17. Gymnastics Lessons
Gymnastics lessons may be a professional pursuit for gymnasts but are a fun hobby for regular people. They keep you physically fit while promoting muscle growth and tone. You work on improving your balance, strength, flexibility, agility, and endurance. Gymnastics lessons are offered for recreational and competitive purposes. Hobbyists can learn a new activity while gymnasts can improve their skills.
Who can Undertake Gymnastics Lessons?
Gymnastics lessons are offered for children of all ages as well as adults. Instructors teach kids as young as two or three years and adults irrespective of their age as long as they are physically fit. While most classes are catered towards kids and teenagers, many gyms and clubs conduct classes specifically for adults. Most individuals will find gymnastics lessons that are suitable for their age and skill level. There are even gymnastics lessons organized for people who are above 60-years of age.
Gymnastics Lessons Types
Various types of gymnastics lessons are offered by clubs, gyms, and sports facilities. Some of them are suitable for casual students, while others cater to the specific requirements of professional gymnasts. USA Gymnastics is the body responsible for designing courses and certifying coaches/instructors in the USA. It divides gymnastics lessons into different categories.
Recreational Gymnastics Lessons
Recreational gymnastics lessons are the most popular among all types of classes offered. The curriculum is designed for teaching the basics of gymnastics to the students. It provides a fun-filled environment for them to learn. Classes that cater to kids, adults, and seniors impart recreational gymnastics lessons. The primary purpose that students enroll in recreational gymnastics lessons is for fitness or entertainment. Most of them want to take up a new hobby or are looking for an alternate activity to stay fit.
Competitive Gymnastics Lessons
Competitive gymnastics lessons are designed for professional gymnasts who participate in various tournaments conducted at different levels. They prepare students for competitions and assist them in mastering routines required for progressing through the USA Gymnastics levels. There may be a minimum skill level required for admission. The curriculum may be customized for each gymnast as per their goals and requirements. Each student receives 1-on-1 coaching from multiple coaches and instructors. Competitive gymnastics lessons can be further classified into different specialties. Most of them are recognized at the international level, although a couple of them may be limited to the national level.
Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Lessons
Women’s artistic gymnastics lessons are catered towards the requirements of female gymnasts. Men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics competitions have varying rules to judge the gymnasts and allow the use of different apparatuses. Most competitive gymnastics tournaments for women require the participants to show their skills on the event floor, vault, uneven bars, and balance beam. Uneven bar and balance beam are not used in men’s artistic gymnastics. Therefore, there is a need for separate gymnastics lessons based on gender. Women’s artistic gymnastics lessons are designed considering the requirements of women’s gymnastics competition. The instructors are certified and specialize in women’s gymnastics lessons. Gymnasts competing in women’s tournaments must enroll in women’s artistic gymnastics lessons.
Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Lessons
Classes for men’s artistic gymnastics lessons are held separately, just like women’s artistic gymnastics lessons. Most competitive gymnastics tournaments for men require their participants to exhibit their skills on the event floor, horizontal and parallel bars, pommel horse, vault, and rings. Out of these, horizontal and parallel bars, pommel horse, and rings are absent in women’s competitions. The coaches and instructors have certification in men’s artistic gymnastics lessons, which is separate from women’s gymnastics certification. Gymnasts participating in men’s competitions should enlist in men’s artistic gymnastics lessons.
Trampoline Gymnastics Lessons (Trampolining)
Many facilities specialize in trampoline gymnastics lessons. Trampolining is a recognized sport at the Olympic level, although many individuals take it up as a recreational activity. Gymnasts perform acrobatics while bouncing on a trampoline. They may learn to perform simple jumps in various positions (straight, tucked, or piked), forward or backward flips, somersaults, twists, and moves involving a combination of these. At the competitive level, gymnasts are allowed ten contacts with the trampoline bed. Dedicated trampoline gymnastics lessons are offered for individuals who want to participate in competitions.
Tumbling Gymnastics Lessons
Tumbling gymnastics lessons deal with another discipline of gymnastics known as power tumbling or tumbling. Gymnasts are taught to perform various acrobatic skills on a 25-meters long sprung track. They jump, flip, and twist in the air while moving down the track. Only their hands and feet are allowed to come in contact with the track. Routines and skills performed on the floor or a balance beam may also be included in tumbling gymnastics lessons. It is not a part of the Olympics, although the International Gymnastics Federation does organize competitions across the globe. At the international level, tumbling is considered as an event within trampoline gymnastics. Therefore, many gymnastics facilities integrate tumbling and trampolining lessons in a single program.
Rhythmic Gymnastics Lessons
Rhythmic gymnastics lessons tackle another specialty of the sport. Students learn performances involving different types of apparatuses. The most popular pieces of equipment used include hoop, ball, clubs, ribbons, and ropes. Gymnasts learn to toss, catch, roll, and manipulate the apparatus. Routines taught in rhythmic gymnastics lessons integrate elements of gymnastics, dance, and even calisthenics.
Rhythmic gymnastics lessons are mostly undertaken by females as it is a women-only sport at the international level. However, a few masculine rhythmic gymnastics tournaments may be held at the national or state level. Gymnasts who want to compete in them may undertake rhythmic gymnastics lessons.
Acrobatic Gymnastics Lessons
Acrobatic gymnastics lessons are popular among gymnasts who want to compete in a partnership or team-based gymnastics. It is a competitive discipline involving either a pair or a team of gymnasts. They work together to demonstrate acrobatic moves, dance, and tumbling. Acrobatic gymnastics lessons teach balance routines, dynamic routines, and combined routines. Each routine involves all team members and may include throws, somersaults, and catches. Acrobatic gymnastics lessons are suitable for individuals who are serious about the sport and are competing at a professional level.
These were the most popular types of gymnastics lessons that are offered today. Students may choose a facility or club that specializes in lessons that appeal to them. They must consider the age and skill requirements before enrolling in gymnastics lessons.