DIY Make a Gymnastics Beam at Home (under $10! in NO Time!)
Don’t miss our latest Do It Yourself Tutorial with easy instructions, plans and a full supply list that shows How to Make a Gymnastics Balance Beam! Please make sure to read our caution and disclaimer before building this.
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Today we’re building a LOW BEAM. Most people assume any beam is a “balance beam” but in reality there are differences. You can also explore building a floor beam (sits right on the floor), or a balance beam (which has legs). But, we’re building a low beam because it’s quick and easy and perfect for practicing balance for beginners! Floor beams are also great because they’re easier to store away when you’re not using them.
Practicing the beam helps develop strength and balance, and by repetitive practicing and stretching, gymnasts will improve not only their beam routine, but also their floor routine and of course the psychological block of mastering those movements in the air.
If you’re a gymnastic parent like me, then you know how expensive gymnastics meets, leotards, classes and equipment can be! Even the essentials cost a lot. It’s not cheap, that’s for sure!
Our Story: My daughter started gymnastics last year, and now she wants to practice at home. I checked out gymnastics equipment and gymnastics mats on Amazon but couldn’t find anything decent in my price range. So, next I turned to Craigslist and my local Facebook garage sale groups in hopes of finding cheap gymnastics equipment. Sadly, there was nothing available. And, the few things that were for sale either sold incredibly fast before I could respond to the classified ad, or the item was priced higher than new! So, as a last resort I wondered how to make gymnastics practice mini bar at home. I Googled it and got quite a few ideas, but not one single post I found showed actual plans or really explained what they did. So, my husband agreed to help and we headed to the home improvement store.
Don’t miss our instructions, materials list and plans for How to Make a Gymnastics Practice Bar at home!
Cost Breakdown: I found balance beams for sale on Craigslist (new and used) for between $100 – $150. On Amazon, beams are priced about the same – $200 or so, and upwards to $400. I didn’t want a high beam, just something she could practice balancing on and doing step-kicks,
- $8.80 = pine wood 4×4 beam – 8′ long
- $0 = 2 scrap 2x4s (we had)
- $0 = covering of choice (we had)
- $0 = wood screws & staples (we had)
Total = $8.80 + ?
How to Make a Gymnastics Balance Beam
- Beam – we used a 4″ x 4″ pine beam, that is 8′ long. We bought it at a home improvement/lumber store
- Scrap carpet or leather-like material – optionally, you can cover the beam with something that rivals leather-like (Naugahyde?) or a very low pile indoor-outdoor carpeting or vinyl. Look for remnants at the store (left overs) because they cost much less! I’ve also read where people ask for and got carpet samples (1′ x 1′ chunks) for free.
- Wood screws to attach the scrap 2x4s as feet to the beam
- Staples to attach the covering of choice to the beam
- Cordless drill or screwdriver
This is so super easy, it almost seems silly to write it out. But, it hadn’t crossed my mind that I could make a beam so cheaply. So, I wanted to show you how easy it is. You can do it! 🙂
- First, attach your covering to the beam and staple at the bottom. Make sure cover is very snug and attached securely. Don’t skimp on staples!
- Using wood screws, attach the 2×4 scraps to the bottom of the beam
- Turn over the beam and set on its feet
- That’s it!
Construction and Lumber KEY:
- 1′ is another way of saying one foot as a unit of measure – the same as 1 feet or 12 inches
- 4×4 is a wooden beam that is approximately 3-1/2″ thick and 3-1/2″ wide (they’re not really 4″ x 4″)
CAUTION: Before you begin, here are a few things to think about. This is a great way to save money if you’re looking to buy gymnastics equipment. But, this does not replace a trained gymnastics coach or gymnastics classes. Keep in mind that practicing at home might cause sloppiness or bad form if you don’t coach your kids. Talk to your coach about it, and ask for pointers! A homemade gymnastics beam should ONLY be used under strict adult supervision. Although, when built right, it is very sturdy – it is not intended for jumping on, jumping off of, doing flips or spins or anything else like that. If, after you build it, you must inspect it and you determine that it is safe. If it is, it can be used for basic practice moves with adult supervision – always within arm’s reach! If you’re unskilled at building things, ask a friend or family member to help. Please use caution and common sense!! Obviously, if it feels like it might fall apart, it’s not safe and should not be used. And, even if it feels solid and sturdy, you still must not let your kids play on it unsupervised.
DISCLAIMER: The plans provided here are rough drafts. You will need to adjust to fit your needs. If you decide to build anything, YOU take full responsibility for all of it – for the construction process, for your structure and for it’s use. Because of all the variants in how this project could be built, and because you are doing it yourself with an infinite amount of different things you could do, by building or using a structure similar to this – you agree to hold harmless this website and any of the suggestions and tips herein, including those found in the comments, social media, or anywhere relating to this article. Please do not build this if you’re worried your kids might misuse it. It’s a fun way to practice and get exercise, but there’s nothing fun about getting hurt! We want you to be safe! I don’t know your construction skill level, or your kids’ gymnastics skill level (or, their level of obeying rules!!), so I want to make it very clear that you have to use your best judgment to decide if this project is right for you. Please check it out thoroughly, regularly to ensure that it remains sturdy, stable and safe!
And don’t forget you’ll need a good gymnastics landing mat, throw skill cushion or manufactured sting mat for under the beam. You can sometimes find gym mats on Craigslist. But be sure to do a quick Google search to compare prices since sometimes CL prices can be higher than new!