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Preventing Jewellery-Related Injuries in Sports:

Tips to Avoid Gymnastics Injuries


Fall 2008


Gymnastics always has the ability to leave people breathless and amazed at how simple the routines look, while being amazingly quick moving. Yet in the real world of the gymnasts performing, it is not easy to perform at all. Gymnastics is a skill that takes many, many years to master and many end up retiring their gymnastics careers before they ever master all of the skills.

During the course of a gymnastics career there are likely to be several injuries ranging from mild and easily healed to those that are major and can potentially end a career quite early. Sometimes the difference between a minor injury and a severe injury depends on the type of planning that is put into each routine and practice. For example, following some simple guidelines can help you avoid as many injuries as possible.

One of the first things that all gymnasts should be taught is how to properly fall. This is because falling is almost as much a part of gymnastics as the actual tricks and routines themselves. Having the knowledge and training to help control your fall can often mean the difference between finishing a routine or being carried off of the floor. Practice on occasion the falling techniques that you are initially taught to ensure you are still capable of helping yourself.

A gymnast should never attempt any trick that they do not fully understand first. Always watch several times and ensure that you understand the exact order that steps are performed before you try yourself. Once you have a general idea of what you are doing, always ensure someone is with you in case you are injured.

Ensure you always have a firm idea of how your body should feel, as well as look during a trick. You should immediately stop if something does not feel right. For example, if you feel that you foot is pointing in the wrong direction stop and find out why. Some gymnasts have discovered that they injured themselves and their leg was sprained or even broken as a result of feeling the position did not feel right. Never be afraid to stop and try again, rather than pressing ahead and making a potential injury worse.

Take some toning and conditioning classes. These will help you strengthen all of the muscles in the body to help reduce the damage that can occur from weak muscles. Taking two short classes each week is generally sufficient, however some gymnast prefer to take classes much more often. The choice of how often is ultimately up to you, but at least two a week is highly recommended.

You should always focus when performing tricks or practicing routines. While talking to others may seem like fun, being able to walk away at the end of the day is even more fun. Talk to your friends after doing the routine or trick, rather than while you are attempting the trick.

Never practice without the appropriate clothing. Gymnasts are required to wear leotards for several reasons. First, they allow coaches an unobstructed view of the body and how it is moving, and second because there is nothing to be accidently caughtwhile in the middle of a trick. Wearing sweatpants, jackets, or other clothing can be an accident waiting to happen.

Finally, you should remove all jewelry before practice or competition. This is important because rings, bracelets, earrings, and even necklaces can cause serious injuries if they are hung on something while you are moving. Remove them and store them safely in your bag rather than risking an injury.

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