Welcome back to Gymnast Care! We’re incredibly glad you’ve come to our site to learn more about keeping your gymnast safe!
Your Gymnastics Health Questions Answered!
We know there are a ton of gymnastics injuries right now because our email list is growing by leaps and bounds! We know that when your gymnasts are under stress, their bodies break down, and you come to us to find out why, and what you can do to prevent and care for these injuries.
When you sign up for our email list, our first email asks you to let us know what you are struggling with in gymnastics, and our goal is to get yo answers…so here we go!
Aches & Pains vs. Soreness
1. I’m always challenged by her aches and pains…are they just part of being a gymnast and a growing body or more serious? She is dealing with ankle issues right now.
Thanks Janet for your question.
Soreness is a part of being an athlete, but aches and pains can be a sign of overtraining. Children and Adolescents shouldn’t be experiencing constant pain, and they shouldn’t be constantly struggling with aches and pains on a daily basis.
Here’s a couple thoughts on this subject:
- Does their coach/gym think about recover? Is this something they’ve brought up to you in meetings, emails, or other discussions?
- Are you planning out your athletes meals to make sure they have enough to make it through (Check out our sister site Stay Fueled for more info on nutrition)
- Is their resting heart rate increasing or maintaining?
- Is their weight decreasing? Weight for a growing athlete should never decrease (unless their are specific medical conditions)…decreasing weight is a sign of overtraining.
Over the next month, tracking your athletes performance is going to be Gymnast Care’s focus…so stay tuned!
When Should Your Gymnast Eat?
2. We have a gymnast daughter of 7 years old who trains 14hrs a week and we are mostly concerned about the eating habits and/or timings.
- Their performance soars
- The are less likely to get injured
- They will look exactly the way they were intended to look….which is beautiful!!!
Everyone’s body is genetically designed differently, and when those genes are expressed optimally through proper training, eating great food, and eating it at the right time, your young gymnast will be an exact expression of how she should look.
When we start messing around with our food intake (i.e. restricting intake or eating the wrong foods like disgusting fast foods), we not only increase the potential for injury, we also mess with the proper expression of our young athletes genes….and consequently we see psychological issues develop as well.
Check out this podcast that specifically addresses when to eat and eating after practice: The Post Workout Meal
3. Hi, I have an 8 year old daughter who’s gymnast coach says she is 99% sure she has Servers disease. It’s only been a week since she has been in heel pain, but after researching the condition I decided to order The X Brace, and tape until it arrives. I have also been following the heel pain protocol. She is very talented, having won all competitions so far, and she would be heartbroken if she had to stop. She has had slight knee pain too, since her heel pain, so maybe they are connected?. We live in Iceland. My daughter has an amazing couch, and she trains for 7 1/2 hrs a week. Her main pain seems to come from back flips, and jumps.
How Many Hours Should Gymnast Practice?
Special Note from Dr. Josh:
For my 7 year old, we have her practice 3 hours a week. If the chance of going to the Olympics is about .01%, then why would I train my daughter for a chance at that level at 7? Statistically, physiologically, and emotionally it doesn't make sense and I'm not willing to put her through such intensity.
(Disclaimer: These are the thoughts and feelings of Dr. Joshua Eldridge and do not necessarily reflect your local club, the gymnastics establishment, or those crazy coaches that think training a 7 year old 20-30 hours per week is a good idea...and probably my ideas don't reflect the ideas of the Chinese or Russians in the 1970's who had no problem practicing their young for this long. So if you enjoy this type of antiquated training method, please continue and disregard this disclaimer!)