In the year 2009, thousands of children aged 14 years and under were taken in the emergency room due to gymnastic-related injuries, according to US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Gymnastics is a physically demanding activity, a sport that requires long hours of rigorous training and complex physical movements which puts the body in an injury-prone position. Aside from that, the large amount of weight-bearing stress placed on the gymnast’s body when performing certain gymnastics movements, in addition to the countless twists, flips and landings, puts their body at risk for injury.
Shoulder-related injuries, joint dislocation, tears on the tendons and wrist sprains are some of the most common type of injury that an athlete experiences during their gymnastics career. In addition, due to the impact of the landing, sprains, strains and fractures commonly occur on the athlete’s lower body, particularly in the knees and the ankle. Gymnasts are also prone to lower back injuries, as most of the gymnastic movements require frequent bending and twisting of the body.
Here are some of the tips that you can follow to avoid and lessen the risk of these injuries.
Maintain your physical fitness. Gymnastics is physically demanding sport, and without the proper fitness level, your body could just end up being injured. Always make sure that your body is in a good physical condition before the start of the gymnastics season. If your body is out of shape at the start of the season, don’t rush it by over training or putting too much load on your body, as it may cause more harm than good. Gradually work your way up and slowly increase the level of your activity until your body gets back to shape. It is important to allow your body to recondition before attempting to perform complex gymnastics routines.
Warm up and Stretch
Warming up and stretching is essential in preventing gymnastics injuries. Research shows that attempting to perform complex movements without the proper preparation puts the body at risk for injury. Always perform warm up exercises like jumping jacks at the start of your training session. Then, perform dynamic stretching exercises in order to loosen up your muscles.
Cooling down at the end of a training or competition is often neglected by many gymnasts, but it is important to perform cool down exercises at the end of the session to minimize muscle soreness and to keep your muscles flexible.
To perform a cool down exercise, you should gradually reduce the intensity of your activity, until your heart rate gets back to its resting level. Then, gently stretch your muscles. Cool down exercises should last for at least five minutes.
Even mild levels of dehydration can have adverse effects on your athletic performance. If your body does not have enough fluids, it will not be able to effectively cool itself through perspiration. Every athlete should aim for at least 20 ounces of water 2 hours prior to exercise. Also, during your training session, don’t forget to replenish yourself by drinking a cup of water every 15-20 mins.
Proper Training Equipment
When training or competing, it is very important for every gymnast to wear the proper training equipment to minimize the chances of injury. There are many types of special footwear that can be worn, depending on your activity, to prevent your feet from getting hurt. There’s a wide variety of gymnastics shoes, each designed for a specific activity. You should consult your coach on what type of footwear will suit you best.
Focus on Technique
Before attempting to perform a new gymnastics skill, you should first consult your coach. Your coach will determine if you are physically and mentally prepared to execute the move safely without getting hurt.
Also, it is essential for every gymnast to have someone to spot them during the course of their training session. Having a spotter is very important, especially when performing a challenging or a new routine.
You should also use safety harnesses while learning new and complicated movements.
To ensure the safety of your child, you should choose a gymnastics school that provides the highest quality of training and education. With Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy’s state-of-the-art facilities, fun and imaginative training sessions, and world-class head coach, the quality of education that your child will receive is guaranteed! ENROLL NOW!