Many a question!!! (Sorry)

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grace13

New Member
Jul 12, 2009
23
Ohio
Okay, so I'm totally new to this sport! I haven't even been to a formal class since I was six!:eek: I have a few (okay, more than a few) questions for everyone.
Question #1- I live in the USA and am a bit confused on levels. Can you skip levels if you practise enough? How long does each level normally take? Does it depend on a gymnast's ability?
Question #2- I am a bit on the heavy side, not huge, but big- boned. I would like some exercises that I could do at home, if anyone would be nice enough to provide them! And also, what is an elite gymnast's diet and training regime like?
Last but not least, question #3- How do I keep my legs straight in a cartwheel?!:confused:
Thank you all for putting up with my ignorance!:D
 
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CreateMagic

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Dec 9, 2008
368
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Okay, so I'm totally new to this sport! I haven't even been to a formal class since I was six!:eek: I have a few (okay, more than a few) questions for everyone.
Question #1- I live in the USA and am a bit confused on levels. Can you skip levels if you practise enough? How long does each level normally take? Does it depend on a gymnast's ability?
Question #2- I am a bit on the heavy side, not huge, but big- boned. I would like some exercises that I could do at home, if anyone would be nice enough to provide them! And also, what is an elite gymnast's diet and training regime like?
Last but not least, question #3- How do I keep my legs straight in a cartwheel?!:confused:
Thank you all for putting up with my ignorance!:D

Question #1: Levels 1-4 are not required levels of competition, so they can be skipped (depending on your gym policies however). Levels 5-10 cannot be, with the exception that if you are 14+ you can petition to level 7. How long a level takes depends on the ability and the dedication of the athlete. Some kids may do a season of level 5, score of out level 6 after one meet then head straight to level 7. Some kids take two years (or more) at a level.

Question #2: Try to get some aerobic exercise in each day--jogging, biking, etc. It will help strengthen your heart and lungs, and prepare you to make it through long practices. Push-ups, sit-ups, hollow and arch holds, frog jumps--anything to help you gain strength. Handstands against a wall, bridges.

Question #3: When you are standing up, tighten your quads and notice what completely straight, tight legs with pointed toes feel like. Think about that and try to recreate it in the middle of the cartwheel. Helps my students a lot to focus on that feeling and create that muscle memory without worrying about being upside down when making the original correction.
 
M

Mack_the_Ripper

Guest
1. You do not have to do levels 1 - 4, but after that you must compete at least one USAG sanctioned meet at each level. So you can kind of "skip" by only doing one meet and then moving on, instead of competing the whole season.

2. I don't really have any advice on this...if you start doing gymnastics seriously, then the strength training they'll have you do with get you nice and firm...as long as you eat right and have energy for gymnastics, it's not a problem.

3. If you have room or are at a gym, you can put a mat about 2 feet away from a carpeted wall or another mat. Do a cartwheel in the space between them. If your legs are bent or you're going crooked, you'll run into the mat (it won't hurt). Keep doing them in-between the mats until you no longer hit the sides.

If you don't have access to equipment, try slowing down. In this drill, it doesn't matter if you're on a straight line or going fast. Focus on tightening your legs and pointing your toes during this slow, ugly cartwheel. Then slowly build back up to normal speed, while keeping your legs straight. This is so you can focus on your legs instead of thinking about the rest of the cartwheel.
 
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