Just like with any sport, gymnastics poses certain risks for its athletes. All that flipping and tumbling and running around can stress out the gymnast’s body and lead to repetitive injuries. Additionally, some moves can be dangerous enough to threaten a gymnast’s life if performed incorrectly.
That’s why you must observe gymnastics safety every single time you practice, whether at the gym, at home, or elsewhere. How do you stay safe while carrying out your gym routines? Check out these gymnastics safety tips.
Always dress properly.
What you wear contributes significantly to your safety and comfort during gymnastics practice. Female gymnasts wear leotards, while male gymnasts don singlets. Depending on their gym’s rules, they can wear shorts as well. Leotards and singlets are tight-fitting yet stretchy, allowing the wearer freedom of movement while staying comfortable.
If you can’t wear a leotard or singlet, you can put on a T-shirt and sports shorts or leggings. Make sure that your T-shirt can be tucked into your bottom garment so its edge won’t obstruct your vision and movements during practice. In addition, your attire must not have buttons, snaps, or zippers. You should also skip wearing any type of jewelry during gymnastics practice. These items can get caught in the gym equipment and hurt you while you’re practicing.
And if you need to use safety gear such as handgrips, heel pads, or wrist braces, then do so. They’re designed to protect your body as you carry out your exercises.
Prep your body before practice.
Gymnastics is a strenuous sport that can really push the body. Thus, preparing your body before practice is another huge part of gymnastics safety. You must have a good night’s rest and a good meal before entering the gym for training. Also, don’t skip on the warm-ups before the routine and the cooldowns afterward. These warm-up and cooldown exercises prevent your body from sustaining injuries.
Don’t practice alone.
Your coaches and instructors aren’t just there to teach you new skills and techniques or critique how you execute those you already know. They’re also there to keep you from getting hurt while performing them. So, don’t practice without a coach or instructor supervising you. If you’re practicing at home, have a parent watch over you.
Always be aware of your surroundings.
Lots of times, people get into accidents because they’re not paying attention to their surroundings. They’d run into other people or hit equipment that happened to be in their way. Thus, before you perform an exercise, check if you have enough space for it. Make sure nothing and no one is blocking your way or cause you to slip and fall. If you’re using gym equipment, take a look first if there’s anything amiss with it.
Be patient with yourself.
It can be frustrating when you’re not progressing with your gymnastics practice as quickly as you want to. You may be eager to learn the next skill your coach is supposed to teach you. Instead, you feel like you’re stalled and just want to push through. Even if it seems that way, you need to be patient with yourself. Master the exercise that you’re currently learning before you move on to the next one. When your body isn’t ready for a particular skill, you may only end up hurting yourself if you go for it.
Take a break when you need to.
Do you need a breather? Then go for it. If you’re struggling with an exercise, your body may overcome that slump after you’ve rested a little. In fact, you can injure yourself if you push with that exercise when you’re obviously tired.
And if you sense that you’re burning out and need to take a long break from gymnastics, feel free to do so. Your mental well-being is more important than your ability to twist in mid-air.
Listen to your body.
The most crucial gymnastics safety tip you need to learn is to listen to your body at all times. Only your body can tell you if what you’re doing is causing it harm. So, if any part of you starts hurting or you don’t feel confident about performing a particular exercise, just stop. Check if you have any injuries or if you need to take a break. Resume practice only when you’re ready.
At OMEGA Gymnastics, we look after our OMEGA kids’ safety at all times. Get more information about our recreational programs here.