When you ask your kids to pick up their things, do they cartwheel all the way over to it or do a handstand just to pick it up? Is your living room a compact gym where your couch is both a vault and block for a myriad of skills? Are there pillows in the floor regularly? Do you hear loud thuds when they fall down while trying to do gymnastics in the house? Ya, we have a lot of this in our house, too. I remember a time when I preferred to be upside down instead of right side up. It’s actually a good thing, but we need to make sure our budding gymnasts are safe too.
Tumbl Trak Use Shopping Code Gilbert35043
Norbert’s Use Shopping Code Sa013 <– zero
Let’s talk about equipment and safety, things to look for, things to avoid, and don’t miss out on my recommendations complete with shopping codes.
Being in the sport for decades, I can help you navigate the massive world of equipment and options to make sure your gymnast is safe at home. Let’s talk safety first and shopping second.
Gymnastics Equipment Safety
The most common pieces of equipment for home use include mats, balance beams, and bars, so let’s look at these items and know what to look for and what to avoid.
Mats – Folding panel mats and crash mats
You always need proper padding and mats are the best padding around.
I recommend at least 2 inch padding at home. They sell 1 3/8 inch and similar for slightly less money, which is typically fine for standing skills such as handstands and cartwheels, but trust me when I say that one half+ inch makes a big difference in their crash, so if they are practicing walkovers or handsprings, opt for the additional cushion.
Size: 4×8 feet or larger is recommended for safe falls. Kids don’t always fall in the same direction. And usually, our living rooms can accommodate 4 feet wide, however 6 feet wide and 12 feet long is more desirable for more advanced gymnastics and/or older gymnasts.
Regardless of the equipment, you need mats under it, so plan accordingly.
Crash mats should be at least 4 inches thick and should be under beams (if performing intermediate+ skills) and ALL bars to prevent serious injuries.
Floor beams are fantastic and safest at home, but you still need a mat under it if you are going upside down and a crash mat if performing jumps or intermediate and above skills.
Look at the beam legs. Do they protrude? Are they a tripping hazard? Can they be covered? Can you find a beam with better leg placement? I really don’t like the beams with middle supports, so try to avoid them for safety.
Floor beams are great for everyone regardless of age and skill. Plus many fold in half for easier storage.
Make sure it’s long enough. 8 and 9 feet beams are great for many ages and skill levels, but they’re useful for doing only single skills once they’re about 7 or older; however, if your gymnast is practicing connected skills or routines, you really need at least 12 feet depending on their age and size. You don’t want them to run out of beam in the middle of their skill.
Folding beams are popular home options and help save space when not in use but usually don’t exceed 9 feet in length.
Read the description. It’s best if it has at least some padding beneath it.
Vinyl and foam beams usually compress, so they lose shape with enough weight on them. Keep that in mind because that could render your beam useless or at least a hazard if anyone over a toddler or kindergartener uses it.
Trapezoid shape beams (wider at the base and narrower on the top) are excellent for little kids but not necessarily for older kids unless they’re constructed of more solid materials. I see them as twisted ankle hazards if you step wrong but helpful for littles to feel a little more secure.
Some beams are adjustable. Ensure everything is properly secured if height adjustment is necessary. And be sure to have lots of padding for any potential falls.
The size of the bar, or footprint, is important to keep in mind. Small gymnasts just getting started can benefit from bars you see on Amazon and such, but larger gymnasts or gymnasts that cast high or swing big definitely need the extended support to avoid any catastrophic tipping. I highly recommend the support extenders for all levels ages 8+.
If you are buying used, please make sure all aspects of the equipment work well.
I Love a Good Deal!
The following includes my recommendations for home gymnastics equipment. Remember, if it seems like a cheap price, that’s probably because the quality is cheap and therefore hazardous, which is why I’m providing recommendations. Please be careful trying to save extra money when purchasing gymnastics equipment.
Tumbl Trak – Use Shopping Code: Gilbert35043
Deal Alert going on right now! Take advantage of the big sale while it lasts.
This brand offers a wide selection of equipment and bundles to help you save. I like their quality and definitely have a few favorites. Plus, they are geared towards families and make shopping a breeze with their awesome bundles and family-friendly price points.
Check out their Holiday Gift Guide for some very helpful categorized gifts to make your shopping easier.
Mats I highly recommend 4×8 feet and 2 inches thick, especially at home!
Crash Mats This is the perfect size for small spaces. I highly recommend this for that extra cushion!
Soft Mats This one is great too but definitely requires more space.
Balance Beams I love the low profile of this beam! The legs are fairly flat and near the ends making this beam much safer, and it’s competition width for accurate practice.
Bars Their bars have excellent information listed under each including Descriptions, Specs (very important for weight, foot print, etc.), and Q&A. I highly recommend reading about each one. And they have bonuses for them, too.
Bar Bundles They have pretty nice bundles put together, so I highly recommend the additional thicker mats on top of the folding mats for safety. It really is quite important to have the extra 4+ inches of cushion to combat injury.
Octagons If you get any one piece of bonus equipment, this is my top recommendation. This is a versatile item used for forward rolls, cartwheels, back bends, front and back walkovers, handsprings, and more! The Description shows what size you need based on your gymnast’s size.
Just remember to use our Shopping Code Gilbert35043 at checkout! All it does is give us credit towards equipment. That’s the best gift you could give us as we still have a long wish list to continue expanding everything we offer your gymnasts in our growing gym!
Norbert’s – Use Shopping Code: Sa013 <–zero
This brand has an excellent history and seemingly never-ending options plus good quality construction. Here are some helpful recommendations.
Check out their Holiday Gifts for Gymnasts for some of their most popular gifts.
Skill Cushion Mat I highly recommend this one if your gymnast is practicing back handsprings or similar skills at home. I love the thickness and cushion this mat offers.
Balance Beams Right now this one includes free shipping but may exceed your price point.
Floor Beams These trapezoid beams have a much higher quality of foam and should not break down like most, so if you have a really young gymnast or one practicing tougher skills, this would be a good option for them since the landing will be softer and more forgiving.
Bars If you have a beginner who isn’t swinging or age 8+ yet, this is a very nice bar.
Check out this Gymnastics Gift Ideas list I created on Amazon just for you! It has a little bit of everything you may consider for your gymnasts.
We all love Amazon and sometimes you can find good gymnastics equipment there. I’ve compiled a list of equipment I recommend along with fun accessories like jewelry for your gymnast.
We have high-quality custom products ranging from shirts, hats, and bags to clocks, jewelry, water bottles, pillows, and much more! Plus, you can find our Christmas Parade shirts there, as well. Be aware that the Search bar does not work as it should. Check out the categories and scroll the page.
Custom Knee High Socks for Girls and Boys
I’m so excited to bring you awesome custom knee high socks! Place your order today. Check them out. We have socks for girls and for boys! Our stock is limited right now, so don’t delay.
Tumbl Trak Use Shopping Code Gilbert35043
Norbert’s Use Shopping Code Sa013 <– zero
Have a great and successful day!