4 Home Workouts That Supplement a Little Girl Gymnastics Class

You love everything about the little girl gymnastics class your daughter’s in and wish she could go every day. And so does she! She sees the older girls and wants to be doing those cool skills too. But for most families, a daily trip to the gym would break the budget.

Don’t despair! Adding a few days of gymnastics workouts at home is the solution.

How Can I Help My Little Girl with Gymnastics at Home?

Just because your daughter can’t be in class every day doesn’t mean she can’t improve. You can help her by adding these gymnastics exercises to her home routine. A home workout is the best way to develop more strength, flexibility and balance.

Gymnastics takes a tremendous amount of full body awareness and control. By adding a workout session two or three times a week, she’ll become more attuned to both of these. If she continues with this discipline, she’ll find herself progressing through levels at a quicker pace. Plus – her confidence will grow as she enjoys the sense of accomplishment they bring.

These four workouts are not geared toward toddlers. They are best-suited for girls ages four or five and up. They’re meant to complement the little girl gymnastics class she is in. The exercises will resemble some of what she does in her class. Ask your daughter’s gym coach to review the exercises. She or he may have other suggestions that pertain to specific areas that need targeting.

 4 Workouts to Supplement a Little Girl Gymnastics Class

4 Workouts Printable Version

Supplement Your Little Girl’s Gymnastics Class with 4 Home Workouts

These workouts fall under four categories: strength, flexibility, balance and gymnastics skills. Use the categories as separate workout sessions. Or choose a few exercises from each category to create different workouts each day. Change up the order so the body doesn’t adapt to a repetitious routine.

Begin by setting a comfortable base number or length of time for each exercise. It’s fun to chart progress and a real confidence-booster as your child watches those numbers go up!

Start each workout with a bit of aerobics to warm up the body. Jumping jacks, running in place and jumping on a home mini trampoline are great for warmups. Do enough to moderately elevate the heart rate for a couple of minutes. Longer is fine if she feels so inclined!

1. Strength Builders

  • Lunge walks. Place hands on hips, keeping the torso upright. Take large steps either forward or backward, bending the knees to nearly 90 degree angles. Avoid slamming the knees on the floor.
  • Squat jumps. Also known as frog jumps. Squat low then jump upward and forward like a frog!
  • Sit-ups. Beginners can tuck their toes under a couch. Cross arms in front or place hands behind the head. The goal is to do them with feet flat on the floor without the aid of the couch.
  • Leg lifts. Lie flat on the floor. Place hands under the lower part of the back with palms down. Keep the legs tight and pressed together with toes pointed. Slowly lift both legs to vertical or past, if possible, then lower them. Always keep the back pressed against the hands. Avoid arching. Bend the knees slightly at first if needed.
  • Planks. Hold a plank position with a straight tight body. Avoid sagging in the mid-section. For fun, place your feet on a paper plate on the carpet. Then walk on your hands across the floor while keeping your body tight without sagging.
  • Push-ups. These can be done in either a full plank position or from the knees for beginners. Keep hands only shoulder width apart, no wider. Do not bend the head either upward or downward during the push-up. Keep it in a neutral position.
  • Bent arm hangs or pull-ups. Begin with bent arm hangs. Hold chin above the bar for as long as possible. Transition into dropping the chin a few inches below then pulling it back up until a full pull-up is achieved.

2. Flexibility Builders

  • Straddle and pike stretches. Sit on the floor with straight legs in a straddle position or with legs pressed together. Reach out in front as far as possible and hold for at least 30 seconds. The goal is to bring your chest to the floor or to your knees if in a pike while keeping legs straight and tight.
  • Shoulder stretch. Stand straight about two to three feet from a wall. Lift arms above your head, close to ears. Bend 90 degrees forward at the waist, keeping arms straight and by ears. Place hands on the wall and press chest downward until you feel a stretch through the shoulders. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
  • Seal stretch. Lie down on your stomach, legs and feet together. Place hands, palms down, close to your sides just below the shoulders. Press them against the floor, lifting your head and chest until your back is arched. Inch your hands toward your feet until you feel a comfortable stretch in your lower back. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Splits. The split position occurs in many gymnastics skills. Split leaps, split jumps and walkovers all pass through a split position. Good leg flexibility prevents many injuries. Be sure to practice both right and left leg splits. Center splits are also important to work on.

3. Balance Builders

  • Balance on one foot. Hold arms in airplane position to the side. Stand straight and tall. Lift one leg straight forward as high as possible without bending either leg. Hold for 10-30 seconds. When that becomes easy, try standing on your toes! Work on both left and right legs.
  • Beanie Baby balance. Stand straight and tall throughout this exercise. Place a Beanie Baby on top of your head. How long can you walk without dropping it? Squat down then up. Try turning around or going up and down on your toes. This is great for body alignment awareness.
  • Beam line practice. Create a floor beam by placing two pieces of masking tape 4” apart. Walk, run, hop or jump on the line. Practice going forward and backward. Try placing hands close together and hopping on one foot down the beam. Kick up to a 3/4 handstand and land on the beam in a lunge.

4. Skill Builders

Take time to watch the little girl gymnastics class your daughter is in. Early gymnasts learn the Level 1 and 2 skill sets by USA Gymnastics. Many of the skills she’s learning can be replicated at home. Don’t hesitate to ask the coach for other ideas that will complement what she learns in class.

  • Dance skills. Jumps, leaps and turns are all important gymnastics skills. Every floor or beam routine has one or more of these elements. Practice these at home with good form, trying to achieve perfect balance and steady landings.
  • Handstands. This is an essential basic skill that gymnasts must learn. Practice walking up a wall feet first with hands on floor to strengthen the upper body. Practice kick-ups to a ¾ handstand on the floor or kick up to a wall and hold for 10 or more seconds.
  • Cartwheels. This basic Level 1 skill is illustrated with tips here.
  • Forward and backward rolls. Be sure the head stays tucked in the forward roll. Backward rolls are a little more difficult and considered a Level 2 skill.
  • Bridges. Use caution for beginner bridges. Talk to the gymnastics coach to be sure your little gymnast is ready for this skill and to what degree. Beginners should place their feet on a sturdy elevated surface. Place hands by ears with elbows close to the head. Slowly press upward without straining the lower back. This video demonstrates a full bridge then shows the phases that lead up to it.
  • Practice routines. If your daughter has reached a level where she has learned a routine, she can practice it at home. Floor and beam routines are easily adapted to home at the early levels if you have the space.
Little girl in gymnastics class practicing a bridge with coach

Are Home Exercises for Little Gymnasts a Good Idea?

There’s zero dispute over the fact that kids need exercise! The lack of it has resulted in an enormous increase in health issues. A sedentary lifestyle results in a sick lifestyle. Getting kids engaged in daily physical activity should be a high priority.

Practicing gymnastics at home will certainly help achieve that goal! Your daughter will get plenty of exercise and improve her skills at the same time. She’ll experience more progress each week during that one hour little girl gymnastic class than she would otherwise.

Some of the home exercises here mimic what you see on a playground. If you don’t already have an outdoor swing set or home playground, this is the ideal time to add it. It’s hard to work on bar skills without a bar! Swing sets give a big boost to improving bar skills.

Also consider adding an indoor little gym to a room in your house. These can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. You can adapt them for a toddler too. That way, you won’t have to comb the internet for toddler gymnastics near me. Since these workouts are not geared toward toddlers, they won’t feel left out!

Never push your child beyond what they feel capable of doing. Building discipline into a child’s life is important. This is a great opportunity for that. But it should be applied in a way that encourages their love for the sport, not take the fun out of it.

Girls practicing splits with a coach in gymnastics class

If you’re looking for a little girl gymnastics class, Emethgym offers lots of options! Parents can sign up their tot as soon as they are able to walk. Classes for girls and boys (including boys-only classes) continue through high school. Ninja classes are open to ages 4 through adult. Schedule a tour and free trial class. Meet our staff of caring coaches. Then ask our Welcome Team about enrolling in a little girl gymnastics class.