If you have a gymnast in your life, you probably have or need an at-home beam. Balance beams are the easiest to use piece of at-home gymnastics equipment, and one of the most difficult events for any gymnast to master. An at-home beam is affordable, easy to install, and can quickly inspire confidence in any gymnast. If you are thinking of investing in a beam for a beginner gymnast, or a gymnast competing at a higher level, you need to know which beam is best for home practice and where to find it.
Which Kind of Balance Beam Should You Get?
When shopping for a balance beam for home, you need to ask yourself three questions:
- Which type of beam will work in your home?
- What gymnastics beam is right for your gymnast’s abilities?
- Where can you purchase a gymnastics beam easily?
To help you answer these questions, we have provided information about the different types of beams available today and provided tips on how and where to buy the right gymnastics beam for your home.
Beam Mats are for Young Children and Beginner Gymnastics
When shopping for a balance beam, you will likely be concerned with price. Beam mats are the least expensive of any type of beam on the market but are designed for young children and early gymnasts. Usually, they are only helpful for kids 6 and under. The point of a beam mat is to challenge young kids to work the beam while keeping them safe. A traditional beam mat is designed with a line that mimics a beam on the mat. Another point of a beam mat is to inspire kids to stay on the beam while walking, or doing cartwheels.
Beam mats may also be useful for older children if an older gymnast hasn’t made a commitment to gymnastics, yet, and you don’t want to invest a great deal of money in equipment that your child could quickly lose interest in, a beam mat is a good idea. Beam mats are great for kids that haven’t declared a passionate love of gymnastics yet because it can inspire their commitment to the sport. Beam mats can also give kids struggling with the beam a bit of confidence that can easily translate to the gym on higher beams.
Where to buy Beam Mats
For great value, affordable ($40-50), Portable Cartwheel Exercise Tumbling Mat from We Sell Mats is our choice. It comes in blue or pink color. And it offers free shipping!
For higher quality with added functionality, the Tumbl Trak Cartwheel Beam Mat is great. It has two sides, hands and feet on one side and beam-line on the other side. It also has a more variety of colors to choose from.
Beam mats are also a great choice for moms and dads that are looking for a place to let their little ones play roughly. Beam mats are offered in many different colors, so they are great additions to any playroom or bedroom. In fact, when your child outgrows their beam mat, it will still have plenty of life in it and will quickly become their favorite new playroom toy.
Folding Balance Beams (aka Floor Beam) are Easily Stored
Folding beams are similar to beam mats but are a bit more sophisticated. The appeal of a folding beam is that it can easily be stored. In fact, most folding beams will slide under furniture or fit in a closet when not in use. Since folding beams fold, this type of gymnastics equipment is also easy to transport. A folding beam can easily be taken outside, into another room, or even taken on vacation. Folding beams are also extremely useful for children who are afraid of the beam because it sits directly on the floor.
Where to Buy Folding Balance Beams
For great value, lower price but good quality, Z-Athletic Tan Gymnastics Folding Training Low Beam (8 or 9 Feet) is the way to go. The quality feels pretty much the same as the one you get in a gym.
For highest quality (competition-grade), more color options, check out Folding Balance Beam from The Beam Store.
By constantly repeating the same moves on a floor beam, a gymnast will gain confidence and muscle memory that will transfer to the higher beams at the gym in no time. A floor beam is also a great place to learn aerial beam skills, like cartwheels and handstands, before moving to higher beams.
8’ Gymnastics Beam
If your child loves gymnastics, you’ll eventually want an 8’ beam for at home use. When shopping for an 8’ beam, you need to consider the following:
- Do you have enough space?
- Will your child appreciate the equipment?
If you answered yes, an 8’ beam is a reasonable choice for your at-home gym. The 8’ beam is perfect for individual skills such as back walkovers, cartwheels, handstands, and turns. A gymnastics competition beam is 16’ long, so your gymnast will have plenty of room to work their entire routine, and an additional 8’ beam can be added if you want a competition beam length to work with.
Unlike the other beams mentioned above, an 8’ gymnastics beam offers the same feel to workout beams used at the gym and is a much safer choice than an elevated beam. For safety reasons, a high beam is not recommended for home use unless you also have safety mats.
Where to Buy 8’ Gymnastics Beam
Great value, comes with short metal legs, check out The Beam Store Suede 8′ Gymnastics Balance Beam
If you are considering an upgrade from a floor beam or your gymnast is more skilled, therefore she needs an elevated beam, the Balance Beam – BB8-12 – Padded Suede 8 Foot Balance Beam (Tan) is the choice to go. It comes with 12″ Riser Legs. It’s not as high as the one at the gym, but high enough for a more advanced practice.
This popular model can be attached together to make 16′ competition-length. Tumbl Trak Purple Brianna Beam Suede Balance Beam with Purple Beam Legs, 8-Feet Length x 4-Inch Width x 6-Inch Height, it comes with padded short risers/legs. Extra risers for more height can be purchased separately.
12-16’ Gymnastics Beam
An 8’ gymnastics beam will last your gymnast a very long time. But, if your gymnast is older or working at a high level, you may want to invest in a 12’ to 16’ gymnastics beam. This particular beam is ideal for gymnasts who are older than 12, or taller because it offers more length to practice advanced skills. In higher levels, gymnasts need to connect advanced skills, and a 16’ beam allows an entire sequence of skills to be mastered without having to turn around.
Another great reason to purchase a 12’ to 16’ gymnastics beam is that your gymnasts wants a beam that is just like the one at the gym. In competition, a routine is choreographed to use the entire beam. Sometimes, having the same type of home equipment helps inspire confidence that gymnasts need to master difficult skills. As mentioned above, shorter beams can be added together to create a longer beam more economically and don’t require a huge investment of space or money right away.
Where to buy 12′ or 16’ Gymnastics Beam
For a 12′ Beam: The Beam Store Sectional Tan Balance Beam (12-Feet)
For a 16′ Beam, you need to purchase two 8′ beams and connect them together, please look at the 8′ beam options mentioned above.
Inspire your gymnast to become a beam queen by buying an at-home gymnastics beam today. With a variety of beams to choose from, you can certainly find the gym equipment that matches your athlete’s needs and is also easy to use in your home.
If you already have one at home, would you like to share with us what kind of beam you use and how your little gymnast use it?
Photo Credit: © ChrisVanLennepPhoto|Dreamstime.com