Archive for the ‘GYMNASTICS PIT’ Category
I have wrote many articles explaining how gymnastics pits are very helpful and a great training tool for all gymnasts. This is very true but like always, with every good thing comes a negative aspect or a downfall.
The benefits of a gymnastics foam pit greatly outweigh the downfalls, but as a coach I must warn people about each and every downfall.
First, the gymnastics foam pit is very forgiving and may teach kids to use bad form and technique. When gymnasts do skills in the foam pit they usually forget all about straight legs, pointed toes and correct form. They get so caught up in doing the skill into the pit that they forget about all the technique required to do it on the ground.
Second, it can give a gymnast a false sense of accomplishment. Time after time I have asked my gymnast if they can to do a specific skill and they say yes. But they leave out that they have only done it into the pit! Many gymnast think if they can do a skill into pit than they have that skill. This is not true!! This thought can be very dangerous. I cannot stress enough, just because you can do a skill into a gymnastics foam pit does not mean you can do it on the spring floor.
Third, the foam pit can cause many injuries. Every gymnast should watch how they land in the pit. Landing feet first can cause an ankle to roll or knee to buckle. Landing headfirst can cause neck and back injuries. Landing on your belly can also cause back and neck injuries. When tumbling into the pit make sure you don’t land short or undercut, this could make you land on the pit edge. If you tumble to far you could also land on the pit edge. I have seen several gymnasts knee themselves in their face when landing in the pit, so be careful.
Last but not least, foam pit dust may get in the gymnasts eyes. This can cause a great amount of irritation.
Do not land head first into the pit
Do not bury yourself under the pit blocks.
Do not attempt skills you cannot do by yourself safely
Do not land on your knees in the pit
Do not dig holes in the pit blocks
Do not throw foam out of the pit
Do not pick the foam pit blocks apart
Do not throw foam blocks at anyone’s face
Make sure you land in the pit!
Make sure you take turns going into the pit
Make sure only one gymnast at a time is in the pit
Make sure no one is in the pit before you use it
Make sure to land in a pike position if dropping from rope
Make sure the foam pit is fluffed regularly
*Make sure to clean out the foam pit every once in awhile
*It is very important to take time and clean out the gymnastics pit a few times a year. Over time and with a lot of wear and tear the blocks start to flake apart. This causes a lot o dust and small foam pit pieces to be in the pit that often get into the gymnast’s eyes. When you clean out foam pits you may never know what you may find in the bottom. Some of the common things are hair clips, headbands, ponytail holders, stud earrings, jewelry, socks (even though they aren’t suppose to wear them), Band-Aids, etc. And you may even find a few crazy things; we have found glasses, retainers, hand grips, and a dead mouse.
Cleaning a foam pit out can be a very dirty job. Make sure you wear masks and even safety glasses to keep all the dust and flakes out of your mouth, nose, and eyes!!!!
One of our gymnasts always got foam pieces in her eyes, so one day she came to class wearing swimming goggles! She wore the goggles the whole time she did pit tumbling…Needless to say she didn’t get any foam in her eyes!!
Gymnastics foam pits are useful in many different ways. The number one use for a foam pit is landing. A foam pit saves a gymnast from many wipe-outs and injuries.
Gymnastics foam pits are most important for optional and elite gymnasts. They are used as a training tool when it come to learning new gymnastics skills. Many people think a foam pit is used for tumbling and floor skills only, but it is not. It is used for so much more than that.
Gymnasts use foam pits for balance beam. Sometimes they may put a resi-pit under the high beam when trying a skill they have never put on the high beam for the first time. Many gymnasts work beam dismounts into a loose foam pit before doing it off the end of the balance beam on to mats.
Many gymnast use both resi-pits and loose foam pits when it comes to vault. A lot of times a vault is set up with a loose foam pit behind it. Each time the gymnast vaults she will land in a foam pit until she is ready for the next step. A resi-pit is used for a lot of drills when it comes to vaulting. A lot of times a coach may put it behind the vault table to help the gymnast learn to block off.
Foam pits are very important when it comes to the uneven bars. They are used underneath a single bar or in front of a set of uneven bars. They aid in the safety of release skills and gymnastics bar dismounts. Resi-mats are also used as a training tool on uneven bars.
And of course, pits are used for tumbling! They help with front and back tumbling on the floor. Some pits will even be in front of a tumble track or trampoline to help the gymnast get that little extra spring they need for a specific skill.
Gymnastics pits are useful in so many ways when it comes to learning new skills on any event.
Gymnastics foam pits should be a must for every gymnastics academy. They are extremely beneficial for every gymnast and serve so many different purposes.
Foam pits are very useful because it eliminates a huge amount of spotting from a gymnastics coach. No matter how great a gymnastics coach may be it is not a guarantee that they will always catch you or help you land safely. In all honesty, there are certain gymnastics skills that are very hard to spot and on occasions a coach spotting can get in the way. Spotting is also a lot of wear and tear on the body of any gymnastics coach.
Optional and elite gymnast are much safer when they use a pit to try new skills. A pit it so soft and fluffy that no matter how a gymnast may land they will be much better off than if they landed that way on floor. A foam pit reduces the chance of serious injuries by a ton. On rare occasions a gymnast may land weird and roll her ankle, this is minuet to what could have happened if they did the skill on the gymnastics floor instead.
Not only are foam pits essential for the safety of an upper level gymnast, but they can be the highlight for a younger gymnast’s gymnastics class. I have seen countless children beg to play in the pit, and when they get out it is all smiles. Younger and less skilled gymnasts love to do tuck, straddle, straight and pike jumps into the pit from the floor or mini tramp. Their absolute favorite is climbing or swinging on a rope that is above the foam pit and then dropping in.
The foam pit can also be used as a conditioning tool. A loose foam pit is awesome to have races in. another way it can be used as conditioning is to have a gymnast jump in and climb out over and over. You can have your athletes climb the rope; if this is easy have them do it without legs. If they fall they will have a safe landing into the pit. The blocks from the pit can also be used to help a child keep her legs together. This is done by getting a block out and making them squeeze it between their legs without dropping it!
A foam pit is a great tool that can be used in any type of gymnastics academy! Whether it is for fun or for learning new skills a pit is a great investment for every gymnastics club.
Gymnastics safety pits are a very important training tool. Every gymnastics academy should have at least one foam pit. Foam pits are extremely necessary for optional gymnastics skills and levels. There are two types of gymnastics foam pits, loose foam pits and resi pits.
A loose foam pit is built into the ground. It is usually 6-8 feet deep. The walls are covered by polyethylene foam that is usually glued to the concrete. The foam that covers the covers the concrete must be over an inch thick to decrease the chance of injuries. The bottom of a pit is lined with thick crash mats or a trampoline bed. Pits with a trampoline bed in it is known as a bungee pit. A bungee pit is usually placed a few feet above the pit floor. This allows it room to give without hitting the concrete. If you have a bungee pit it is still a good idea to have a gymnastics mat in the very bottom in case any bungees snap or someone bottoms out. Once the loose foam pit is correctly constructed it is filled with foam pit blocks. Foam pit blocks are made out of polyurethane and are nonflammable. They come in two different sizes, 6 and 8 inch.
The second type of gymnastics safety pit is known as a resi-pit. A resi-pit is a foam pit that is made out of thick polyurethane mats that are covered by polyester vinyl that is extremely heavy duty. The resi-pit is about 32 inches in thickness. The bottom of the resi-pit is made out of denser foam and gets softer as it goes up; this eliminates gymnast from bottoming out. A resi-pit can be used for in-ground or above-ground gymnastics training.
Most gymnastics academies use both types of foam pits. A loose foam pit is usually used first when introducing a new skill. After the gymnast masters the new skill in the loose foam she will move on to the resi-pit.
Both types of gymnastics safety pits are a very important part of any gymnastics academy. Make sure you know which pit is best to use in each situation.
TUMBLING INTO A LOOSE FOAM PIT