Gymnastics is a sport that requires balance, power and grace in the execution of the moves required. From the very simple to the highly complex, the moves in gymnastics require dedication to training and a heightened sense of balance from the gymnast. The beauty of a full extension, the rush of a perfect landing, the feeling of flying through the air in a perfect somersault - all these things are what keep gymnasts so passionate about their craft.
One of the things you will need to understand about gymnastics is that it is a very demanding sport. The training involved is often rigorous, and you must be able to prepare yourself for times that you will fall, bruise yourself, or hurt yourself attempting some of the moves. However, you must also learn to take this in stride. As with any sport, you must be able to put your heart and soul into the art form. You will need to get up over and over again and work at it until you achieve a level of confidence and stability in yourself.
- If you are starting out, enroll in a gymnastics class at your school or your local gym. Joining a class is probably the best way to learn the basics of gymnastics, and on your very first day you will get an idea of how the instructor will be as both a teacher and mentor. You will also get to meet other aspiring gymnasts who share the same passion as you do - it will be a lot more fun if you are able to get a training partner or two, as this can help motivate you even more during the training. Be sure to always keep the lines of communication open with your instructor - always ask for pointers, as he or she will have an objective opinion about your performance.
- To practice your balance, try walking back and forth on a balance beam. Once you get your bearings and have a general idea of how to balance yourself, you will have taken the first step towards becoming a competitive gymnast. You can then move on to learning how to do a cartwheel and a forward roll. These are two of the most basic moves in gymnastics, and are often the beginning moves of any gymnastic routine.
- Conditioning is key in gymnastics. You will have to train your core muscles by building strength in your chest, abdominal area and hips. Also, upper body strength is very important in gymnastics. Try to build your upper body and arm strength through a series of push-ups for your chest, and pull-ups for your back and shoulders. Remember, do not train yourself too hard, as the body's muscles will need time to recuperate and build strength after a physically demanding workout.
- Be sure to stretch before and after every training session. Your body will have to be trained to be very limber in order to pull off the more complicated moves.
- Have discipline in training - make a training regimen that suits your pace and stick with it.
- When you find that you are beginning to tire, there is nothing wrong with taking a break. Sit down, rest up a bit, and rehydrate yourself. The measure of a true athlete is how often he decided to get back into training after a series of failures.
Gymnastics is as much a mental game as it is a physical sport, so be sure that you train with an open mind and a clear head. Always be receptive to constructive criticism and keep yourself motivated towards your goals.