Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we try to answer the most common questions visitors to this our Web site may have. If you find that your question is not answered on this page, please contact the club secretary (see our joining page).

Q: How old does my child have to be to start gymnastics?
A: At our club we take girls and boys from the age of 5. We can only train boys up to the age of 9, though.

Q: Do they need to be able to do anything before you will let them join?
A: We encourage children to attend the Sports Centre’s gymnastics classes 1st and to attain their BAGA badges there. We expect children to be able to :- understand their right from their left, be able to perform some of the basics - such as how to balance on one leg, stretch, jump, point their toes, understand the difference between bent legs and arms and straight legs and arms, be able to do a forward roll. AND importantly they must be able to listen, communicate and respect the coaches and other gymnasts.

Q: What should they wear for gymnastics?
A: Girls should wear a properly fitting leotard (or a swimming costume for the younger girls), lycra shorts can also be worn over the top. In cooler weather they should wear a track suit over their leotard. They should come wearing trainers (sometimes we go outside). They should have their hair (unless short) tied back, in a way that will not make gymnastic moves or support from the coaches difficult. Nail polish and jewellery is strictly FORBIDDEN. The club has its own fleeces and T-shirts available for purchase.

Q. Where can I get my child a leotard?
A: At gym, on the first Saturday of every month, we have a stall with 'nearly new’ leotards for sale. Or check out the following places:-

Q: Do they need anything else for gymnastics?
A: It is important that each gymnast comes to sessions with a drink - in a sports bottle! Also they should bring a named bag, in which they should put all their belongings - clothes and trainers, at the start of the session.

Items such as handguards, chalk, and gym shoes are available from Gymnastic Express:

Q: What exercises can a gymnast do at home to help improve faster?
A: Gymnasts need to be strong and supple, it is important to do the following exercises at home at least 2 times a week to be a good gymnast (some like the splits, should be attempted daily!):

  • Tight pike holds (sit on the floor legs together & straight - no bent knees, with pointed toes, lean forward as far as possible - hands stretched to toes), 5 times holding for 30 seconds.
  • Japana holds (sit on floor, legs stretched outwards as far as possible, knees must point up to ceiling, lay on front), 5 times holding for 30 seconds.
  • Shoulder stretches (link hands in front, bring arms up above head and gently push back) 5 times for 15 - 20.
  • Bridge Holds, (legs straight and together, arms close to ears - try to get your shoulders over or in front of your hands) 5 times holding for 15 - 20 seconds.
  • Splits - left leg, right leg and middle splits - this is very important! In forward splits the front leg must have the knee facing upwards, the back leg must have the knee facing downwards, hips should be straight & facing forwards, try to sit up with arms out to the sides. In middle splits - the knees need to be facing up. Hold each way 3 - 5 times for 20 - 30 seconds.
  • Dish Rocks, (on back, arms stetched above head, lift legs and arms to make a dish shape & keeping back flat on floor - rock) 20 times - and keep legs straight & toes pointed.
  • Press Ups, keeping the torso firm and straight - no sagging! 10 times.
  • Crunchies, 20 times.
  • Arch lifts, 20 times.
  • Sit Ups, 20 times - do not lift all the way, you need to use your stomach and not your back.
  • Tiptoe Holds, 5 times holding for 20 seconds each time.

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