Men's Artistic Squads
If you think football is tough, try being a master of six disciplines!
Each apparatus different to the other and requiring a combination of strength, stamina, mobility, endurance, flexibility, body control and co-ordination. The physique of an male gymnast says it all – years of hard work and dedication.
Roles models like Olympic medallist Max Whitlock and Louis Smith began the sport at a young age, both drawn to the thrill of learning ‘tricks’, being with friends and keeping out of trouble. Sound familiar?
With loads of physical activity, balanced with fun and excitement to test the even the craziest thrill seeker, Men’s Artistic Gymnastics has something to keep every boy challenged:-
Our boys squads train on all six disciplines - Floor, Pommels, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars and High Bar.
The Artistic Squads train at various levels and ages. All gymnasts compete in the Men's Artistic Gymnastics discipline. Some squads train as many as 5 sessions a week. We have had gymnasts who have not only represented the club in Regional and National competitions but some have had International level experience too. Boys training sessions are held on: -
Monday 6.00-9.30 pm
Tuesday 4.30-7.00 pm & 6.00-9.30 pm
Friday 6.00-9.30 pm
Saturday 1.30-4.30 pm & 1.30-6.00 pm
Sessions dependent on age and ability.
These gymnasts are prepared for full entry into either the Artistic or GfA Floor & Vault Squad.
Our recreational gymnasts compete once a year in the clubs Annual Championships. Those who place in the top 6 in the younger age group classes qualify for a squad trial. Those who complete the trial successfully are given a further trial for 3-4 months before being promoted to squad level of coaching. These lads start by competing in the GfA regional F&V competitions in preparation before they start competing in the first levels (NDP Grades Competitions) in Men's Competitive Artistic Gymnastics.
Gymnastics is not just for girls. Not even close.
Yes, the sport is considerably more popular among girls. But did you know that many regard male gymnasts as the strongest of all athletes? In Men’s Health’s list of the 50 fittest athletes, it is a gymnast who is ranked third, ahead of sports stars like Michael Phelps, LeBron James and Usain Bolt. And, the magazine admits that the gymnast, Kohei Uchimora, “might be pound-for-pound the fittest guy on the planet.”
So that sounds like he should be ranked first to me…but I digress.
Even if your son has no desire to pursue gymnastics as a sport, there are still many benefits for boys to participate in gymnastics. I know that might sound confusing: why would you have your child enroll in gymnastics if he had no interest in being a gymnast?
For these 5 simple reasons: -
Gymnastics is the perfect foundational sport. There is no sport that teaches basic fundamental athletic skills better than gymnastics, especially for young kids who lack the motor and cognitive skills for team ball sports. In gymnastics class, your son will learn to run, jump, and balance, to develop his coordination and body awareness and to become stronger and more flexible. These basic athletics skills are then transferable to any sport he chooses to play when he gets older. Or, if he opts out of sports all together, he will have a foundation for fitness.
Gymnastics is the perfect cross training sport. If your son is already involved in another sports program, gymnastics is a perfect way to enhance his conditioning by building up his athleticism. By participating in gymnastics your son will become stronger, more flexible, more agile and have a better sense of where his body is in the air, all resulting in and overall improvement in his fitness and athleticism.
Gymnastics is the perfect injury prevention programme. Two of the most common ways kids get injured in sports are from sprains or strained muscles and from falling. Gymnastics is useful in helping kids avoid sprains and strains because it teaches kids to warm up properly and it helps them increase their flexibility (two of the main reasons sprains and strains occur). Additionally, there is no better place to learn to fall than gymnastics! Part of any core curriculum in gymnastics is learning how to fall safely.
Gymnastics is the perfect character building sport. Coaches want athletes with a strong work ethic and who are resilient. Gymnastics is not an easy sport. It teaches kids that hard work is necessary for results and that trying over and over again is just part of the process. Discipline is a natural byproduct of doing gymnastics.
Gymnastics is the perfect sport to learn to be coachable. Gymnastics teaches kids to listen. Gymnasts receive corrections after each and every turn. So a gymnast might receive literally hundreds of pieces of feedback in one practice! Gymnasts learn to not take this feedback as criticism but rather as helpful information designed to improve their performance.
Gymnastics is NOT just for girls. Gymnastics is the foundation of ALL sports. Who knows? Maybe your son will “flip” for the sport and become a gymnast or maybe he will just get some solid building blocks to use in his future athletic endeavors. Either way, it is time well spent getting the recommended 60 minutes (or more) of physical activity per day they need, and they are not in front of a screen! And it’s fun!
The 12 x 12 Metre sprung floor area allows the gymnast to reach incredible heights following a series of explosive and power acrobatic and tumbling skills. Coming back down to earth is only half the fun!
A floor routine can include movements that demonstrate strength, flexibility and balance. Routines combine moves such as somersaults, twists and hold elements. The whole floor area is used throughout the routine and often shows touches of personal expression and execution. An elite gymnast’s routine will typically last between 50 sec. and 1’10 min.
Standing 1.15 metres from the floor the pommel horse is one of the hardest pieces of men’s apparatus to master. It is unforgiving and has been known to buck many a gymnast. Great Britain has a proud tradition of fine pommel horse workers. Are you the next?
A good pommel horse routine will demonstrate smooth continuous circular and pendulum type swings, double leg circles and scissor movements. It is quite common to see gymnasts move up and down the length of the pommel horse and finish their routine by swinging through handstand after a series of spindles and quick hand placements. The pommel horse is a piece of apparatus not for the feint-hearted.
Often described as like ‘watching a bird swing in a cage’, to master the rings a gymnast needs incredible strength, balance and body tension. Suspended 2.80 metres from the floor, there is little room for error.
Ring routines include a variety of movements demonstrating pure strength, support and balance. Gymnasts often perform a series of swings and holds with both forward and backward elements. The routine culminates in a wound up swing followed by an acrobatic dismount containing multiple somersaults and twists. Feeling dizzy?
Imagine charging 25 metres towards a 1.35 metre vaulting table, springing from the top and landing within a set of parallel lines on the other side. This is the task facing the gymnast wishing to master the vault.
The combination of a fast run and approach to the spring board, quick transition to the vaulting table and explosive take-off should see the gymnast catapult themselves sky high in preparation for a controlled landing. Multiple twists and rotations are seen in the air with gymnasts often approaching the vault in either a forward or backward direction. There is little room for error in ‘blink and you may miss it’ apparatus.
If you thought swinging and balancing on one bar was hard enough, try negotiating two. The Parallel Bars stand 2.00 metres from floor and ‘give’ under the gymnasts weight to provide for some crazy combinations of skills seen both above and below the bars.
Like the rings, the parallel bars require a combination of swinging movements with strength or hold elements. Gymnasts often travel along the bars and typically bring the routine to a close with a daring dismount from the end or side of the bars involving multiple somersaults and twists.
Perhaps the most spectacular of the men’s apparatus, the horizontal bar stands 2.80 metres from floor and sees the gymnast turn multiple swinging circles, daring release and catch elements and tightly wound up dismounts that defy the imagination.
Gymnasts perform continuous clean swinging movements and must not touch the bar with their body. Complex grip changes add variety and risk to routines. Dismounts provide the most ‘heart in mouth’ moments of the horizontal bar routine as the gymnast catapults themselves well above and beyond the bar before safely negotiating a safe and controlled landing. Master this piece of apparatus and you would make a great pilot!