Gymnastics for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
Getting started with gymnastics doesn't have to be hard. Learn what you need to know to get started in this guide for beginners.
Gymnastics is a great way to build flexibility, improve coordination, boost self-esteem, and a great way to reap other benefits as well. Starting gymnastics is an exciting time but will require you to have some supplies and equipment.
Just like with any other sport or activity, you need to gather all essential items before beginning to ensure you can participate to the best of your abilities.
Once you have everything you need, you can start your gymnastic classes and practices! To get started, continue reading below. Here's our list of essential gymnastic equipment you'll want to have when starting out!
In football, you wear shoulder pads, in soccer, you wear cleats, and in gymnastics, you wear leotards. Leotards are proper gymnastic attire because they allow a full range of flexibility. They won't constrict you in any way.
This is necessary if you want to practice and perfect different gymnastic moves. Don't limit yourself to only one, however. It's a good idea to purchase more than one to ensure you have enough for each practice.
The amount you should buy might depend on how often you practice throughout the week. You should also ensure you get the size just right. The waist, the hips, and the torso should all be measured to get a properly-sized leotard. The torso measurement is the most important, so be sure to take great care when taking these measurements.
If needed, you can ask a professional for help.
Gymnastic shorts are another essential gymnastic clothing item. If you choose to wear shorts, you can slide them over your leotard. The shorts you choose should fit you well just like your leotard.
They shouldn't constrict you in any way and should be comfortable. Sizing is also important when choosing your gymnastic shorts because you don't want them to slip or slide out of place while practicing different leaps, flips, handsprings, and more.
Find a pair that you can wear throughout long practices without experiencing any sort of discomfort.
When you're constantly up in the air and doing all sorts of gymnastic moves, you won't want your hair to get in the way. If your hair were to fall into your face or eyes while trying to practice, it could cause you to fall or lose balance. This is why having hair accessories is so important.
Don't just have one or two either. Hair ties snap without warning all the time, and you don't want to get stuck without one. To prevent this, keep plenty of headbands, hair ties, and scrunchies on you at all times.
When your hair is kept up and out of the way, you won't have to constantly fight with it and can focus on perfecting your craft.
A Gymnastics Bag
Before you start collecting all of your necessary equipment, be sure you have something to put everything in. Some gyms sell gymnastic bags there, but you can purchase your own backpack or duffle bag. Either will work fine.
Just be sure the bag has enough room for all of your equipment and extra space as well. You want to bring this bag with you to each practice or competition. When you need something, you'll have everything you need right inside your bag.
Basic Gymnastic Skills
This might not be a piece of equipment, but it's still something you need to get you started. Some basic gymnastic moves would be a cartwheel, a forward roll and backward roll, a backbend, a handstand, and more. It's a great idea to begin practicing these basic moves before starting your classes.
If you don't have them mastered by the time your classes start, don't panic. That's why you signed up for beginner classes in the first place! It's nice to know a few things and what to expect before starting, though.
Keep in mind that good strength will be needed as well. Many gymnastic moves require you to support your own body weight. You'll want to get used to doing so to make it a bit easier when first starting out.
You'll want to pack two pairs of gymnast grips in your bag. A second pair is ideal so you can work on breaking in two pairs at once. When you need a backup, your second pair will be ready for use.
Make sure to pack a wire brush, sandpaper, and rubber bands with your grips as well. A wire brush and sandpaper are required to properly maintain the grips. You'll want to have them in your bag at all times.
Rubberbands are used to help keep gymnasts' fingers on their grips. They also work well to keep the velcro section of the grips on your wrists.
Adhesive tape comes in handy when needing to wrap a wrist or ankle. Many gymnastic gyms keep the adhesive tape on hand, but it's convenient to have it in your bag as well.
When you need to wrap something up, you can quickly grab some out of your bag and be on your way.
A Change of Clothes
After an intense class or practice, you can almost guarantee you'll be covered in sweat. Gymnastics is no easy feat. It's quite a workout and takes a lot of effort and energy.
Keeping a change of clothes in your gymnastic bag is a great idea because you'll want to switch out of your sweaty clothes as soon as possible. After finishing practice and changing into some dry clothes, you can then apply lotion to your skin to prevent drying.
Do be sure to only do so after practice, however. Applying lotion before your gymnastic class could cause you to have slippery hands.
A First Aid Kit
A gymnastic first aid kit is an essential item to keep in your bag. As you try new moves and improve your skills, it's not uncommon to become injured here and there. Just like when trying any new activity, it might take a while to get the hang of it and some minor injuries might happen until you become more skilled.
It's just like riding a bike! When an injury does occur, reach into your first aid kit and remove your athletic tape, and other first-aid kit essentials to treat open wounds and other injuries.
Drinks and Snacks
Drinks and snacks should be kept in your bag at all times also. It's important to stay hydrated in order to perform to the best of your abilities. Keep a large refillable water bottle in your bag and be sure to start drinking lots of water the morning before practice and throughout the entire day.
If you drink all of your water, you can refill it at the gym. You can also pack some sports drinks in your bag as well. Choose ones that don't have high amounts of sugar.
Gymnastic practice can get tiring. This is why you'll also want a few healthy snacks in your bag to give you a boost of energy when needed. Make sure the snacks you choose are easy to grab on the go and can be digested easily.
Some great options are granola bars, energy bars, and trail mix.
The first step is putting all of your equipment inside your gymnastic bag, but the second step is to maintain the organization. Proper organization will prevent you from having to clean out your bag after each class.
Give each item its own specific place in your bag. You can use plastic storage bags or something else to keep things separated if needed. You should also keep a list of everything inside your bag to prevent losing an item.
When you remove items from your bag at the gym, try your best to keep everything together. Then, check each item off your list when putting everything back. The last thing you want to do is lose something, run around looking for it, and have to purchase a new one.
Are You Prepared to Start Gymnastics?
From hair ties to leotards and so much more, these are all the essential gymnastic equipment!
Do you have everything you need to start your gymnastic classes and practices? If you don't have all the items on this list, then it's time to start shopping! Once you gather everything off this list, you can begin improving and perfecting your gymnastic skills.
Shop our collection today to see how we can get you started!