Hi, Markabee !
One of the problems with gymnastics is that to reach peak performance
levels for international competition, training has to be started very
young, although men are better off than women here, since the women
peak in their teens, whereas men peak in their twenties.
Nevertheless, in order for the right combination of flexiblty and
strength to be developed, the sport has to be started in childhood.
(My son was a high level competition gymnast until injury forced his
retirement and a move into martial arts - I've spent more than my fair
share of time watching competitions and driving to and from training!)
The moves you mention - handstands, cartwheels, etc - are recreational
and level one moves, which form the foundation for later skills, so
yes, most sites which deal directly with them will be aimed at five to
seven year olds.
In order for those skills to develop properly, young gymnasts put in
between fifteen and twenty-five hours training a week (on top of
school) - it's not something that can be taught by description. In
fact, it would be dangerous to attempt to teach it that way.
If, as an adult, you're wanting to learn the correct way to turn a
cartwheel (and you don't want to do it in the company of five year
olds ) then perhaps you will find a circus skills or tumbling workshop
would be the way to go. Tumbling and Acrobatics is gaining popularity
as a serious sport, and has more opportunities for older beginners.
The Canadian Gymnastics Association site:
Men's Artistic Gymnastics starts in the recreational program at around
age 6. In Canada a young gymnast can move into competitive gymnastics
in Provincial competition at an age set by the Provincial
Men's artistic Gymnastics is performed on six seperate (sic)
apparatus: Floor, Pommel Horse, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars and
Horizontal Bar. "
A very good description of what is involved is at the US Gymnastics
which outlines the skills required on each apparatus at:
and the very complex scoring system at:
The British West Midlands Association has some further information at:
Have fun !
"Men's artistic gymnastics"