Friday, January 20, 2017

Exercises To Prevent Injuries To The Wrist

In most sports, especially gymnastics, the wrist is forced to hold an overwhelming amount of weight, and is exposed to huge amount of trauma by performing different activities that exceed normal daily activity. 

While doing a tumbling or a handstand, the wrist of a gymnast is often required to hold his own bodyweight while bending his wrist backwards. Also, most of the movements done by the gymnast require fast and sudden movements that may stress their wrists and hands too much.

Daily exposure to this kind of stress may cause fractures, sprains and dislocations to the wrist of an individual. Luckily, there are several exercises that you can perform to avoid to protect your wrist for these kinds of injuries.

1. Wrist Extensor Stretch

Extend your hands with your palm facing up and elbows straight. Using your other hand, pull your extended hand downwards. You would feel a mild to moderate stretch in your wrist while doing this. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and then repeat using your other hand. Do it for three sets.

2. Wrist Flexor Stretch

Stretch your hands by keeping your elbow straight and then pull your wrist backwards using your other hand. During the exercise, you should feel a mild to moderate stretch. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds before repeating with your other hand. Repeat for three sets.

3. Resistance Band Wrist Flexion

Using a resistance band, wrap the band around your hand while your palm is facing up. Put your elbow by your side and keep your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle before slowly curling your wrist up, just like doing a dumbbell curls. Do it for 15 repetitions before repeating on your other wrist.

4. Resistant Band Wrist Extension

Wrap the resistance band around your hand with your palm facing down. Keep your elbows at your side and keep it bent to 90 degrees and curl your wrist up slowly, just like doing a reverse dumbbell curls. Perform 10-15 repetitions before repeating on your other wrist.

5. Tennis Ball Squeeze

Grab a tennis ball and squeeze it as hard as you can without hurting yourself. Do it for 5-10 seconds and repeat 8-10 times.

It is very important to take care of your wrists as it serves a lot of function for you as a gymnast, and as an individual. However, keep in mind that these exercises are meant for preventative measures only and are in no way to be used to cure existing injuries. If you are already injured, you should consult your physician and you should not just rely on information found on the internet.

If you are looking for a great and reliable school that teaches gymnastics for kids you could check and visit the official website of Bianka Panova Academy.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Flexibility Exercises For RG

Flexibility is by far the most important and focused aspect of the sport of rhythmic gymnastics, while some other aspects like core strength is just secondary. This is important because the routines require great flexibility of the gymnasts to bring the music to life through their bodies—so important that stretching and flexibility takes up most of the warm up routine.

While stretching the body to its extremes is necessary for success, a rhythmic gymnast needs to make sure that they are performing this task without causing any injuries. While stretching, she should listen to what her body is telling her because there are two types of pain: good and bad. A good pain is described as the uncomfortable feeling of the muscles being stretched and although the gymnast is uncomfortable, she should still be able to control her breathing and remain somewhat relaxed. On the other hand, a bad pain is described as the feeling of muscles being pushed too far, the feeling of something dislocating, pulling, or being in so much pain that she starts tearing up and breathing abnormally.

Sadly, some gymnasts who want to increase their flexibility endure through the bad pain just to have immediate results. What they need to remember is that this is a slow process and needs to be taken with caution.

Many coaches and gymnasts have different approaches to achieving their desired level of flexibility, but here we have gathered some exercises to help someone out there get started with their flexibility foals.

1. Butterfly Stretch

This is probably the most famous and most basic kind of stretch for someone who’s just beginning their flexibility exercises. Although even when a gymnast is already in an advanced level, they still do this.

The butterfly stretch is done while sitting down on the floor. Starting position is sitting with your feet stretched in front of you, flat against the ground. Now pull your legs together, with your knees to the sides, until your soles connect. Now pull your heels as close to your groin as possible. In the beginning of course you can only pull your heels in for a little distance, but as you continue doing this for weeks, eventually your heels would connect to your groin.

After you’ve pulled it as close as you are comfortable, start gently bouncing your knees up and down to loosen the muscles. Do this for about 10 seconds, then use your elbows to gently press your knees toward the ground for another 10 seconds. After a while you’ll notice that your flexibility has improved because it has become easy to press your knees to the ground.

2. Swan Stretch

This exercise is commonly seen in the gym. You can do this like how gymnasts do it by lying face down on the floor with both hands in front of your shoulders, fingers facing forward, like how you would start a push-up. You should then press into your hands to lift your belly off the floor. While keeping your abs tight, shoulders down and pelvis grounded, lengthen your upper body away from the floor, reaching out and up from crown of the head. Pull your shoulder blades together, at the same time opening the chest, and then hold it for 30 to 45 seconds. Release and then repeat.

3. Ceiling And Toe Touch

This exercise is what its name suggests. While sitting on the floor, extend both arms over the head, fingers pointing to the ceiling, for as far as you are comfortable. Then, stretch your left arm towards the ceiling for 10 seconds. Relax it and then do the same with the other arm.

Once those are done for a couple of reps, lower your arms in front of you. Bend your waist and reach for your toes. Do this for 10 to 15 seconds too.

This exercise can be done while standing up as well, but sitting down is better as it lessens the weight in the lower back.

4. Over-splits

Before doing this particular stretching, it is important to remember that this is only done by gymnasts who has some degree of flexibility already and not for beginners as this is really hard and dangerous if not done right.

Over-splits is what it is called when a regular leg split went over 180 degrees angle. You can do this by putting one foot on an elevated object like a chair or table while the other leg is stretched directly behind you. This position is held for 2 to 3 minutes.

It is important to keep in mind that while in this split position, the torso should be up and hovering above the ground. If your pelvis is touching the ground, then you need to increase the height of the object her elevated leg is resting on. Conversely, a coach or team mate can help increase flexibility by carefully pushing your pelvis towards the floor.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

3 Things To Look For In A Nutrition Label

As parents of gymnasts, we prepare their meals most of the time so it is important that we know the proper nutrition for young gymnasts and how to properly check if a food is good for our kids or not. This is why we prepared a list of three things to look for in a nutritional label. 

Reading nutrition labels, or nutritional facts, are not only good for ourselves, but especially when cooking for other people like our young athletes. If our children are gluten free, we need to make sure that we cook something that doesn’t have any gluten in it. If our child’s diet doesn’t include a lot of carbs for a day, we need to be able to properly compute how many carbs there are on a food that we cooked. 

Nutritional labels of different food products aren’t exactly all the same, but reading a regular nutrition label can still help. As long as we know what we are looking for, we should be able to decode any kind of nutrition labels. So here we have prepared pointers on what we all need to know about reading nutrition labels. 

Serving Numbers and Serving Sizes 

When it comes to the number of servings and serving sizes, it is important to remember that nutritional facts are mostly based on one serving only. Always check the serving size to know how many servings we are going to take from a certain product, or how many servings we are letting our kids to eat. This means that the bigger the serving, the higher the calories. 

Take a bag of chips, for example. Usually at the top of the label, it is indicated how many chips make up a single serving. From there, we can identify how much sodium our children are going to eat from a serving size of eleven chips, for example. And as athletes who follow a strict diet, their intakes of salt should be very limited. 

On instances that we are comparing nutrients and calories between two different food brands, always check the serving size to ensure that they are based on the same measurement. 

Calories from Fat 

The “Calories” label under “Amount per Serving” is where we can see the number of calories the product has per serving. We will also see the amount of calories from fat here. 

Take note that even if something is fat-free, it doesn't mean that it's also free from calories. Even if a product is low-fat, it may have the same amount of calories as other products have, so we should always check the number of calories in the label. 

One thing to keep in mind is that just because something has a lot of calories, it doesn’t mean that our children are eating badly. We should look out more on how many of those calories come from fat. If a lot of the calories are from fat, then it’s good to steer clear of that product. Or, we could look if another brand has that product with less calories from fat. Then, we’ll still be able to get the food our young athlete wants and it will be a lot better for them. 

What is the %DV 

A lot of people doesn’t know what this means, but if you have been in charge for your child’s diet for a while, you might be familiar with it. %DV or the percentage of Dietary Value that each nutrient gives is essential for us to know how much of each nutrient we should allow our kids to consume daily to attain the health he needs for his sport. This is also a great way to find out if our children are not consuming enough of any particular nutrient. We need to make sure that we record all the %DV that our kids consumed each day. If any nutrients go over 100, then we’ll know he’s consuming more than he needs to. We should try to keep it as close to one hundred as possible. 

These are just three things to look for in a nutritional label, to read more and get updated on all important health information, follow the posts on our Facebook Page. Looking for a fun and exciting way to learn gymnastics? Then come and enroll at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy today :) Come and learn gymnastics for kids with us!