The balance beam, also commonly referred to a beam is an artistic gymnastics tool usually made from leather like material. It is small and thin and stands on a stand on both ends and only female gymnast use the beam.
All beam balance must comply with the specifications and guidelines set by the International Gymnastics Federation as well as meet the exact dimensions.
Initially, the apparatus surface was made from polished wood, but this type of beam was later banned due to the extreme slipperiness and replaced with the modern beam that is covered in suede or leather material.
What are the Dimensions of a Gymnastics Balance Beam?
The universal recognized balance beam dimensions are: 4-inches in the overall width, the length should be 16-feet and 5-inch and should be 4-feet above the ground surface. The beam should also be supported by a stand or leg on both ends.
Professional Balance Beam
They are also known as the advance balance beams and are predominantly used by a high-level gymnast. The starting level for the professional balance beam is usually 7. The appearance is much similar to that of the junior beam however the is a significant difference in that the height above the ground is much raised than that of the junior balance beams.
The materials used to make the advanced balance beam are steel, and this makes the beam extremely durable. An extra protection layer pad is added on the top, and a suede wraps the entire beam for the safety of the gymnast.
The beam is 8-feet long and at the ends of the beam are steel legs that support the beam of the ground
The durability of the beams also adds confidence in that a gymnast can confidently jump and even do stance without the fear of the beam breaking.
Folding Beam for Home
This type of balance beam is made of high density and extremely firm polythene foam and is strong enough. It is lightweight and provides an ambient space for the practice of simple activities. It has the capability of folding into half for enhanced handling and easy storage.
The dimensions for the folding balance beam are 2-inches high, 9-feet in length and 4-inches on top while the base is slightly 6-inches for enhanced stability. The balance beam rests flat on the floor, and it’s entirely covered in a heavy duty oz vinyl.
Foam Balance Beam
A beginner balance beam is usually padded foam. This makes the beam strong enough for the gymnast to grasp, and also, the padded foam ensures that the young gymnast does not get badly hurt as compared to the wooden beam for the seniors. The foam balance beams are covered in suede but filled with solid but lightweight crosslink foam.
Dimensions of foam beam are: the top surface is much tapered and measures 4-inches while the bottom surface is much wide and measures 6-inches for stability unlike other balance beams for seniors.
It’s designed this way to ensure that the young gymnast practices without getting hurt or without inflicting serious injuries in case an accident happens
The beams can easily be connected end to end with an attached hook and loop fasteners. They are excellent for use or gym use and create a beam training station that is low and extremely long or even create shorter beams that can make maximum use of the minimal space in homes. The dimensions are 4-6 feet long and can weigh ranging from 8 to 12 pounds.
Low Balance Beam
The low beams are suitable for intermediate gymnasts and have an inner core made of wood. Suede is used to cover the entire beam and also ensure that the beam maintains its classic shape. The dimensions of a low beam are 4-inches across and at the top of the, it is 4 inches tall.
The measurements are the same as those of a regulation beam. The low beam allows a junior gymnast to practice regularly. The low beam is also known as the junior beam and it resembles the professional balance beam, but the only difference is that it does not provide the imposing height.
This beam uses a wooden support at both ends and in most models that have been developed it also includes a support at the middle that raises it a few inches above the ground. This type of beam mainly builds the gymnast skills and also minimizes the risk of injuries. A mat is laid underneath the beam to ensure the safest practice.
To sum it up
The skill levels
There are different gymnast skill levels that each gymnast fits. The different levels of gymnast skills allow the gymnast to develop their skills and test with others of the same ability and capability. There are ten different levels, and each is classified differently.
The first classification is the beginner and runs from level one to four. The second classification is the intermediate level and runs from level five to seven. Levels eight to ten is classified as advanced.
Purchasing Beams Online
There are some factors to consider when purchasing balance beams online as a beginner. It is advisable to buy a balance beam that fit the particular gymnast level. For a beginner and also those who are up to level 4 require a beginner beam and for intermediate level gymnast a junior beam is required.
For those who would want to advance to the top most level of gymnast should consider purchasing a full-sized advance beam for the seniors. Before making the decision to purchase a balance beam, there are questions that one need to have in mind:
- Which is the best type of beam that will properly work in your home?
- What dimensions should this beam have?
- Which is the best gymnastic beam that matches gymnast skill/abilities?
- Where to purchase the right beam?
In conclusion, perfection on the balance beam requires a series of intensive training at various levels. For the beginners, safety is a priority, and that is why the beginning beams sit on the floor.
For the advanced balance beam, only the senior should use it to show their expertise. To find the right beam one should balance the level of the gymnast for the best perfection and safety.