TEN-O Gymnastics

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Better Spotting on Deck with ByGMR!

Adjustable-Spotting-DeckEffective gymnastics coaching means getting in there and making corrections to body positioning for both safety and aesthetics. Gymnastics coaching is a hands on business. Describing actions with words, alone, only takes you so far. The real changes happen when coaches get up close and personal allowing their athletes’ bodies to feel the desired alignment, as they move through the skill.

That’s where your ByGMR spotting deck lets you, literally, step up to the task!

Our gymnastics spotting deck features a 2ft x 4ft full platform that provides 2 feet on either side of your single bar trainer, allowing the coach the stability needed to straddle the bar, should they so choose, so they can manipulate bodies in motion, in real time.

Giants, blind changes and pirouettes are staple skills in advanced gymnastics bar work. Having their coach by their side can jumpstart a gymnast’s confidence as they approach trickier, at first more frightening, skills. Knowing their kid’s gym has top of the line, professional tools to guide their child through more advanced moves soothes a parent’s nerves, too, as they watch their child grow in their gymnastics training.

Our gymnastics spotting deck doesn’t hinge up or retract nailing down that added stability you want from a spotting deck. For safety and comfort, it comes padded with 1 3/8 cross link foam. 2 clamps and 2 spinlocks keep it locked in place for the safety of the gymnast and the coach. Most gymnastics gyms leave their decks in place because it is such a useful piece of equipment when shaping, but it is removable should you need to take it down. We offer removable and non-removable spotting decks for your professional gymnastics body shaping pleasure!

This spotting deck’s super stable construction uses 2 jaws in opposite directions to make this puppy rock solid until You Choose to Move It. Gymnastics gyms are places with lots of things happening at once and time is of the essence when keeping classes on schedule. To take it off, two people use a tilting motion to disengage it’s pit-bull like jaw features and it’s removed quick and easy for busy coaches in a dynamic gym club environment.

It’s so solid that gymnasts can also use it to climb up to the bar. After all, most gymnasts are not built like basketball players! Lol.

Gymnasts are also not divers and should not attempt to do anything silly like dive or somersault off it. Really! No back layout full twists. Save that for floor ex!

Another, USA Gymnastics Congress on the books!

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USA Gymnastics Congress 2018: a resounding success!

Unlike most years, there were no national championships attached to the convention this go’ round. That made for a little less traffic by the booth. What it missed in quantity, it made up for in quality, as people were more leisurely in their time to chat.

Talking to coaches and customers, gymnasts, judges and parents is where the heart of congress lies, for us. It’s our chance to connect. It gives us an opportunity to take the pulse of the gymnastics community writ large. We answer questions about equipment, grips, gym club, pit design… You name it! We listen to your concerns and take them back to HQ where we spend the year tailoring our offerings to meet your needs.

This year, we even got to meet a service pig! Next to the crop of Olympic gymnasts, Bacon was the second brightest star! Isn’t he adorable?!

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New Pits on the Block

We at By GMR have had the pleasure of working with the good folks at Bull Run Academy of Gymnastics out of Warrenton, VA, on putting together their beautiful new gymnastics gym. They gave us the dimensions of their building and the list of equipment they have and what they wanted to add and asked us to help them design the best, most safety conscious and space efficient layout for their facility. We discussed the pits they wanted and — very importantly: what types of skills they wanted to train into those pits and how they wanted them laid out.

We talked gymnastics gym design. We talked gymnastics classes. We talked gymnastics gym flow.

We then came up with a blue print of all the equipment and mats for the gym itself. We provides them blueprints of the gym with the pits. We provided blueprints of the pits only to their contractors. We also provided several 3D rendered views so the gym owners could see what their gym would look like from all the vantage points they wanted.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, at all, you may have picked up on the fact that Mike is a bit of a gymnastics pit design nerd. This is literally the 6th post we’ve done on the subject, lol.

But, there’s a lot to dig into on the topic! What’s special about this particular gym pit post is that this one offers photos of a gymnastics pit made with concrete blocks rather than poured concrete! Also, it offers a good look at the beginnings of a gymnastics pit in its early construction. So without further ado…

Trench 1

Here you see the single bar trainer and trench pit leg attached to a 24 inch resi pit. It will contain a 8ft x 18 ft curved trench bar mat. In this instance, they made the entire trench 7 feet deep and built a wood platform for the resi, to sit on. The wood you see here is a temporary framing that helps keep the walls straight while they dry. All of the concrete blocks are filled with concrete and reinforced with rebar. As it should be with every pit, they are built in accordance with their local building codes. 

Pit 1, 2

This photo shows the main pit which is 18 ft x 34 ft and 7 feet deep. The pit only needs to be six feet deep, but the wanted it to be 7 feet deep to accommodate the trench bar mat.

Pit 1, 3

This photo offers a really good top view of the concrete blocks filled with concrete and their rebar reinforcements. You can also see how they are tied into the concrete floor via the rebar and the poured concrete. We can’t stress it enough. Check your local building codes! We know of a gym that didn’t build to code and they had to scrap everything and start over. Don’t let that happen to you!

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Balance Beam Matters

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When kids are teetering around on a 4 inch wide surface raised 4-ish feet off the floor and then they start turning cartwheels, aerials and backflips on it, ya really ought to put a mat underneath it. Ya know, just in case.

In fact, if you run a gym club you really want to put a mat on either side of your beams which are ideally spaced six feet apart. Some gymnastics gyms space their beams 4 feet apart. We don’t recommend that. Think about it. If you think about the length of the gymnasts as they’re leaping and gymnastics-ing, ehhhh, 4 feet just isn’t a safe enough margin for little noggins not to go knockin’ on the beam or the gymnast next door.

You also want to position a mat at the end of each beam. Additionally, you want to pad the upright legs, as well as cover the part of the leg that’s on the floor.

The goal is to create one big safe landing space under, at the end and to the sides of the beam for when doing skills on that 4 inch wide space doesn’t go as hoped, every time, because we all know it won’t.

Why pad the balance beam legs?

In Mike’s time as a coach, he’s seen girls fall on beam in all kinds of ways. Girls can slip at the end of the beam and hit one of the legs. They can lose their balance and end up splitting the beam or one legs slips and hits the beam upright underneath. Sometimes, you’ll get a gymnast who misses a dismount and lands short or bounces forward and hits a beam upright. You want to be sure your kids are hitting padded metal and not just straight metal. Your kids will thank you, your parents will thank you, your insurance will thank you.

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Don’t Break Your Mother’s Heart.

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With every gymnastics pit system we design or sell, we always send along a gym pit warning poster that lists pit safety protocols. We recommend gyms, clubs or schools that train gymnasts using a gymnastics pit post these safety protocols near their pit, so that coaches and gymnasts will see it and be reminded that training acrobatic skills into a pit can be dangerous and is not to be taken lightly just because it’s commonly done in the sport of gymnastics.

Several of these protocols are self-explanatory, but some of the reasoning behind them might not be so obvious to the newbie coach or athlete or to their parents, so we thought we’d do this post to talk a little about our gym pit safety protocols and what reasoning lies behind them in the hopes that knowing they WHY behind these safety principles will help keep more folks safe out there.

  1. Use the pit only under supervision of a gymnastics professional.
  2. Always make sure the foam is adequately fluffed before using the pit. There should be a mountain of cubes to the point of overflowing the edge of the pit. The foam should be fluffed up after every 3 to 5 entries.

If your pit doesn’t look like a mountain of cubes, then that could indicate the cubes are compressed or that you don’t have enough cubes in the pit. Having a pit which doesn’t have enough cubes or whose foam pit cubes are compressed will not displace or absorb the incoming forces of the gymnast’s body and thus will not offer the cushioned landing or slowing down that a pit is there to provide. Landing into a pit full of compressed foam cubes would be like landing onto just a big block of foam.

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