Level 1 gymnastics requirements | Age, Skills & Routines

If you are in favor of an all-encompassing exercise program, then Gymnastics is the ideal one. It embraces speed, strength, coordination, power, balance, and flexibility. You can develop great skills and optimum perseverance through gymnastics. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn is known as the ‘father of gymnastics’. Gymnastics starts from Level 1 and goes up to several Levels. Gymnastics lays immense importance on the life of children.

You must be wishing to know Level 1 gymnastics requirements. But before, going in-depth, you should know what the right age is to start gymnastics.

The right age to start gymnastics:

The best part of gymnastics is there are no rigid rules related to the starting age for gymnastics. Some institutions offer sessions for infants who are young as 18 months, whereas, some organizations take admission of kids who are 8 years and beyond. Again, many kids begin when they reach teenage and continue through college and beyond.

Though you can find gymnastics classes in reputed institutions for children who are only 2 years of age, professional coaches suggest the parents wait until the babies reach 5 or 6 years of age. For kids who are younger in age, the introductory gymnastics classes must focus on awareness of body development and love for a particular sport. 

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As a parent, you must accompany your kids to the classes and encourage them to climb, jump, crawl, etc. as interacted by the trainers. Remember, children must be supervised in a very gentle way as they are extremely tender. If they are as young as 2 or 3 years old, be careful as their bones are not strong and injuries can be fatal. Younger kids must develop self-confidence and physical coordination but with care. 

Tumbling classes: Level 1 gymnastics requirements

Tumbling classes are appropriate for children of 3 to 5 years of age. These sessions are physically more demanding. The introduction of basic skills like cartwheels, somersaults, backward rolls, etc., takes place. Moreover, balancing activities on low beams are taught. When the kids master these activities, they are introduced to the introductory classes. Usually, the kids reach approximately 6 years of age during this time.  

What are the other sports that can prepare kids for beginning gymnastics classes?

  • Ballet
  • Soccer
  • Dance
  • Baseball

These sports and activities really help children to develop the same balance, hand-eye coordination, and other agility skills as gymnastics.

Children who are older can start gymnastics. But, you have to be aware that the longer a child will wait, the tougher it will be for him or her to compete with other kids who have started training since they were toddlers. But, nothing firm can be said as the famous Brazilian world champion named Daiane dos Santos was 12 years old when she started practicing gymnastics. Perfection depends on regular practice, devotion, patience, intention to learn new things, ability and will power to bear the pain, never give up mentality, and most importantly, believing in self.

What are the potential risks that are associated with gymnastics?

Sports that involve physical activities associate with potential risks. Many incidents are imminent where gymnasts got heavily injured. Proper precaution and care are needed to practice safely. Be it a matter of children or adults, every gymnast must be very careful while practicing or competing. 

A veteran coach named Rick McCharles who was associated with Altadore Gymnastics Club in Calgary, Canada quoted, “The risk of starting advanced gymnastics at a young age is potential burnout as a pre-teen.”

Serious training of gymnastics can have certain health consequences for the gymnasts. In the case of girl gymnasts, problems with the menstrual cycle are common if they train very hard. There can be a life-long injury. But, if your kids have passion, then they can certainly overcome the fear of injury and continue with gymnastics.

What are the required skills in Level 1 gymnastics?

level 1 gymnastics requirements
Source: Inspired from https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi

Vault Requirements:

The gymnasts in Level 1 don’t use the vaulting table in actual. The kids perform a straight jump onto an 8 inches high gymnastics mat. Also, they kick to handstand and finally fall to flat back.

Following are the Level 1 gymnastics requirements 

Bar Requirements:

  • Pullover: The gymnast does a pullover in which he or she pulls his/her legs totally around a bar.
  • Cast: The gymnast starts in front support by placing his/her hips at the bar, and then pushes the hips off the specific bar by driving his/her legs behind his or her.
  • Back hip circle: Here, the gymnast initiates with a cast. Then, he/she returns to the specific bar. Next, the gymnast rolls his or her body backward around that bar. 
  • Underwing dismount or Sole-Circle dismount: After the previous steps, the gymnast pushes off a cast to dismount. The pushing serves as a way to dismount.

Beam requirements:

  • Jumping to front support mount
  • Arabesque (30 degrees)
  • Lever
  • Stretch jumping
  • Cartwheel (3/4 handstand dismount)

Here, a gymnast learns how to mount a beam. Here, he or she jumps to front support with the specific beam at his or her hips. Also, a gymnast learns to dismount with a stretch jump. He or she stretches his/her body up while jumping. The gymnast’s arms are raised above the head. 

At this level, a gymnast learns how to tuck sit with knees at the chest. The individuals also perform coupe walks and candlestick on the beams. Added, they do relieve walk. To do this, they have to walk on toes keeping the arms outstretched above the head. 

At the final stage, the gymnast has to hold an arabesque or scale by standing on a single foot at the time of leaning forward, and the individual has to extend the other leg behind him or her and simultaneously outstretch the hands at the sides.

Floor requirements:

  • 3/4 handstand
  • Backward and forward rolls
  • Cartwheel
  • Split jump (leg separation of 30 degrees)

Here, the gymnast has to do a candlestick. This activity needs resting on the back of shoulders, and keeping the legs together with feet pointed towards the ceiling. The kids also do leg swings and tuck jumps. They bring their knees to their chest. Coupe walks are also added. Here, the gymnasts walk on their toes by bringing the toes of one foot to the opposite foot’s ankle. 

Let’s check the considerations:

The skill requirements are adjusted at regular intervals. But, the skills of Level 1 usually remain the same. The young kids are introduced to Level 1 skills in classes where they learn basic body positions and forms, and after the fundamentals, they can move on to the core Level 1 at age 4. The boys are taught rolling, cartwheels, handstands, bridges, and headstands on the floor. They also get introduced to skills of equal status on rings, parallel bars, horizontal bars, horse, and vault. 

What will your kids get from gymnastics?

Is gymnastics just a sport? Does gymnastics contribute to the overall growth and development of the children?

We can go on and on describing the benefits of gymnastics in the life of a child. But, we have presented the most important ones in this piece of article.

I would hope I would inspire kids everywhere to know that you can do anything you put your mind to.

Simone Biles

Gymnastics is extremely good for physical health:

Regular practice of various activities involved in gymnastics provides benefits to children of any age. For example, they develop optimum physical coordination. Again, they can maintain excellent health that prevents heart disease in the long run. Age-related issues like bone loss usually don’t happen to a gymnast.

Gymnastics helps in building confidence:

Gymnastics involves extreme levels of physical activities that ordinary people can’t. The sense of accomplishment that the gymnasts achieve from mastering the specific activities builds super confidence and self-esteem. They learn to handle various challenges in proper methods and reach their goals. Again, the activities involve fear and kids learn how to overcome fear with a smile.

Gymnastics helps in building accurate coordination of body and mind:

The kids gain strong spatial awareness. Gymnasts don’t get startled by any sudden imbalance. They acquire the right reflexes and can use them in difficult situations in normal everyday life.

Gymnastics builds a solid foundation for athletics:

Gymnastics concentrates on various aspects of sports including psychological, physical, etc. Along with building strength and flexibility, it bestows mental toughness that is extremely necessary for life.

Gymnastics makes a child disciplined:

Discipline is required in every sport, and gymnastics stand on discipline. Kids have to practice daily, maintain proper timing, speed, and focus. Otherwise, accidents can happen. Through gymnastics, a child learns how to do hard work, respect time, be dedicated to working, and focus on each step.

Gymnastics develops sportsmanship in children:

Gymnastics involves group learning along with individual lessons. It helps in developing positive relationships and sportsmanship in children and makes them learn to support each other and cheer. The kids also get to learn about healthy competition. It leverages their social skills as they interact with other kids and adults with certain expertise.

Gymnastics assists in setting goals:

Any athletic ability takes time to develop. The kids learn to set little goals and reach each of them to progress to the next level which involves tougher activities. They get to know how to work continuously to achieve targets and manage stress in the process. They can stay calm during extreme pressure which is very helpful in real life.

Conclusion:

Gymnastics involves various fun activities that entertain the kids when they learn together with their peers. Regular classes boost endorphins release which keeps their spirits high and they remain in a good mood. Doctors often suggest gymnastics for autistic children as it is a great medium to socialize and play. Let your kids do the jumping, flipping, swinging, tumbling, and others. Raise a confident, determined, and talented child who has excellent communication skills developed from gymnastics.

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