According to the coaches at Everest Gymnastics, safety is critical to success in gymnastics and all other sports. Keep reading as staff members from the Cornelius-based fitness facility answer a few common questions about safety in gymnastics.
Q: What are some of the activities that students participate in that could cause injuries?
Everest Gymnastics: Just about every move a child makes during gymnastics, especially as they advance in class, involves some inherent risk. Students might fall off the balance beam, for example, or land incorrectly while flipping or tumbling. Gymnastics employs the use of special spring floors and trampolines, which may increase the risk of ankle injuries. No matter how safe your child is or how well they have been trained, there is always the potential for accidents, which is why practice and physical conditioning is so important.
Q: How can a child condition themselves physically to reduce injuries?
Everest Gymnastics: The best advice we can give is that they should listen to their coaches. They should also exercise outside of the gym, paying special attention to activities that improve core strength and flexibility. But more than just physical conditioning, students are encouraged to wear proper footwear, spotting belts, and wrist straps, especially when they are just learning a routine. Even the most elite athletes take these types of safety precautions.
Q: Does the quality of the equipment matter?
Everest Gymnastics: Absolutely. Equipment safety is one of our top priorities and we take extra care to ensure that each piece we bring into our two facilities is age-appropriate and in good shape. Everest Gymnastics utilizes USAG Certified equipment. Regardless of which gym you and your child choose, take the time to look at their mats, trampolines, and anything else in which your child will come into contact. Foam pits should be deep enough to accommodate athletes during dismount, for example. Another thing to look for is busted seams or tears in the fabric. Anything that is ripped or torn should be replaced – you should never see duct tape covering up a potential safety hazard.