Everest Gymnastics coaches get just as excited as their student each time a new routine is complete or a new milestone passed. However, more than progress, each member of the EG family of staff prioritizes safety. Here, representatives from the US National Team Training Center answer a few common questions about gymnastics safety.
Q: What is the most common gymnastics injury?
Everest Gymnastics: While injuries can certainly be sustained falling off of equipment, perhaps the most common are those that occur during less strenuous floor exercises. Although minor, injuries such as wrist and ankle sprains can interrupt training. More severe injuries include concussions, broken bones, and torn ligaments.
Q: What is the purpose of wrist straps and guards?
Everest Gymnastics: These simple and inexpensive accessories are used on the bars to improve hold while decreasing friction. High-end straps are made of leather, although medical gauze or sports tape may also be used. Beginning gymnasts are especially at risk of blisters, which can bust open and get infected. It takes many years of training and several months of conditioning to perform a gymnastics routine barehanded.
Q: When should a gymnast wear shoes?
Everest Gymnastics: A good bit of mat work will be done in bare feet. However, some athletes prefer to wear shoes with a reinforced toe when working the vault to reduce injury caused by a hard landing. Shoes may also be worn on the balance beam if slipping is a concern.
Q: Who is responsible for checking gym equipment?
Everest Gymnastics: All equipment is checked by instructors before each class. However, gymnasts, especially older students, are encouraged to pay attention and be alert regarding potential issues that could arise during routine use. Any irregularities should be reported immediately to ensure the safety of all students.