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When you have a gymnast in your life, at some point, you will need a balance beam for home use/practice. Balance beams are actually one of the easiest at-home gymnastics equipment you can own and maintain, many new gymnastics parents don’t realize this.
Beam event is one of the most difficult events for any gymnast to master. That being said, getting one at home for your gymnast will do nothing but benefit them.
A home gymnastics beam is affordable. It’s easy to install and can quickly inspire confidence in any gymnast. Whether 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 depending on your needs and budget.
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 (skill and level)?
- Where can you buy a gymnastics beam easily?
To answer these questions, we have provided information about the different types of beams available.
Different Types of Balance Beam for Home Use
Beam Mat is Good for Beginners
Beam mats are ideal for young children and beginner gymnastics. When shopping for a balance beam, you may be concerned with price. Well, beam mats are the least expensive of any type of beam on the market.
They are best 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 beam mat is designed with a line that mimics a beam on the mat. This 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. If you don’t want to invest a great deal of money in equipment that your child could quickly lose interest in. Then a beam mat is a good idea.
Beam mats are great for kids that haven’t declared a passionate love of gymnastics yet. At the same time, they can inspire them to make more commitment to the sport. Beam mats can also give kids struggling with the beam a bit of confidence, which later can easily translate to the gym on higher beams.
Beam mats are also a great choice for moms and dads that are looking for a place to let their little ones play roughly. They come 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. It will become their favorite new playroom toy.
Where to buy Beam Mats
When it comes to a basic beam mat, the Tumbl Trak Cartwheel Beam Mat is a great choice. It has two sides. Hands and feet on one side for practicing cartwheel, beam-line on the other side. It also has a variety of colors to choose from.
For something with added fun and functionality, the Hopscotch Mat also from Tumbl Trak is our favorite. Not only that it has a 4 inch numbered beam line to help beginner gymnasts practice beam skills and long jumps, on the reverse side this 1 ⅜’’ thick mat has a hopscotch grid for a fun hopscotch game in between practices. But it’s a bit pricey compared to other basic beam mats.
Alternatively, inflatable air track mats have been gaining a lot of popularity. We have a dedicated article that talks about the best air track mats you can get.
Folding Balance Beams (Floor Beams) are Easily Stored
Folding Balance Beams (aka Floor 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. Folding beams sit directly on the floor. That’s why they are also called floor beams or some times are called a low beam.
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.
Where to Buy Folding/Floor Balance Beams
In terms of folding beam, we think Z-Athletic: Gymnastics Folding Training Low Beam is the way to go. The quality feels pretty much the same as the one you get in a gym.
The laser beam features marked numbers and lines to help your gymnast train various skills in different phases. Make sure to purchase the lite version if you’re looking for a folding beam for easy transport and storage. The pro version is double the length and doesn’t fold in half like the lite version.
The addie beam is a very popular home training floor beam. It doesn’t fold in half though. However, you have an option to purchase a leg risers. So instead of the beam just sits flat on the floor, the optional leg can raise the beam up to 12-inches of the ground. This makes this beam more future proof once your gymnast is more confident to practice on an elevated beam.
8’ Balance Beam Is Just the Perfect Length for Home
If your child has shown commitment to gymnastics, you’ll eventually want an 8’ beam for practicing at home. 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 to both, an 8’ beam is a reasonable choice for your at-home gym equipment. 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. 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. A high beam is not recommended for home use unless you also have safety mats.
Where to Buy 8’ Beams
Tumbl Trak Brianna Beam is probably one of the most popular 8′ beams for home practice, two beams can be attached together to make 16′ competition-length. It also comes with padded short risers/legs. Extra risers for more elevation (6 inches) can be purchased separately.
If you are looking for a more affordable 8’ balance beam, check out The Beam Store Suede 8′ Gymnastics Balance Beam. Don’t be fooled with its cheaper price, it is actually a very high-quality beam made in the US.
If you are considering an upgrade from a floor beam or your gymnast is more skilled, therefore she needs an elevated beam. The Milliard Adjustable Balance Beam is the choice to go. It comes with adjustable legs. It’s perfect for beginners as well as more advanced gymnasts.
12-16’ Beam for Competition-feel Balance 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.
At higher levels, gymnasts need to practice more advanced skills. 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 gymnast wants a beam that is just like the one at the gym. In competition, a routine is choreographed to use the entire beam. Having the same type of home equipment helps inspire confidence that gymnasts need to master difficult skills.
Many shorter beams, like the 8′ ones we talked about above can be connected 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’ Beams
For a 12′ beam: The Beam Store Sectional Tan Balance Beam (12-Feet)
For a 16′ beam, your best bet is to buy two 8′ beams and connect them together. In this case, the 8′ beam Tumbl Trak Brianna Beam mentioned above is our top choice.
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 uses it?