Gymnastics is a challenging sport that can really put a human body through its paces. No matter how careful a gymnast is or how soft and padded the equipment is to protect a gymnast… accidents can still occur.
The most common injuries we see in Gym’s as coaches are rips on our little gymnast’s hands. Even the most veteran of gymnasts are still susceptible to rips and tears. Unfortunately, those nice grips won’t entirely stop it either. They will however, remove some of the friction off the gymnast’s hands and onto the leather strap instead.
A trip and a fall over a crash mat could also result in a carpet burn on a knee or an elbow. As well as all the tiny mystery bruises that will appear overnight… and you’re not quite sure where they came from.
These are what we will call “minor injuries” for the sake of this blog post.
A rolled or twisted ankle in another injury that we can try our bests to avoid but can still occur, despite our best efforts.
This we will consider as a “moderate injury”.
Breaks, fractures and ligament ruptures will be considered as a “major injury.”
We can all agree that injuries are terrible, and we wouldn’t wish that on any athlete or gymnast. However, injuries are the reality for most athletes.
Yet there is always a positive outlook to be found… but “where is the positive in an injury” I hear you ask! Let me explain.
An injury is a direct result of some form of “trauma”. Either it be a bump, scrape, or something else entirely. The injury could be related to a training program, a gymnast’s technique, a body’s strength or flexibility as well as the warm up and cool downs. By identifying the cause, steps can be taken to PREVENT the injury from reoccurring.
This is how injuries can be a gift in disguise. It allows time to identify physical weaknesses or improvements that can be made to a gymnast's technique. As well as allowing for personal growth, and the opportunity to become more aware of your body.
Let’s use a hypothetical story to help explain this further!
Hannah is an adult gymnast who has been training for a few years, and she has been working hard on her bars routine. She is comfortable in all her skills and is going through her regular training process. One of Hannah’s favorite skills is a cast to handstand. Hannah casts into her handstand with a bit of effort and manages to complete her routine.
After her routine, she notices her shoulder is a little bit tender when she raises her arm but continues with all her other training.
The next day her arm is very tired, and she finds it difficult to hold anything heavy on that side.
She goes to a physical therapist who has a look and determines that she has an imbalance in her Anterior Deltoids on both arms. Which is causing her to push into her handstand, with more body weight on one side which is only encouraging the weaker muscles to stay “dormant”, so to speak. This is what has caused her injury.
She is advised to take some time off from training, and the physical therapist recommends some strengthening and conditioning exercises that will help Hannah to repair and to prevent any further injury.
Unfortunately, it took an injury to occur for Hannah to find out this information. However, on the positive side Hannah is now able to identify her strengths and her weaknesses and take all steps necessary to improve her gymnastics.
What do you think of today’s blog post? Have you had a positive outcome after a sports related injury?
Signing off for now,