Optimal Recovery for Gymnasts: The Deficit Created

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You can optimize your gymnast’s recovery and help them become champions.

Planning, skills, and desire mean nothing if your gymnast can’t recover after each practice, and this does not create champions. It creates broken gymnasts.

Below, you’ll see underlined links that dive deeper into each subject. Take the time to find out what each of these components to recovery means.

This is Part 1 of our series on recovery. Here we discuss what happens to your athletes at practice and how different things during practice can effect their actual recovery.

Creating A Deficit

When your gymnast comes to practice, they’re at a baseline. This is an arbetrary baseline but for us, but it represents that your athlete has a certain level of fitness, but they definitely have the ability to improve.

Recovery for gymnasts, The deficit createdHere is a picture of our baseline and the D1 which represents today’s practice. This line is how we’ll show what happens during practice and recovery.

When our gymnast begins practice they start to drop into a deficit. This deficit is determined by many different factors. Here are a few that parents and gymnasts control:

Coaches also control the depth of the deficit. Here are some of the things the coach can control:

  • Quality of warm-up (or in some gyms, did your gymnast get a chance to warm-up?)
  • Intensity of practice
  • Conditioning
  • Quality of work done (is the coach concerned with numbers, or quality?)

One of the things that can also affect recovery is an athletes ability. Skill level can decrease the depth of the deficit. When a gymnast has better quality skills, the movements become more effeicient. A good coach knows that quality is so much better than quantity because it decreases the strain placed on a gymnasts body.

Quantity of numbers, rather than quality, builds bad habits, and increases strain on the body. Quantity should be highly discouraged and quality of gymnastics should be stressed.

In our next post, we’ll dive into what happens after practice and the way we ensure our gymnasts recover.



Dr. Joshua Eldridge

About Dr. Joshua Eldridge

Dr. Joshua Eldridge has specialized in protecting gymnasts from injury. He is the inventor of The X Brace, and has developed a treatment protocol for Sever's disease and heel pain that has helped thousands of gymnasts throughout the world. Dr. Eldridge brings practical, easy injury care and prevention that can be done at home.