Gymnastics: Injury, Prevention, Treatment – A Brief OverviewWritten by Murray Hughes
Gymnastics: Injury, Prevention, Treatment – A Brief Overview
In every sport--not just gymnastics--there stands risk of injury, no matter how adept or flexible your gymnast happens to be. The sport requires a lot of psychological and physical preparation, in part because it is extremely rigorous, and in part because it demands a higher level of skill than most other sports. The complexity that routines entail increases risk of painful injury and fatigue if proper preparations are not taken to ensure all-around safety.
The most common injuries to body are those to ankles and feet, lower back, knees, hands, and wrists. These can be due to overuse or simple stress. The lower body injuries are generally because of unbalanced landings, while back experiences strain when insufficient stretching has been performed. Scrapes and bruises are to be expected, even if your gymnast is properly attired -- so simply be prepared. Any injury to a gymnast’s body can be detrimental to his or her performance in future. Stiffness can result from lack of use of a limb or of back if he or she is put out of game for too long--that is, if injury is serious. For most part, as a parent, you will have to deal with less serious injuries (hopefully), and you will not need to visit doctor’s office to have them treated.
In any case, best course of action is indeed prevention. The standard safety measures in any sport are simple and easily implemented, most especially for gymnastics.
First, you will want to make sure that your gymnast wears proper clothing. If he or she has long hair, tie it back, braid it, or otherwise secure it. Do not allow them to wear clothing that is too loose or baggy and conducive to tripping; same goes for socks and shoes - nothing that will cause them to slide on a nonporous surface. Remove all jewelry. Rings, for instance, can be caught on swelling fingers if one is sprained. Earrings can be torn from earlobes or carteliage in a mishap.
Then, make sure that you and your gymnast takes stock of surroundings. Wires from equipment can trip or cut; running into poles or other gymnasts can be a disaster. To trip on a mat that is higher than current surface might be painful.
Next, have them warm up. Warmups are vital to any sport, and every gymnast, whether they are a preschooler or a professional, should do them before starting any strenuous activity. This includes jogging, speed walking, and stretching -- anything to get blood moving and heart pumping. Believe it or not, a good stretch decreases risk of a strained or pulled muscle, and it actually feels good. If you’re training with your young gymnast at home or otherwise on your own time, it’s advisable to be a good role model and join them in their warm-ups. Turn on some music and move too. It’s a triple plus: you’ll be showing her or him how to properly warm up, that you are interested in what they are doing, and you will be getting your heart rate going strong too.
Gymnastics History – A Brief OverviewWritten by Murray Hughes
Gymnastics: History and Value - A Perspective
Gymnastics, as an activity, has been around for more than two thousand years in one form or another, from ancient Greek Olympics, to Roman ceremony, to today’s modern meets.
As an organized and truly competitive sport, gymnastics has existed for a little more than a century. It was introduced in mid 1800s to United States, where it inexorably gained in popularity within school systems.
Amateur associations gathered together by late nineteenth century, offering classes and opportunities for young people to join in on fun. Eventually, these associations began to have their own championships.
In 1896, at first international Olympic games in Athens, Greece, sport we all know and love enjoyed its first large-scale debut. Included in Olympic tournament were vaulting, parallel bars, pommel horse, and rings events for men. The first women’s Olympic gymnastics events were held in 1928. After Olympics began to officially host gymnastics, World Championship gymnastics meet emerged in early 1900s, and it is still held to this very day.
Thus began a noble tradition that continues even in modern Olympic games and in local, regional, national, and world meets all over.
If you’re parent of a young gymnast, odds are, people are going to ask you, “Why did you choose gymnastics over swimming, ballet, football, baseball, or soccer?” It is an easy question to offer, but not a simple one to answer.
Their curiosity is entirely understandable--to uninitiated, may have a lower profile than others. However, if you are indeed very serious about your child participating in sport, you can tell those people, with great authority, that gymnastics is an excellent way to spend time. Not only does it have a long and illustrious history, but it also requires attention and discipline on part of a child--more so, perhaps, than one involved in any other sport.
In order to become successful at sport of gymnastics, your child will have to get into a routine of practice.
This type of routine is different from, say, soccer practice or hockey practice, in that it does not involve concept of physical rivalry with other individuals. A gymnast is not typically seen chasing after another gymnastics youth with a set of rings as one might see a hockey player attacking another person on an opposing team.