Staying Healthy Throughout the Season

Posted on Categories Athletes

Young gymnasts always aspire for perfection. Staying healthy is key in helping achieve this goal. Here are some tips that will help to keep you healthy all through the gymnastics season:

Good Flexibility is necessary

Though you need to be flexible to succeed as a gymnast, the average gymnast is more flexible on one side. For instance, your left side might be split down all the way but your right side is not. If you are only flexible in one part of the body but not all, you might end up suffering from back pain or joint pain.

Often times, gymnasts think that their backs are very flexible, but this might not be entirely true. Tight shoulders will strain your lower back when performing back walkovers and bridges, so you should stretch your shoulders before you start any routine. Just remember that not all gymnasts are born flexible and you have to work on your flexibility.

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Stay Balanced

Gymnasts are some of the strongest athletes, but their strength does not come overnight. They spend many hours conditioning and training to strengthen their muscles enough so that they can support their joints. However, this does not mean that every muscle in your body is strong because you are a gymnast.

Most gymnasts have weak hip muscles, which can lead to knee, lower back, and hip injuries. You might favor one side of your body but you need to use both sides equally to develop strength and maintain good balance. Using both sides also helps your body to develop a sense of where it is in a space. Therefore, you should ensure that you do turns, jumps, and leaps on both sides to improve your body symmetry.

Fuel the Body

You need to pay attention to your nutrition if you want to keep your body well fueled and strong. Make sure that you plan for snacks every 3 to 4 hours and start drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Before practice, you should avoid fried foods and eat high-carbohydrate foods. Drink or eat foods with calcium every day to keep your bones strong.

You should balance your meals with 2/3 carbohydrates and 1/3 protein. Look for foods that are high in good fats, such as olive oil, peanut butter, and soy nuts. Do not forget to give your diet top priority if you want to achieve your gymnastic goals.

Be Good Communicators

Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you are unable to practice because of pain, you should tell your coach and he will recommend the best course of action. If you feel sharp stabs and cramping in your body, you should seek medical help. Waiting to seek help might result in serious injuries that could end your career.

If you manage your pain properly, you will be able to stay in the gym and adjust your routines to allow the injured parts to heal while working out the rest of your body. When returning to practice after healing, you should keep the lines of communications open and report any fears to your coach. He will help you to make a gradual transition back into practice as you regain your confidence.

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