Gymnastics is an art form that requires skill, balance and determination. Both boys and girls benefit from gymnastics training. Kids begin learning gymnastics as young as 2 years old and continue mastering the skills for many years. There are several types of gymnastic equipment used to teach kids and help develop their skills.
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Gymnastics floor mats are designed to withstand the high impact of kids jumping and flipping. Floor mats are important for kids in gymnastics because they offer a safe place to learn floor exercises, such as tumbling and balance. The extra padding and thick cover provides additional support to lower the impact on kids' joints and prevent injury.
An important skill in gymnastics is balance. According to the University of Illinois, most kids have good balance and benefit from using a balance beam. For kids, a balance beam is around 4 inches wide and about 16 feet long. The height is adjusted depending on the level of training. As muscle strength and balance develop, kids learn to roll, turn and even flip on a balance beam.
Although the uneven bars are an event for women in competition, all kids benefit from learning to pull up and gain strength from activities, such as the cast and front hip circle, on the uneven bars. Each bar is approximately 1 1/2-inches wide and 8 feet long. Lowering the bars for kids is recommended and a spotter is always required.
Kids learn skills, such as pointed toes and running, when using the vault in gymnastics. A large skills cushion is provided for vaulting kids to land safely. Teaching kids to vault requires a slow approach used to teach kids to run then slow down before hitting the board. Hand-eye coordination improves as the kids' level of vaulting training increases.
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