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.
Take Conditioning Seriously
Gymnastics is an activity that requires a lot of strength, so you need to condition to ensure that you get stronger. Conditioning will help you to reduce the number of injuries that you sustain, which allows you to perform harder and improve your skills drastically. In gymnastics, you will perform many repetitive movements and this will have an impact on your body.
Conditioning helps you to protect your joints: ankles, wrists, and knees. To keep your body strong, you should listen to your coach and do the right number of repetitions. No matter how tired you feel at the end of the day, you should take the time to do some conditioning exercises.
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.
If you are looking for t-shirts to wear as you practice, you should consider custom ones such as personalized t-shirts to ward off the chill.