affected areas you will want to rub. Use the pumice stone only as necessary. Do not over-do this process or over-use your pumice stone as this can cause more damage to your hands during workouts.

3. Always keep your hands somewhat moist. Don’t let them dry up, especially outside of the gym.

4. Use a combination of tennis wristbands, gym tape and pre wrap to cover areas of your hands that rub on your grips.

Dealing with a Rip

1. You should remove the excess skin and sterilize using a pair of nail clippers or medical scissors. Cover the rip with over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to allow the rip to breathe.

Healing

1. Once new skin has covered the rip, continue using hand lotion as described above. If the rip is allowed to dry up, the skin will crack and you will continue to rip in the same spot.

2. Working out when you have a rip; be sure to tape and protect the rip appropriately before you start practicing. Use ointment to prevent friction from re-opening the wound and cover with pre wrap and gym tape.

3. When you have a rip during competition; before competition keep ice packs on the area of the rip or soak your hands in ice cold water for ten minutes. Be sure that your hands return to normal temperature before you compete.

How to do an Arial

Has your gymnast been struggling with her tumbling skills?

Improve your Side Arial skills in these easy steps!

 

Equipment Needed:

(2) Nimble Sports folding mats

Be sure to practice this skill outdoors where you have adequate room for tumbling and flipping!

 

Step 1:

Start by warming up. You’ll be using your legs a lot during a side arial so make sure your legs especially are good and warm! Make sure you do some jumping exercises on the specific leg that you will be taking off from. Tip: Try doing hamstring stretches to get the best stretch in your leg muscles. Don’t forget to flex those feet!

Step 2:

An arial is simply a Cartwheel with no hands. Before you start practicing your arial, make sure you’ve taken the time to master your cartwheel form perfectly! To introduce the arial into your layout, add a hop before you start your cartwheel.

Step 3:

Now that you’ve completed your “Hop-Cartwheel” it’s time to add a run. This will build more momentum and help you get in the air once we get close to a full arial!

The steps will look something like this: “Run-Run-Hop-Cartwheel” Tip: Since you’ve mastered your cartwheel already, make sure when you’re doing your new steps to get the fastest cartwheel you can without compromising the skill quality!

Step 4:

Takeoff; When you’re in motion for your arial, your legs become your hands! Be sure to keep your legs underneath your body to avoid a bad landing.

For your takeoff, we’re taking it back down to your “Hop-Cartwheel” phase. Except this time, you’re going to bring your body down towards your knee so you can have a strong push-off.

Step 5:

Add your “Run-Run-Hop”. During this motion be sure to swing your arms up to gain momentum on your hop, and pull them into your chest when you push off. This motion will help you get the height you need to accomplish a successful side arial!

To gain good technique, make sure your back is straight and your eyes are looking at the ground during the skill.

 

For a super secret tip on how to master your Side Arial, keep watching Sam and Teagan’s “How To” Video!

5 Reasons Why you should be like Nimsey when you’re practicing Gymnastics

June is National Adopt A Cat Month! For our first blog post of June we would like to take some time to appreciate our adorable, furry mascot for bringing some joy into the workplace while making home gymnastics equipment for Little Gymnasts around the world.

Here are 5 reasons every gymnast should be a little like Nimsey…

  • Nimsey has been the biggest fan of our Gymnastics Equipment for 3 years! She loves to stretch out and nap on our soft Gymnastics Mats and even tests our Balance Beams by walking across them. Our equipment is Nimsey approved!

  • Like all young gymnasts who know how important it is to stay hydrated during practice and at Gymnastics Meets, Nimsey loves to get her daily intake of water. She drinks it straight from the fridge and cold from the bottle (she even likes to sip from the cap!)

 

  • When Nimsey does cute or funny stunts we reward her with treats! Just as when you’re practicing new skills on your home gymnastics equipment and you finally perfect it, your mom or dad might bake you a sweet treat or take you out for ice-cream!

 

  • Nimsey loves her Nimble Sports family and always greets us excitement! When you walk into the gym to practice does it make you happy to be see your gymnast friends and coaches? We bet it does!

 

  • Nimsey is Nimble! Any and all gymnasts know that you must be nimble and have strong full-body control to be a great gymnast! Nimsey leaps and climbs all through the office as easily as strong gymnasts leap and tumble through the gym.

Lets Re-Cap our 5 Reasons Why you should be like Nimsey when you’re practicing Gymnastics;

  1. Nimsey loves our Nimble Sports Equipment!
  2. She likes to stay hydrated.
  3. Nimsey gets rewarded when she tries something new.
  4. She is always excited to see her friends.
  5. Nimsey is Nimble!

 

Great Meet Hairstyles

The best hairstyles for gymnasts are high ponytails or high buns. Being a gymnast requires a certain amount of professionalism and following these rules make the most professional looking gymnast possible, also some gyms/meets have certain parameters for gponytail-side-view2ymnasts hair. So follow these rules to look professional and stay out of trouble:

-Ponytail sits at the crown of head so ponytail can be seen if looking gymnast head on.

-Ponytail above shoulders. If hair is too long, curls or a bun are desirable.

-Bangs out of face. If they need to be clipped up, have clips match hair or leotard. Mismatching clips looks unprofessional.

-Wear a scrunchie or bow that matches leotard. Plain rubberbands are just that, plain.

Here are some acceptable looks!

 

 

How to Make a Gymnastics Leotard

Want to save a little money while still keeping your gymnast looking cute? Here is how to make a leotard at home!

Supplies needed:
1. Stretchy fabric
2. Scissors or a rotary cutter
3. pins and pin cushion
4. your pattern
5. sewing machine
6. thread to match fabric
7. seam ripper(optional but recommended)
8. washers(optional but recommended)
9. cutting mat if you are using rotary cutter

First, it is recommended that you always trace your patterns out on freezer paper because as the kid grows you will need a different size and this way you will not have to spend another $20 on patterns.
Next, lay patterns on top of fabrics.

leotard 1

 

 
Keep colors of the thread as close as possible to the fabric colors.
Lay washers on top of pattern when cutting fabric patterns because it holds them in place.
Lay out all pieces after cutting to make sure they fit together correctly.

leotard 2

 

 
Sew pieces together inside out using a straight stitch then a zig zag to imitate a somewhat serge.

 

 

leotard 3

 

Strength Training At Home

If you’re taking a break from gymnastic classes and don’t want to get rusty, or just want to do more at home, we’ve got some great suggestions. These exercises will give you that extra edge you need to rule the mat, beam, and bar.

Wall Sits

All you need for this one is a wall!

  • Find an open space on the wall and place yourself 1-2ft away from it 1facing forward.
  • Lean back and slid down until you’re in a 90 degree sitting position. Make sure and keep your head, shoulders, and upper back flat against the wall and your feet flat on the floor.
  • You want to maintain this position for intervals of 30 to 60 seconds. If you’re a beginner try 2-3 reps and then step it up as you become more comfortable with the move.     

Photo by Nerd Fitness

 

Mountain Climbers

Grab your mat to get started!1

  • Get into a pushup position on the floor, hands flat on the ground with fingers facing forward and arms directly under your shoulders.
  • Lift your right foot forward as close to you chest as possible while trying
    to keep your bottom down and your tummy tight
  • Continue alternating left and right feet
  • Try doing 3 sets of 10 reps, remember to stay hydrated!

Photo by Women’s Health

 

Burpees

Excuse you! The name might sound a little strange but this is a great exercise that incorporates strength, endurance, and cardio.

  • Your feet should line up with your hips and your arms should rest at your sides
  • Next lower into a squat position placing your hands in between your feet, make sure you use your legs not your back to lower yourself. 1
  • Then jump back 
  • Jump forward again keeping your feet on the outside of your hands
  • Stand up
  • Jump with arms extended upwards
  • This move is a little difficult and requires a lot of energy so do how many ever you feel comfortable with.

Photo by Burn It Fitness

Do you have any other great moves, tips and tricks to doing common moves better? Let us know! Also, if you have suggestions or topics you’d like to learn more about feel free to add suggestions in the comments below.

Excerpts from PerformanceU

Be Flexible Be Happy Be Healthy

You’re always on the go so you want your snacks to be able to keep up. It can be a challenge finding food that tastes good and is good for your kids. Below are two easy to make, easy to take, and easy to love recipes. Both are filled with wholesome ingredients and are excellent alternatives to cookies.

Oatmeal Energy Bites

1

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup almond butter (or substitute peanut butter)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup raw honey

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

Directions: In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Roll out teaspoon sized balls and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Freeze until set about one hour. Enjoy and keep leftovers in a Ziploc bag in fridge or freezer. Makes about 20-24 energy bites.

1

Cinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Balls

Recipe adapted from Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips

Ingredients:

½ cup pitted dates

1 cup dried apples (not freeze dried, these are the chewy ones)

½ cup oats

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until it forms a thick paste. Using about a tablespoon of the mixture, roll into balls. If you want the little bites, use about ¼ teaspoon.
Do you have other great recipes? Share them with us and our other readers in the comment section.

How to: Gymnastics Hair

Gymnasts jump, twirl, cartwheel, round-off, handstand, and backbend! When you never stop moving it’s hard to make sure your hair does. Here’s a few pointers to keep hair on point.

Short Bangs
When your little gymnast has bangs the whole hair process can get a little tricky. Immediately after washing her hair pat it down with a towel, then separate out the bangs and apply hair gel or spray. Comb the hair back towards the right or left side and secure hair in a ponytail. If this isn’t enough apply a touch of hairspray to a bobby pin, while making sure the wavy side is against your head, for added grip.

Long Bangs
Braid them back! If you followed Shawn Johnson during the 2008 olympics then you know what I’m talking about. To copy her side braid ponytail comb out your bangs then divide them into three separate strands. From here you can create a French, Lace, Dutch, or Half Dutch braid and keep those bangs from getting in your way. Check out Missy Sue to learn how to do each braid:

image

Photo: http://missysue.com/2014/05/four-headband-braids/

Baby Hairs
Baby hairs can be a hassle when trying to create that nice finished look, so here’s a great taming tip: grab your toothbrush! I know this might sound crazy but the fine bristles allow you to grab up all the little straglers. Photo by Missy Sue
Just add a couple drops of your favorite gel to the bristles and brush away!

Frizzy Hair
Styling frizzy hair is no fun, so stop the frizz before you style. To limit breakage and knotting try sleeping on a silk pillow case or wrapping your hair in a silk scarf. One of the best tips to combat frizzy hair though is limiting how often you wash your hair. Try washing your hair every other day, this allows your hair to produce a natural oil that help with the defrizzing process.

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How to do Gymnastics Moves at Home

 If you’re little gymnast is nagging you to get her to the gym, make your home the gym with these easy steps.

Step 1: Find comfortable, stretchy clothes.

Step 2: Find a big, soft surfaced area.

Step 3: Warm-up with 30 jumping jacks, 30 push ups, and 30 curl ups.

Step 4: Stretch. Pike for 30 seconds, butterfly for 30 seconds, straddle for 30 seconds, do 30 lunges, rock and roll 30 times.

Step 5: Backbend. Stand straight with your legs shoulder length apart. Place your hands straight next to your ears with your palms flat. Lean backwards and keep going down slowly until you reach the floor.

Step 6: Cartwheel.

Step 7: Handstand. Go into a cartwheel position. Bounce off your front leg and kick your back leg up straight then kick the front leg up.home gymnasts

Step 8: Splits. Do them for an hour a day.

Step 9: Scorpion. Grab your leg and make your toes touch your shoulder. Try to grab leg with other hand as well.

Step 10: Elbow Stand. Like a handstand on your elbows.

Step 11: Practice for an Aerial. Be able to do a cartwheel Get a bed and put your elbows there and kickover (elbow cartwheel). Do not do it on the floor because when your are on the bed,it give you experience of flipping through the air. Get a perfect aerial cartwheel on the bed, then move one elbow off to get closer to an aerial. Make that perfect. Move both elbows off of the bed and kick your legs over. Repeat it until you can get an aerial without your arms on the bed. Move your bed and you should pretend the bed is still there and do an aerial.

*Includes excerpt from http://www.wikihow.com/Do-Gymnastic-Moves-at-Home-(Kids)

Gymnastics Moves for Beginners

itty bitty gymnast

Gymnastics basics are incredibly important to master before trying to complete the more technical moves. Some basics that are necessary include:
Forward Roll- Start standing upright then reach for the floor and tuck your chin looking at your belly button and roll coming back up in the same position.
Cartwheel- This move starts in a tall stance, one foot in front of the other. Gymnasts reach down with their hands, side by side and in line with their front leg. They kick their back foot over their head, then kick their front foot. They land with the leg opposite of the one they started with in front.
Backward Roll- This move starts with a tall stance. Gymnasts then squat down on their heels, sit on the mat, roll backward, push off the ground and elevate into a standing position.
Handstand-Gymnasts reach for the ground, extending their legs to the air with their feet “kissing” when the body is vertical and upside down.
Bridge- The bridge starting position is on the back, hands next to the head with fingertips pointing toward the toes. Gymnasts bend their legs and place their feet on the floor and push with their arms and legs. They get their the arms straight and their head off the ground.
Back Bend/Back Bend Kick Over-The starting position is standing with arms straight up by the head. Gymnasts look at their hands and bend backward in a “U” shape until their hands touch the ground. Once this is mastered, they can kick their legs over their head and land on their on their feet in the lunge position.

*Includes excerpts from http://www.livestrong.com/article/468932-gymnastic-moves-for-beginners/