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I'm new to this - need some help

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mattv

New Member
Jun 26, 2008
6
Well, I'm 16 years old, male, and I've always been intrigued by flipping, jumping, and just basic stunts. I've been stretching alot lately (like two hours a day) for the last few days and I've been weight lifting for the last few years. I was just wondering, since I don't have nor want an instructor (this is more of a for fun and self accomplishing thing for me) what are some basic things I should begin doing and then what should I slowly work up to. My goal for now is to be able to front and back tuck. I wouldn't mind being able to do all that other flatground stuff though, like tumbling, handstands, backbends, and back hand springs. Any begginer advice would be great =). Thanks.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
welcome to chalkbucket, I hope you will find some help here. I think it is great you are interested but, the tricks you want to learn - tucks, backhandprings etc - I would NOT recommend doing them without an instructor. You could get injured very easily.
 

mattv

New Member
Jun 26, 2008
6
Thanks. There must be a way to do it without an instructor though, on the youtube videos all they have is a spotter for the back tucks. I'm a pretty natural athelete. I could work up slowly. Thanx for replying.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
4,079
Baltimore, MD
Country
USA
If you can get an instructor, get one. They'll be able to spot you and teach you proper form and technique (which makes the skills safer). And they'll also most likely have access to mats, pits, and other things which will make it much safer to learn.

That said, front and back tucks are pretty easy if you're athletic and have a good instructor; I once had 3 highschool boys come in wanting to learn some tumbling, having never done any gymnastics before, and when the three left the gym an hour later, two could land punch fronts and one could land a standing back tuck (the other two could both do it with a very light spot). This was with only an hour of instruction.

It's true that when you see people do back yard tumbling on youtube, their instructor isn't generally standing there with them or doing much instruction in the video, but I guarantee most of those people learned with instruction. Odds are the spotter in the video is their instructor.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but there's my opinion on the matter.
 
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rainbowmom

Guest
Hi, I admire your ambition. I'm sure you will do well. I would recommend getting a coach even if just a few private lessons. You don't want to injure yourself trying to learn something without the proper training. There are many videos available to teach basic form but you need a spotter at least at first and a good mat under you.
 
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NYgymfan

Guest
You sound a lot like me. I'm a guy, your age, pretty athletic, and I find gymnastics awesome so I wanted to learn some stuff. But I would definitely not recommend doing anything without an instructor. My girlfriend is an instructor so she taught me some things and now I'm taking private lessons at her gym to learn tumbling. Its really not very hard at all, I've picked up on most things very quickly. But you learn a lot quicker and you learn it correctly the first time if someone qualified to teach you teaches you. Otherwise you might teach yourself the wrong way and then have to un-learn it, which is very hard. So good luck!
 

mattv

New Member
Jun 26, 2008
6
You sound a lot like me. I'm a guy, your age, pretty athletic, and I find gymnastics awesome so I wanted to learn some stuff. But I would definitely not recommend doing anything without an instructor. My girlfriend is an instructor so she taught me some things and now I'm taking private lessons at her gym to learn tumbling. Its really not very hard at all, I've picked up on most things very quickly. But you learn a lot quicker and you learn it correctly the first time if someone qualified to teach you teaches you. Otherwise you might teach yourself the wrong way and then have to un-learn it, which is very hard. So good luck!

Aww you're so lucky you have a g/f that does it. My mom doesn't want to pay for an instructor though... is it expensive? Or free for you?

Do you think I could just get some cheerleader chick to help me out and kind of instruct me? Even if they aren't an instructor they still know how to do all that.
 
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gracefulone

Guest
It's better if they actually teach, but I helped out some people before I started teach for money.
 
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NYgymfan

Guest
Yes, well, if it weren't for Kate I wouldn't have really ever been introduced to gym! She's a level 9 gymnast and got trained for coaching so she could make some money coaching little kiddies over the summer. The informal lessons from her were either done on her trampoline (free) or at open gym ($10 for a session). The private lessons, I take with a different coach at her gym, and I pay the same amount as everyone else. Its not cheap.

I suppose you could probably get a cheerleader to show you. Probably not as good as having an instructor, but if you can't afford one then its better then trying to learn it on your own.
 

mattv

New Member
Jun 26, 2008
6
Alright, thanks alot.

Too bad I don't have any access to cheerleaders for about 2 months...

Grrrrrrrreatttt. I'm screwed ='(.

Oh, do like some local weight lifting gyms also do gymnastics? Or are there special gyms for that? Because I know I used to go to this place called "Triangle Fitness" and they had this single room with balls, mats, and all that stuff in it. The rest of the place was just weight lifting and treadmills.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
If you're interesting in tumbling and stunting, get going in cheerleading. You have two years of high school left right? There can be some pretty sweet deals out there for good male cheerleaders in college - there's a lot of coed stunting spots the bigger teams need to fill. Plus guys just do mostly tumbling and lifting, it's not going to be like dancing or anything if you're worried about that. You could look into going to open gym at a nearby gymnastics (or all star cheer) gym, or take a tumbling class. If you don't have mens' gymnastics at your high school (which most places don't) then consider cheerleading if your school has it. There will likely be instruction that is free or at a very reduced fee for being part of a school team. And if any other guys give you trouble about it, well let's just look at the situation ;) They're just jealous.

Edit: also, a lot of school teams work out in the summer going to clinics and group classes and stuff. I just got done working exactly that tonight. So if your school has it and you want to learn, you should contact someone on the team and ask if they are doing any tumbling and stunting classes you can join in on.
 
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