Welcome to our Gymnastics Discussion Community
554,231 messages... 44,365 topics... and 6,612 members
Join for FREE!
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts & High 5 Meets!

Stretching?

Status
Not open for further replies.

gymnafreak

Member
Nov 29, 2008
248
26
Minn eee sooo ta! :)
So i switched gyms 3 years ago and i really don't think that we stretch enough. So we come to the gym and we run for 5 minutes. Then we do splits and a 30 second bridge. Then we do progressions and start gymnastics. At the end, we condition and sometimes we do splits at the end, but thats it. We have girls that do double backs and tsuks and stuff, and i really don't think its safe for us to not stretch very much at all.
Last summer, my heel was hurting, and i went to the doctor and he said it was because my muscles were too tight in my legs, and my feet, because we don't stretch enough. It was plantar faschitis (spelling?) Now a bunch of girls have been having heel pain and they are going to the doctor and being told they have seevers or inflamed growth plates, or stuff like that, so they are casted or whatever, but it doesn't go away and i'm thinking that it might be plantar faschitis from not stretching enough. What do you think?
 

I-Heart-Beam

Active Member
Sep 9, 2007
964
Scotland
Not being a doctor I couldn't say about the muscles and stuff, but we used to stretch for hours- Wednesday night practices were stretching/conditioning only- and it was really rare for someone to get the sort of injuries you all seem to be getting.
 

gymjoy

Member
Jan 31, 2009
410
Also not a doctor, but have been through and seen many, many female gymnast develop Severs. It is a stretching thing. Our ortho said comes on during a growth spurt when the bones are growing, but the tendons and muscles are not stretching/growing with them. There are some very easy stretches and conditioning you can do on your own to both prevent and help Severs.

This site has all the same info and recommendations we were told:
Sever's Disease: A Common Cause of Heel Pain -- familydoctor.org

I remind my dd to do these stretches as often as she can, even when her heal does not hurt - and more when it does(plus the ice). You can do most of these while standing about waiting for your next turn. She's never had more than a week or so of heel pain. If she did we'd be in the ortho's office.

However, the first thing to do if it is the first time for any sort of pain is to have it checked out by a doctor, but you could add these stretches as a preventative.

As for Planter Faschitis roll that foot on a tennis ball with firm pressure - feels so good...
 

Chalky

Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Gymnast
Judge
Aug 14, 2008
97
USA
Country
USA
What you are describing is in NO WAY adequate stretching. You should stretch all the major muscle groups you will be using to their normal elastic limit before gymnastics. For the level you describe, I would think 30 mins would be a minimum safe total warm-up time. That would include 5-10 mins of running etc., major stretches, plus at least 5 minutes for ankles, wrists, head/neck and achilles stretches.

Stretching to INCREASE flexibility should ideally be done in a separate practice or at the end of a session, when the muscles are warm and tired. It is not good to try and improve range of motion in the warm-up period, because excessive stretching impairs the ability of the muscle to forcefully contract when you actually start to exercise. So over-splits etc. should be done at the END of a practice not the beginning (unless over-splits is your normal R.O.M.!).
 

ffliwt

Member
Oct 5, 2008
101
We don't stretch either =/ Sometimes, i don't even warm up cause i'm usually like 15 mins late to practise cause of things i have beforehand. Our warm up is short and is ran by a gymnast, not a coach. We used to do splits and flexibility stretches etc. at the end of every session but that died away and we went for months without doing any splits - good thing i practise mine at home but last week our coach asked to see our splits, oh DEAR! there were about 3 of us down in splits, i'm so glad i'd been practising as they got so told off!

I've never noticed any problems but i didn't realise how dangerous it could be. I'll defo make sure i warm up properly in future!
 

gymnafreak

Member
Nov 29, 2008
248
26
Minn eee sooo ta! :)
Thanks for all of your responses. i didn't know that severs was actually a muscle thing, and thats probably why everyone is getting it.:( I think that my coach is totally oblivious to how this stretching thing is hurting us, and i would like to tell her but we don't always see eye to eye and i don't want to get in trouble with her. In other words how should i bring this up to her without making her feel dumb?
 

I-Heart-Beam

Active Member
Sep 9, 2007
964
Scotland
Bring it up quietly at the start of practice, and don't do it in front of everyone. Just say you went to see a doctor and he advised more stretches. If she still doesn't do it, get your mum/dad to phone up. Good luck!
 
R

rachmeal03

Guest
Stretching is a MUST in gymnastics. In order to use your active flexibility (the one used during leaps, jumps, etc) you have to have some sort of static flexibility (holding a split). I have hd mulitple injuries from ankles, to back, elbow, shoulder, and so on and stretching is the best thing you can do for it. You should definitly run at the beginning for about 10 minutes to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up. You want to increase circulation of blood in the body. Then you'll want to stretch for at least another 10 minutes. The warm up I did as a gymnast typically took about 30 minutes. You'll want to stretch every muscle in your body you can think of. After practice is the time to increase your flexibility and you want to work on over splits, deeper bridges with more arch and should felxibility, ankle stretches, etc... This will help over time to increase your static flexibilty and lead to LESS injuries. Not stretching is the easiest way to pull a muscle. As far as bringing it up with your coach just tell him/her there is something you want to talk about that concerns you and ask if there is a way the two of you can come to an agreement on some sort of warm up and stretching routine. I have recently written a book called Gymnastics in a Nutshell that is to be in stores this Spring and one section is devoted to the fundamentals of gymnastics which includes FLEXIBILITY because of how vital it is as a gymnast. You should check it out when it gets released... tell your coach about it too.... sounds like he/she needs to read it :)
 
F

flipper

Guest
you should definately stretch more. find a slanted surface, put your heels on the lower part, and stretch your ankles
 

gymnafreak

Member
Nov 29, 2008
248
26
Minn eee sooo ta! :)
well, i'm getting along better with my coach(who is also the director) so i might try to bring it up some time. Another question i have is how many vaults do you get in in 30 minutes, and how many people vault at the same time? We only got 5 vaults each the other day, and there were only 8 girls vaulting. Today, we got 8 turns with 6 girls.
 

gymluvr33

Active Member
Jul 31, 2008
580
New Hampshire, USA
We only get between four and five vaults in 30 minutes. However, we have 8-9 people, and since we are in L6, our poor coach has to keep changing the vault height.
 

gymnafreak

Member
Nov 29, 2008
248
26
Minn eee sooo ta! :)
Our coaches only have to move the vault for one girl and they change the springs 2 times. But it takes them forever to do it and it is really annoying! Especially when ur tsuks come and go! :mad:
 

eeyoretumbles

Member
Jul 13, 2008
234
rainy washington
I advise that if you don't strech enough at gym, just do it at home too. Before you go to gym [if you have time] stretch. Some studies have shown that's it's more important to not stretch before, and only after, but with gymnastics, who knows haha. When you get home stretch while you are eating dinner or a snack if that's possible haha, or while you are watching tv, or icing.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.