A lot of times we speak to new parents who say, “My child wants to do gymnastics….or tumbling. She wants to learn cartwheels. Which is that?”
While the terms are often used interchangeably, tumbling is commonly used to refer to floor skills such as cartwheels, roundoffs, back handsprings and any sort of flipping on a spring floor or mat.
Gymnastics refers to skills on equipment or with equipment. There are many types of gymnastics you’ll see in the upcoming 2020 Olympics (Which we are already counting down to!):
This is the most common gymnastics we see on television and one we teach here at Twisters. In artistic gymnastics, athletes demonstrate skills on the uneven bars, balance beam, vault and our favorite – floor routines (think dance and tumbling combined!) For men’s gymnastics, you’ll see them compete on the parallel bars, pommel horse, rings, single bar, vault, and floor routines. The United States is particularly known for our incredible Olympic gymnasts such as Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles and even as far back as Kerri Strug – who has a pretty incredible story from the 1996 Olympics. See her story of struggles and triumphs here.
Trampoline is another sport you’ll see in the upcoming Olympics, and while it doesn’t technically fall under “gymnastics” for the Olympics, it requires many of the same technical skills of flipping and twisting. The trampoline skills these athletes are competing aren’t your backyard front tucks! Trampoline is a sport that Twisters holds near and dear as many of our coaches have competed in trampoline over the years. Not quite sure what sort of skills you would compete at an Olympic level on the trampoline? Here is a great video of US gymnasts demonstrating their trampoline skills on a variety of trampolines.
Often trampoline is paired with power tumbling (running roundoff back handsprings, tucks, layouts, twists and so much more!) Unfortunately the Olympics doesn’t currently offer power tumbling with trampoline, but it’s such a huge part of the sport!
So why is Twister Sports, a small-town gym here in Warrensburg, Missouri telling you about gymnastics? Well, all great gymnasts began with a forward roll. Then, the athlete likely moved on to a handstand or a cartwheel. They worked hard for their skills and had setbacks at times. But, along the way, they had coaches pushing them to achieve their goals.
Our tumbling and gymnastics classes here at Twisters teach all of those skills and so many more. With tumbling, your child can later go on to compete in gymnastics or all star cheerleading, which is also currently being considered for the Olympics (Our fingers are crossed!!)
Tumbling is the foundation for many cheerleaders and gymnasts. It teaches athletes not only the physical skills, where they build flexibility, core strength and proper body positions, but it teaches them the mental skills as well. Our athletes learn self-determination, goal-setting and resilience in the face of challenge.
If your child is interested in gymnastics, tumbling or cheerleading, check out our class schedule and trial membership. We’d love to help them find that sport they truly love!