What is your sport: Gymnastics

Gymnastics is defined as, “exercises developing or displaying physical agility and coordination. The modern sport of gymnastics typically involves exercises on uneven bars, balance beam, floor, and vaulting horse (for women), and horizontal and parallel bars, rings, floor, and pommel horse (for men).” There are a variety of different types and styles of gymnastics. The Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, FIG, lists rhythmic gymnastics, trampolining gymnastics, tumbling gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics, and aerobic gymnastics as disciplines.  

Scoring is conducted by a panel of judges. Typically, every player’s score starts at 10. Points are then deducted based on falls, mistakes, or faults. In a competition, the participant with the most points wins. However, scoring may slightly vary depending on the type of gymnastics being performed. 

The physical and mental skills required of a gymnast are immense. If you’ve ever watched gymnastics in the Olympics, you’ll notice that these athletes are very muscular. Physical skills involved in gymnastics include balance, agility, strength, flexibility, endurance, and coordination. It’s a full body workout requiring intense concentration and focus. One wrong move could result in a devastating or career-ending injury.  

Main Muscles Used in Gymnastics

Deltoids, Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi, Biceps, Triceps, Forearm Flexors, Forearm Extensors, Rectus Abdominis, Spinal Erectors, Gluteus Maximus, Hip Flexors, Hip Adductors, Hip Abductors, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, and the Soleus 

Gymnastics Injuries

Common Muscle Injuries from Gymnastics

The most common gymnastics injuries include: 

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears: Flipping through the air and landing may lead to an ACL tear or injury. Overall, gymnastics is a high risk sport. 
  • Low Back Pain: Due to various flips and the high demand placed on the core and stabilizing muscles, low back pain is a common complaint from many gymnasts. 
  • Achilles Tendon or Strain: The Achilles tendon undergoes a lot of stress from takeoff and landings. Thus, it’s a common injury in the sport of gymnastics. 
  • Ankle sprain: Landing in an awkward position may cause an ankle sprain – or other injuries. 

How Can You Alleviate Your Gymnastics Injuries?

The most important aspect in ensuring a full and speedy recovery is immediately stopping the activity when you experience pain. Persisting through the pain may result in a far worse injury. Icing may help in some injuries – It may reduce pain and inflammation. If the pain continues, get the affected area checked out by your healthcare provider or doctor.  

In terms of prevention, always make sure the equipment is properly set-up before proceeding with your practice or routine. Wearing braces or other assistive devices may further help, especially throughout the recovery process. A proper warm-up and cool down is also a critical piece in injury prevention. 

The Athlete’s Choice Massage team can help guide your recovery and educate you on preventative methods. Our services include osteopathy, orthopaedic assessment, massage, acupuncture, and sport taping. Book your appointment today! Get back to your sport feeling your best. 

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