Physical Education: Gymnastics Safety Essay

772 words - 3 pages

Pesnek, L. (1998). The gymnastics almanac. Chicago, Illinois: Lowell House.Gymnastics, like any sport, can be dangerous. According to the USA Gymnastics Safety Manual, the philosophy in the sport of gymnastics should be "Safety first, second, and always." Although most gymnastics clubs try to eliminate all potential dangers in the gym, injuries still may occur. The most common gymnastics injuries involve the lower leg and lower arm. It is important to keep safety in mind when entering a gym. A gymnast should not walk into the gym, throw her body into the air, and hope to land safely. Skills and progression must be taken one step at a time.Most gymnastics classes start out with a warm-up activity, which lasts five to ten minutes to get the body loose and ready for physical activity. Warm-up activities take many forms, from running through an obstacle course to dancing to jumping rope. The exercises should be fairly simple but cause you to breathe hard. A warm-up engorges the major muscle groups with blood in order to heat up the body temperature. It also elevates the heart rate and takes the muscles and joints through an appropriate range of motion. Flexibility is a key to gymnastics; so many warm-ups may begin with jogging, jumping, hopping, or skipping-type activities, followed by stretching to gain flexibility. Working on splits is also very common in a gymnastics warm-up. The most important thing to remember with flexibility exercises is not to bounce but rather to hold the stretch. Gymnastics classes should conclude with a cool-down activity such as light stretching and simple movements to help the body make the transition from the vigorous training activity to a normal state.Progressions are the key to learning gymnastics safely and efficiently. A progression takes a gymnast through the individual steps necessary to accomplish a skill. The coach should help the gymnast learn the proper technique for the first progression. Another progression to consider is trying to master a skill on the floor before trying it on another apparatus. It is important to learn tumbling skills in an orderly and progressive manner""paying attention to the basics is crucial. Every skill learned in tumbling will help the gymnast to learn more difficult skills, both in tumbling and in other...

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