The question seemed innocent enough at the time. A few mornings ago, between mouthfuls of cereal, your daughter mentioned that she reckoned it would be a great idea to receive a Beam for her birthday. At the time you nodded, smiled, and told her to get a move on because she was going to be late for school. And now you haven’t slept for two days because, besides trying to figure out the exact way you go about wrapping a Beam, you’re not at all sure whether your daughter should be practicing her Beam routine without the safe arms of a coach lingering nearby.
Perhaps you’re the Thursday-night taxi-driver to and from classes, and an avid supporter at competitions. You caught yourself open-mouthed a few weeks ago when your daughter held a perfect handstand, and you’re convinced a Beam would be an ideal gift. However, your knowledge of the safety of gymnastics is still minimal, and the image of that handstand, on that Beam, in your front room, isn’t quite sitting right.
Or perhaps your daughter has never attended a single gymnastics class, but seems to have a natural talent at turning herself upside down, or inside out, or pulling off feats of flexibility you weren’t sure were possible. If you’re honest with yourself, your heart hasn’t been its calm and collected self ever since that first forward-roll. And if you’re more honest with yourself, a Beam would make your daughter’s year, which isn’t helping.
For anyone facing an eerily similar predicament, here’s our answer:
Yes! You should absolutely give in and get her the Beam on her birthday list. With the following advice, there’s no need to worry about anything (except perhaps figuring out different ways to say congratulations when your daughter shows you the tenth new skill she’s mastered).
Buy a Floor Beam
The first word in practising gymnastics at home is safety. In research for our book dedicated to Floor Beam exercises, we put a considerable amount of time into assessing the safety of the equipment. We ran tests for ourselves, as well as talking to a number of high-level, experienced coaches, and there was a unanimous agreement on the sure safety of the Floor Beams. In fact, within a home environment, we would recommend purchasing nothing else.
For beginners in gymnastics, and those new to the Floor Beam, use our book!
Beam is often perceived to be a daunting piece of equipment, especially if your child is not attending lessons. It may seem as though the Floor Beam is an impractical purchase until they have had at least a basic level of professional gymnastics tuition, but this is not the case. Our book has been specifically written with the intention of guiding entry-level gymnasts through the skills, without them having had any coaching. Its guide is a step-by-step walkthrough, beginning with basic skills, before progressing onto more challenging exercises as and when your child is ready. It’s an ideal companion for those gymnasts just starting out on the Beam, and will instil them with confidence on this challenging apparatus.
For more advanced Beam skills, only use those which have already been learnt in gymnastics classes
Your budding gymnast will be on a well-designed training programme, created to advance her skill-level gradually and safely. She should only be practicing moves which she has been taught, and has mastered, in her gymnastics lessons. If you are not sure what she is learning, it is recommended to ask her coach for advice: not only will potential injury from self-taught manoeuvres be avoided, but it will also eliminate the chance to pick up bad habits in form and execution.
The My Home Gymnastics Folding Beam
We were sent a Beam from My Home Gymnastics to trial and assess, and it easily sits as one of the many great beams out on the market. Our video below showcases the Folding Beam in this gymnast’s (Chloe’s) home:
The foam Beam from My Home Gymnastics is a great choice. It’s light and easy to move, and its capability to fold gives it plenty of storage options, which edges it ahead of its unbending counterparts (it slotted comfortably beneath Chloe’s bed). It’s long enough to do two skills in a single length, which, while not providing the space of full-length beams, is ideal for home use.
An additional recommended purchase is the folding panel mat. We found that the rug was not really sufficient! A softer landing mat would have significantly bolstered Chloe’s confidence, which is paramount in gymnastics training. Although the two together add up to a more lavish birthday present, the multiple uses of the floor mat in other gymnastic fields cause it to be a worthwhile buy.
To purchase My Home Gymnastics Folding Beam visit their website; www.myhomegymnastics.com