Thursday, 5 June 2003

Build Your Own Gymnastics Balance Beam

There are several methods to make a gymnastics balance beam for home use. They can run the gamut from the most basic wooden beam to one covered with carpet. Or you can make a more elaborate balance beam padded and wrapped in synthetic suede. However you decide, this project isn't too difficult and can save you money. Most supplies you need can be found at a local home improvement store.

First a little background. All competitive gymnasts are required to perform on the balance beam apparatus. Beams used in international gymnastics competitions must conform to the strict guidelines and specifications set forth by the International Gymnastics Federation Apparatus Norms. Originally, the balance beam surface was polished wood. Since the 1980s, beams have been covered in synthetic suede. Today's competition beams are also sprung to accommodate the stress of high-difficulty tumbling and dance skills. This is why gymnasts who are competing can be very particular about the apparatus they use at the gym vs the apparatus you might make at home. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consider the level of the gymnast when deciding to start this project

The regulation length for a competition balance beam is 16 ft 5 inches. Many homeowners can not accommodate an apparatus of this size in the home, therefore decide to make a shorter one. Many home-made balance beams range from 8 to 12 feet in length, however, all are a standard 4 inches in width. The height of the beam will depend on where it is used. We do not recommend using balance beams outdoors as it can be difficult to get a stable surface to prevent wobbling. Your apparatus should always be used on a flat surface.

For beginners age 3-6 a basic wooden beam will provide a great introduction to the sport. As the gymnast gets older this same apparatus can be wrapped in carpet to provide a bit of padding or you can choose to wrap it in synthetic suede to give it the realistic look and feel of a standard balance beam.


(6) 1 x 6 lumber 8 ft. long (or any desired length)

(2) 2 x 4 lumber 20" long for the legs

Wood Glue (such as Elmer's Carpenters wood Glue)

3M Spray Adhesive

3" wood screws

Wood Stain

Industrial Carpet

Suede Topper for carpet beam (option for carpet beam)

4 inch adhesive loop strip (option for padding)

Synthetic Suede Fabric (cover option)

Iron leg brace option

C Clamps


Step 1

Glue the six 8-foot pieces of 1-by-6 inch pine lumber together so that their sides are fully contacting one another. This will create a block of wood that is 8 feet long with a side of about 4.5 inches.

Glue liberally between the boards and use clamps to make sure that the glue fastens itself to the wood. Let dry overnight. Using a Belt Sander go over entire beam and sand to smooth finish. If staining your beam you can use finer grade sandpaper with an Orbital Sander to create a smooth finish. If covering the beam with carpet or Suede this step may be omitted.

Step 2

For a stained wooden beam. After sanding to smooth finish, apply stain to your beam.

To make a carpet covered beam you will use heavy-duty staples and wrap the beam with the carpet. Start by stapling carpet to bottom side of the balance beam and tightly wrap carpet around beam and staple underside of beam only. You may also use spray adhesive to further secure the carpet to the beam.

For a synthetic suede covered beam you will want to pad the beam first using a neoprene strip. It can be difficult to find 4 inch wide neoprene which is used on professional beams therefore many home-made beams use yoga mats to pad the beam. You do not want the beam to be too soft so minimal padding is needed. Do not staple padding. Use glue only as staples will cause dimples. You can also use 4 inch wide adhesive peel and stick loop to create padding as well. Continue attaching the suede to the beam by applying spray adhesive to the top and sides of the balance beam. Working from the bottom of the beam, staple the Suede along the bottom. This is a 2 person project as one needs to tightly pull the Suede around the beam evenly while it is being secured with the adhesive. Make sure your balance beam is completely dry before use.

Step 3

For a basic beam you will screw the (2) 20 inch 2 x 4 wood braces to each end. Place each brace at a 90 degree angle to the beam 12 inches from each end.

Alternatively, you can purchase iron manufactured balance beam braces you simply screw into the bottom of your beam. These braces come in a variety of heights and can even make your beam adjustable. It is possible to convert your basic beam to metal braces later on. One advantage to metal braces is they are tall enough to allow a mat to slide under the balance beam while the gymnast is using it.


Use home-made balance beams at your own discretion. As your beam is not a professionally made piece of equipment it is only as strong as your craftsmanship. Use with supervision as gymnastics is a sport with inherent risk of possible injury.

Wednesday, 14 May 2003

How Booking Property In Lucknow Can Offer Huge Benefits?

The real estate development has touched the heights in India at a remarkable extent. Lucknow is also one of the prime locations in India in the real estate world. Thus, people are moving forward to get settled down within this city, in case Uttar Pradesh is given a preference. Also, Uttar Pradesh is popular for a huge number of population in India. Thus, the city is liable to offer a numerous of benefits to the real estate builders. With this scenario, the reputed builders emerged with residential and commercial properties equipped with exclusive facilities and amenities.

Reasons behind real estate boom in Lucknow:

A plenty of reasons are responsible for the rise of real estate within the city. The primary reasons are the economic growth and educational institutes. Students all over India get enrolled in the renowned institutes of this place. Moreover, the commercial zones involving shopping complexes are contributing a significant portion in the economic growth. Thus, the residents within the city can get a high source of income by making investments in such commercial areas. Also, the property rates there are affordable against other similar locations.

Since, Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and the destination for politicians and industrialists. Thus, it enjoys the maximum development in various sectors. The rate of employment is also high because the city is bagging a plethora of tourist places along with the renowned industries. There are also a few international IT industries for which the people are investing in residential property so as to get settled nearby their firms.

In the upcoming years, the city is expected to have many more developments, thus, booking a property in Lucknow can bring high return of investment. However, the non-residents can explore the best property option with the assistance of an experienced real estate consultant. Some of the firms are also involved in advising the property options. With such resources, an individual can find the residential or commercial unit within their desired budget and preferable location.

Perks of real estate development for Lucknow residents:

With the growing industrialization and economic growth, the builders realized the future prospects of real estate development. Thus, they launched excellent projects for high return of investment and benefits of residents. A range of all these exclusive projects includes Paarth Aadyant, Omega Affordable House, Radhey Krishna Casa Greens Exotica, Azea Botanica, Omaxe Grand and many more. All these projects are not only offering a future saving, but also an international lifestyle to the residents.

People are investing in these projects as they can enjoy a luxury lifestyle with comfortable living. The basic amenities within the building include parking area, excellent connectivity with neighboring cities, electricity supply round the clock, proximity to schools, healthcare centers and shopping complexes. This is not the limit to the benefits that a resident can enjoy, but there are many more advantages. There are a few prime locations like Gomti Nagar, Sitapur Hardoi Road, Sector-6, 7 and many more. Thus, people are looking forward to book a property in Gomti Nagar for best returns.

Thursday, 8 May 2003

Tips On Running A Youth Boxing Program

Congratulations on becoming a boxing coach! Amateur boxing is one of the safest sports that youths can participate in. Working with youths can be rewarding, but it also has its challenges. In order to make the gym run smoother, here are some tips.

1. Meet with the parents before they sign up their kids for boxing. Parents and kids need to know what boxing is and what it is not. Explain your coaching style. Take them on a tour of the gym. The idea is to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

2. Be wary of parents who force their kids to take up boxing in order to "toughen" them up and/or to teach their kids how to handle bullies. If the kid doesn't want to be there, it will be very hard for the coach to motivate them.

3. Recruit volunteers for the gym. These could be parents and/or other interested adults who would like to help train the kids and help out in the gym. Volunteers are valuable, especially when boxing shows and tournaments take place. Also, if there are a lot of students in the gym, volunteers can help take some of the load off of the coach.

4. Always be open to suggestions and advice. But make it clear there is only one boss in the gym.

5. Deal with discipline problems quickly. All it takes is for one kid to act out, then all the others will follow suit. Having to gain re-control of a class takes up valuable training time. Take the kid aside and talk to them about their behavior as to not embarrass them in front of the other kids. If the behavior continues, meet with their parents. It could be that boxing is not a good fit, and the kid would be happier in another activity.

6. Be aware of the students' heights, weight, and abilities. I've had to ask some 12 year olds to sign up for the teens' class because not only were they bigger and taller than I, but bigger and taller than most of the kids in the class for the eight to 12 year olds.

7. Focus levels vary among students. One way to combat a lack of focus is to keep everyone busy. Do drills, have exercises, have them work on the equipment... keep them moving!

8. Boxing can be a tough sell to girls, particularly teenage girls who may be concerned about their image among their peers. Emphasize the health benefits of training to them.

9. Be firm, but refrain from heavy criticism, yelling, screaming, etc. Make the time in the gym fun for all and always offer encouragement.