For Parents Saying no

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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Australia
I hate them! We use them in the gym of course but under very close supervision.

The technique used on an air mat is different to the technique used on floor, if the kids practice there skills hundreds of times on an air mat they will get very good at doing it incorrectly. Skills need to be practiced on the floor at least twice as much as they are on an air mat.

Kids think they can do things they have not been taught to do. At best it means they learn to do skills incorrectly, which is very hard to unteach and at worst catastrophic injury.

Kids fling off the sides and off the ends all the time, if you hit the side (which they do) you will go flying. In the gym we have the air mat on a mat, we have lots of space around, we have crash mats at the end. If the kids fly off it’s not as dangerous, at home again the injury can be catastrophic.

They wear easily. Even in the gym on soft mats, they get holes, especially around the seams. If used on grass, rocks, sticks etc it won’t last long, nor will it love being left out in the sun. It’s a lot of money for something that may tear soon after you get it.

Good decision to avoid it.
 
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Brookegymnast88

New Member
Gymnast
Feb 9, 2020
8
19
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USA
Not sure if this will help or not, but my son told me he can't stand airtracks. He said that he feels like they are ankle breakers. (his words.) Maybe hearing from another gymnast? He hasn't tumbled at all since this started since he will not tumble in the grass. He said tumbling will come back easily, but strength and flexibility will not.
I agree, I hurt my back and was out for months because of tumbling on an air track. They just have wacky support and if they are dangerous if they are to soft/hard. Maybe a panel mat to practice standing skills like back handsprings and tucks would be an alternative.
 

Pineapple_Lump

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Jan 31, 2008
1,088
I am really concerned with seeing kids doing strap bar work at home/parks. Then there are those home uneven bar type. sets with young kids jumping in between bars - if they peel there will be a nice hole in the wall.
 

amiandjim

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Apr 18, 2015
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USA
I am really concerned with seeing kids doing strap bar work at home/parks. Then there are those home uneven bar type. sets with young kids jumping in between bars - if they peel there will be a nice hole in the wall.
I can’t even with the home strap bars and homemade full sets of bars. Gyms aren’t helping though! I’ve seen gyms (including one very well known, elite gym in TX) post videos of kids doing giants in their living room on their homemade strap bars. That’s just irresponsible, IMO.
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
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Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
16,659
Country
Canada
There are a shocking number of videos of kids doing home bar workouts, no spotting even.I have a terrible fear of grip lock, and wrapped arms, it happens way more easily than people realise. Giants are really best kept in the gym.
 
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SMH

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Dec 17, 2016
607
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USA
I can’t even with the home strap bars and homemade full sets of bars. Gyms aren’t helping though! I’ve seen gyms (including one very well known, elite gym in TX) post videos of kids doing giants in their living room on their homemade strap bars. That’s just irresponsible, IMO.
A gymnast in Illinois built a strap bar in her backyard- and posted a video- her coach, from a well known gym, commented that she should now start working on toe ons.
 

mom2newgymnast

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Proud Parent
Jul 8, 2014
1,009
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USA
Those backyard and garage bars scare me so much. I'm really surprised that some coaches are okay or even encouraging them! I know that my daughter misses bars terribly (it's her favorite event), but even she is horrified whenever she sees one of those videos online. And what's even scarier to me is whenever someone posts a video, the responses are usually along the lines of how can I build something like that? Yikes.

Now to be honest, we did get an air track (actually 2 smaller ones) for my daughter and she is really getting a lot of use out of it. She is very cautious in general and recently recovered from a broken ankle that pretty much ruined her whole season, so she isn't doing anything crazy on it. She has daily zoom classes and she uses it for all of her conditioning, handstand work, floor bar work, etc. She also uses it for some beam skills (jumps, series, etc). But not much actual tumbling beyond maybe a back tuck or ro bhs. We purchased them before the prices skyrocketed and it has really been useful for her. We also built a floor bar for her bar work (blinds, etc) and she has some resistance bands and a few other general exercise equipment and that's about it.
 

amiandjim

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Apr 18, 2015
1,523
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USA
A gymnast in Illinois built a strap bar in her backyard- and posted a video- her coach, from a well known gym, commented that she should now start working on toe ons.
Yep, saw that one, too.
 

cmg

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Jul 2, 2018
39
60
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USA
My daughter and her team mate saw those strap bar video's and wanted to try doing giants at the elementary school playground using the metal bar sets on the playground. Her team mate ordered the straps from amazon. I was vehemently opposed and she was "I'm doing it no matter what, you can't stop me. I'll walk there if I have to." My daughter is 16 and very stubborn so this was not a surprise to me, but I thought well if you are going to do it no matter what at least have your dad with you so he can see if this is going to work or not and take you to the hospital if you hurt yourself. Last night her team mate went to the playground, I did not take my daughter since I was on a Zoom meeting and I took the car keys so she could not drive (she only has her permit but she may have attempted to drive herself). Luckily she did not try to walk and later I found out "it didn't work". My husband and I were just hoping that if they did actually try this that we would be there when they figured out it couldn't work safely. Needless to say I was relieved but she is devastated. On top of this another teammate asked her to go away with her over the weekend and unfortunately it was not going to be a safe situation from a social distancing standpoint so we had to say no. She was in tears and just said had to get out of the house. This whole virus thing is really hard on our teens. Her gym is hoping to open in the beginning of June with limited hours which she is also mad about. She has an AP test on Wednesday and has no motivation to do anything this weekend. I feel like I can't help her at all. I of course "don't understand anything" and I feel totally useless as a mom trying to help her right now with any motivation or words of wisdom. Now I know she is 16 and doesn't want my help anyway, but I just hope she can get back into the gym and start to be happy again. I also just want school to be over. This distance learning stuff sucks. Ok I am done venting, sorry for the rant but I hate those at home videos too because they do encourage gymnasts to take risky actions.
 

MyBoysFlip

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Aug 1, 2010
723
Ohio
cmg - I have a 15 yo in the same situation - it is really sad that they are taking those high stakes AP tests after several weeks without being in class! Plus they changed the format on them after they spent months preparing. Mine has AP tests on Th & F next week. I already warned my husband to be calm and practice compassion. Its hard with the teenagers - they can't just play outside! Good luck & we"ll all get through this.
 

rjb123

Active Member
Proud Parent
Aug 17, 2013
837
I can’t even with the home strap bars and homemade full sets of bars. Gyms aren’t helping though! I’ve seen gyms (including one very well known, elite gym in TX) post videos of kids doing giants in their living room on their homemade strap bars. That’s just irresponsible, IMO.
OMG I saw that and was like holy heck what are they THINKING putting this out there?! It will just encourage it!!
 
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