Updated: Sep 2, 2022
No doubt gymnastics is a demanding sport. From flipping in the air to balancing on a beam, there is a risk of injuries! Honestly, we see parents worrying for their kids everyday at the gym. You can reduce the chance of injuries by applying some safety tips. For our gymnasts, here are a few to ensure that you do your best and perform well during practice and in the events as well. For our parent, make sure your gymnasts are aware of these tips and enjoy your time at the gym!
Warm Up and Stretch
Warm-up and stretching are a must in every sport, no matter what. It helps in preparing your body for a challenging workout. It doesn't matter to which level you belong, but loosen your muscles and warm up the body before starting any gymnastic moves. At the end of practice, you can even stretch again! Stretching relaxes the muscles and decreases the chances of injury. Ask our coaches for some help with stretching the right muscles for the moves you're working on.
Keep an Eye Out for Other Gymnasts
The gym is crowded, and even the most alert among us may miss seeing a potential falling gymnast as we go by. Taking responsibility for your awareness is the most important defense against this. Assume that others aren't paying attention to you, and you'll be more likely to notice them. This puts an end to all kinds of crashes and mishaps!
Follow Your Coach
You can count on your coach to be by your side every step of the way. They will be able to guide you regarding the dos and don’ts of gymnastics, as well as the proper techniques, accessories, equipment, and methods to use to ensure that you don’t get injured. Once you are more adept at it, you will be able to perform the stunts and moves safely.
Never try a new move without the supervision of your coach. Let them guide you through the entire routine before you try it on your own. Plus, if you are using any equipment or accessories for your gymnastics sessions, make sure that they are properly maintained, and use them under the supervision of your coach or other senior gymnasts.
Choose an Appropriate Mat
In R&R, we have a variety of mats. Make sure to pick the right one while you are practicing. The right mat should have the right support and cushioning to protect your body as you land on it. Moreover, it should be of a good quality and shouldn’t tear or get worn down easily. Otherwise, you might risk getting injured as you land on your mat.
Keep Your Hands and Feet Protected
Protecting the hands and feet is a must for all gymnasts, whether they are teens or adults. Especially when you start practicing and warming up, your joints aren’t used to stretching and different positions. Therefore, having the right accessories will keep your hands and feet from spraining or getting injured easily. For this purpose, you can use wrist straps and guards to avoid sprains and blisters.
Some gymnasts like to practice on the balancing beam in shoes. You may use rubber soles or strengthened toes in the boots to help with dismounts. In addition to learning and practicing new moves, spotting belts are also utilized for this purpose. Belts are attached to and hung from the ceiling when learning or performing new techniques to avoid falling.
On the other hand, try to wear appropriate shoes to avoid injury, preferably shoes with rubber soles to prevent slipping or ankle damage while practicing on the balance beam.
Don’t Train If You Are Injured
One of the most important things to remember is that you should never train if you feel even the slightest discomfort or injury. Make sure to let your coach know that you aren’t feeling 100%, so that they can let you rest for a bit or tone down your training regiment until you recover fully.
Otherwise, you can risk aggravating your injury and being unable to perform your moves properly. Moreover, it can take you out of important competitions for a long time.
See What Other Gymnasts Are Doing
While training, you can also take help and inspiration from other gymnasts around you, especially those that are more experienced. You can talk to them and let them guide you regarding proper techniques and moves for gymnastics. This way, you will be able to accelerate your progress and polish your skills in a better way.
However, it is also important to remember that senior or professional gymnasts are more experienced and have spent much more time in practice than you. Therefore, you shouldn’t try to copy them, as you may end up injuring yourself.
Always Protect Your Head
When it comes to training and practicing for gymnastics, protecting your head is of utmost importance. Most moves and stunts require you to turn yourself upside down, and you might land on your head or back several times. However, landing directly on your head can be detrimental, and it increases the likelihood of neck injuries, which can be quite dangerous.
For instance, if you are practicing or performing a handstand, your head has to support most of the body weight. If you put too much weight on your head, it will put pressure on your neck, which can quickly lead to an injury. Therefore, you should know how to balance your body weight equally on your head and arms.
Why is Safety Important for Teen Gymnasts?
Many gymnasts' accidents result from collisions with and falling off the apparatus, although floor exercises also cause many injuries. The most prevalent injuries include sprained ankles, wrist sprains, and foot injuries.
Gymnasts are at risk for various injuries, including fractures, ligament tears, and concussions; gymnasts may also put themselves under pressure to maintain a healthy weight, which may lead to weaker and more susceptible to injury. Therefore, it is very important for gymnasts to protect themselves while polishing their skills and technique.
Undoubtedly, gymnastics is a challenging sport that requires a lot of effort, deliberation, and focus. However, one wrong move can be disastrous for you, which is why you should apply the aforementioned tips to stay safe while fulfilling your potential.