Tag Archives: gymnastics safety

Books for young girls…

www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller
Books for young girls… and adults who enjoy exercise…

books-girls-gfnjad

Gifts… Sports, Fitness, Gymnastics, Coloring, Journals, and More

Just some of my books… They make nice gifts. Sold in major books stores and on the internet. Bookstores can order them for you if not in stock.

www.legsplus.com

www.gymnasticsjournals.com

Your Gymnast’s Knees

Your Gymnast’s Knees

By Karen Goeller, CSCS

painful-knee-illustration-14526284I’ve spent many years coaching gymnastics and as a CSCS. The CSCS is responsible for effectively training the athlete for sports performance. The CSCS also helps bring the injured athlete back to competition fitness once cleared from their physical therapist or doctor.  That step in-between physical therapy and all-out competitive workouts is often missing. It is the job of the CSCS to fill that void.

Sometimes after a gymnast is “medically cleared”  they continue to have knee pain. It is not that the doctor or physical therapist was not effective. Once cleared, the gymnast often is not aware on how the body should function; it is a lack of awareness.

I was asked by a gymnastics club owner to “go over some knee exercises” with some of her gymnasts who had a previous knee injury and some who were recently cleared by their doctors. I would be willing to bet the owner and coaches had no idea I would be teaching their gymnasts how to properly stand, bend, and straighten their knee, but that is what these gymnasts needed. AWARENESS. Below is a summary of what we did so that you can help your gymnast.

As many of you have seen, a high percentage of gymnasts have over-pronation. That is a rolling inward of the feet. Many have one that is more severe than the other. That causes poor alignment of the ankle, knee, and hip. You see the knees fall in laterally towards one another. With that poor alignment, the gymnast often performs skills adding stress to the joint because of the force involved with skills. The poor alignment is often seen in the take-off for the cartwheel, round-off, side aerial, and front handspring. This poor knee alignment is also seen in the landings of dismounts and jumps. Over the course of time, performing skills and landing can cause severe damage to the body if the gymnast is using incorrect technique and/or has poor alignment.

So here is the report from the quick clinic I gave to this group. Throughout each exercise I reminded these gymnasts how each drill related to the sport, landing mechanics and skill take-offs. When an athlete knows the purpose of a drill they get more benefit.

Out-In-Neutral-Foot
I asked the gymnasts to stand straight with their feet together, simple. (Well, sort of.) Many in this group could not do that without over-pronating. It is very common for gymnasts to have over-pronation. They train barefoot with no arch or heel support several hours each week. (That’s why they need high-quality shoes when not in the gym.)

I asked these gymnasts to gently roll their feet out towards their little toe, then back in towards the arch in their foot, and finally back to straight/neutral so they could feel the difference between the three positions. (It is very important to be sure they do not roll too far in any position. You do not want them causing damage to the ankle or foot.) As they did this slow-motion movement, Out-In-Neutral Drill, I instructed them to look and their knees to see the difference in alignment. Some seemed surprised at the difference foot placement made in the knee.

After that and asked these gymnasts to bring their feet hip-width apart and again to slowly roll their feet out, in, then back to neutral. At this point, they all were able to clearly see the difference in ankle and knee alignment with foot position. I asked the gymnasts to perform this simple Out-In-Neutral Drill several times in order to see and feel their neutral foot position and proper leg alignment.

After the gymnasts performed the Out-In-Neutral Drill on two feet, I asked them to lift one foot off the floor and perform the Out-In-Neutral Drill on one foot.  Again, some seemed surprised at the difference the slight movement of the foot had on the knee alignment. I reminded them that the single leg alignment is important on the one-foot take-off and leap landings.

Once the gymnasts did a few repetitions they seemed to understand the relation between foot alignment and knee alignment really well. Before that moment, these gymnasts never realized that the alignment of the foot had so much effect on the rest of the body.

Side-Side-Neutral

After the Out-In-Neutral Foot Drill we did a simple weight shift drill. I call it the Side-Side-Neutral Drill. Believe it or not, when many gymnasts squat they tend to lean on one side more than the other. This is not something many people notice during the landing of the dismount because it happens so fast and the focus is on sticking the landing. The technique of the landing is imperative to maintain low body health.

I asked the gymnasts to stand hip-width apart and keep their feet in the neutral position. I then asked them to perform a ½ squat position as if they were landing a dismount. As I suspected, many were leaning on one side/leg. Others were bending at the knees with hardly any hip bend.  We made adjustments to proper landing mechanics at that point. (Landing a jump on beam is different than landing from a double back on floor or a dismount from equipment. Since the force is so much greater, it is imperative to teach proper weight distribution when landing.)

Once all were in the correct position, I asked them to perform the Side-Side-Neutral Drill, shift their weight to one leg, neutral/center, and to the other leg.  This was to remind the gymnasts that they must land with their weight centered, evenly distributed between both sides.

Remember, the force on the body when landing from a double-back can be 10-13 times the gymnast’s body weight. With some gymnast’s, one side could be taking more force than the other and in other cases the front of the legs could be taking on more force than the back.  With gymnasts who are primarily bending at the knees, the front of the legs-knees and quads take a much higher percentage of force than the back of the body-glutes and hamstrings. The front-load landing can put enormous force on the knees and over time may cause damage.

Since gymnasts dismount daily, it is imperative they line up their knees with their ankles and hips, but they must also evenly distribute their weight from side to side and from front to back.  Sometimes it is just as important to teach awareness as it is to physically strengthen the body.

SONY DSCWe took this a few steps further and added a medicine ball with more complex movements.  We carefully performed the chop exercise in order to simulate a landing but to also involve the core and upper body. We did this with both legs and then single leg. Adding the medicine ball made the movements challenging, but they were able to safely perform. This exercise is a great value because it forces the gymnast to focus on landing mechanics while building a little added upper body strength for bars.

Finally, during this session, we did include some traditional knee rehab exercises. Many gymnasts with knee pain have weak gluteal muscles.

I assigned the physical therapy bridge.  I call it a hip lift. The gymnasts lied on their backs, bent their knees and lifted their buttocks off the floor a number of times. In the hip lift position we also did the marching exercise, but I only allowed the gymnasts to lift one foot 2 inches off the floor in order to keep their hips up.

Next, I assigned the clamshell exercise. I instructed the gymnasts to lie on their side and bend their knees, keeping their heels in line with their spine. Once in position, I instructed them to keep their heels together, but lift the top knee towards the ceiling, opening their legs.  We did both sides.

Another exercise we did that day was the side plank. Added to the side plank hold we did plank hip dips. In the side plank position, I instructed the gymnasts to lower their hip to the floor and lift it back up. We did a number of receptions on each side.

And we did plank leg extensions and small kicks. In the plank leg-extension, I asked the gymnasts to lower their knees to the floor then bring them back up to a straight position.  We did single leg plank leg extension too. With that one the gymnast kept one foot 2 inches off the floor as they worked on the supporting leg, lowering and lifting the knee.  That leg extension is simple, but a great quad strengthener and form drill. And for the small plank low back kicks I asked the gymnasts to lift one foot 2 inches off the floor. I instructed them to keep their foot pointed and lower their toes to the floor and lift the foot 2 inches. I had them alternate these slow, low kicks.

There are so many things you can do to maintain or improve your gymnast’s health. Keep doing much of the conditioning that is well known, but also consult with physical therapists, chiropractors, and CSCS’s for ideas.

Karen Goeller, CSCS

www.BestSportsConditioning.com

www.KarenGoeller.com

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Exercise List to go with Video and Article

  • Out-In-Neutral Foot Drill
  • Side-Neutral-Side Drill
  • Physical Therapy Bridge (Hip Lift)
  • Clamshell
  • Chops
  • Single Leg Chops
  • Plank-Leg Extensions (Bothe legs and single leg)
  • Plank-Low Back Kicks
  • Side Plank with Hip Dips

 

Handstand Drills and Conditioning

It’s the time of year when gymnastics coaches start to focus on Handstands
The Handstand is the most important skill in our sport and remaining tight is essential!
Web-CassGiantsArticlePicGymnasts of all levels perform the handstand several times throughout their workout. While performing many skills in gymnastics, the gymnast must actually pass through the handstand or vertical phase safely and efficiently. Without a good handstand, a gymnast may have trouble building skills and therefore progressing through the sports many levels safely and efficiently.
Read or download the rest of the article, published in Technique Magazine:

And for an entire book of Handstand Drills and Conditioning go to www.HandstandBook.com

#gymnastics #handstand #gymnasts #training #cscs #usagymnastics #usag #techniquemagazine #coachinggymnastics

It IS Urgent… Train NOW for next gymnastics season…

Plan NOW for next gymnastics competition season.

 

web-trainingad-beam-2011You can avoid frustration and high risk of injury by planning ahead and allowing your gymnast enough time to prepare.

Work on the new skills, strength, speed, and endurance now so next competition season is really fun! That’s why we all love the sport isn’t it? Gymnastics should be fun, not extremely stressful.

A skill should be performed 1000 times before it is competed. (That was my rule when I coached teams and in my gym.) That’s about 4-6 months of 10-12 repetitions per day 5 days a week. Most gymnasts do not perform 200 repetitions of a new skill each week. And then they are not really prepared for their meet. That leads to worry, lack of focus, then high risk of injury.

Call me today to set up a workout for your gymnast! Give them the tools they need to compete safely.

Private Gymnastics Training / Lessons here,  www.bestgymnasticstraining.com

Private Sports performance training here,  www.bestsportsconditioning.com

And FYI… I do not recruit gymnasts or tell them to leave their team coaches unless there is an abusive situation. I help them understand skills by offering drills, help with rehab from an injury, or offer sport-specific conditioning when there is a weakness.

One more note… Coaches who bring their gymnast to me so we can work together to help your gymnast get a generous discount. Coach is on the floor so we can discuss and coach together and one parent in the parent’s area for the workout.

#sports #gymnastics #gymnasts #privatelessons #privatetraining #training #nj #gymnasticsdrills #coachinggymnastics #gymnasticsparent #gymnasticsstrength #strength #gymnasticsconditioning #gymnasticstraining 

Dear USAG and USOC…

Open Letter to USAG and USOC…

I’d love to be part of the team to help USAG regain public trust and respect as we take care of the athletes. I’m more than happy to relocate to IN or anywhere necessary and am not on any gymnastics club payroll. I have nothing to tie me down and I do not play favorites. I would hate to see USAG lose their position with the USOC.

I am still active in our sport, offering private training and writing articles and books. My background is very unique. I have over 40 years of experience in the sport as a gymnast, coach, club owner, writer, congress presenter, and industry member.

I was in the NYPD (resigned when I bought my gymnastics club.), have the NSCA-CSCS certification, spent 30 years as a business owner, and ten years as a gymnastics club owner.  I also have extensive management, advertising, marketing, and computer experience.

I did the SafeSport and Heads Up Concussion certifications as soon as I saw the email for them because I knew the importance of those topics. I have spoken up and acted when I have seen and heard unsafe situations. I fired a coach from my club in the 1990’s because he was doing inappropriate things with the gymnasts such as allowing them to sit on his lap and tickling them. He was never alone with them and I did not allow it to escalate to that. He had two warnings to stop “playing” with the girls and then he was terminated. I also got a restraining order to keep him away from my gym. I have always taken athlete safety very seriously.

I went to law school (after my gym flooded and I lost everything) because I wanted to be a prosecutor. Back in the late 1980’s and 1990’s I was doing background checks on coaches who applied to work for me and I called EVERY previous job on their resumes. I have always looked out for the safety of athletes under my care. I want to help USAG do that too. Our athletes deserve that.

Please contact me to discuss how I can help USAG and USOC. I have references, client testimonials/letters, and a list of completed CEU’s on my resume. I’ll gladly send it via email or postal mail.

Here are some testimonials… https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/testmonials-for-karen-goellers-products-and-services/

Again, let me know how I can help…

Karen Goeller, CSCS 908-278-3756

http://www.KarenGoeller.com (Bio, Blog)

http://www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com (Private Gymnastics Training and Sports Conditioning)

http://www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller (My Fitness, Gymnastics, Sports, Health Books)

#usagymnastics #usoc #gymnastics #gymnast #athletes #usag #nassar #cscs #olympics

Gymnastics Consultant and Strength Coach in NJ

Gymnastics Consultant and Strength Coach in NJ… 

karen-spotting-hsHow many of your clubs/teams have a CSCS to consult with? How many teams have 30% of athletes (3 of every 10) dealing with chronic pain or injuries? (Too many!)

Let me help you reduce the injuries, improve your athlete’s health, speed progress, and improve technique. I have over 30 years competitive coaching experience and I’m a CSCS. Many of you already know me.

I had a CSCS on my staff in the 1990’s and he helped tremendously. I had less than a 10% injury/chronic pain rate on my team. If I did that, you can too. Injury is not necessarily “part of the sport” if you take a pro-active role. I’d like to be part of your team whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly…

I have helped gymnasts and coaches from many gyms in NJ, PA, NY, CT, WV, and other places in recent years. I have given presentations for the NSCA and USAG. My articles have been published in Technique Magazine and Cheer Coach & Advisor.

Please don’t wait for the injuries, frustration, or parental complaints to get worse!!! I am here for the gym owners, coaches, and athletes… Contact me at 908-278-3756

www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com

www.BestSportsConditioning.com

You can’t cram last-minute for gymnastics competition!

web-trainingad-beam-2011Competition season is around the corner. Strength, speed, power, flexibility can’t be developed overnight. And learning new gymnastics skills takes time.

It’s not like school where you can cram for a test last minute. With sports there is a SAFETY factor. It takes time to become prepared for gymnastics competition each  season.

There is a learning and training process that must be completed for safe and enjoyable competition. Many drills, conditioning exercises, and skill repetitions must be performed long before the new gymnastics skill is used in a routine. And once in the gymnastics routine, the new skill or combination will still need to be refined. It will take time for the gymnast to comfortably perform the new gymnastics skill within the routine.

Do not wait until the last minute to call for help! Your gymnast’s safety will be at risk if you expect them to skip steps in the training process. If a gymnast is uncomfortable with a new skill they may lack focus. That lack of focus can easily lead to injuries, small and catastrophic.

Going from a new gymnastics skill to a competition-ready routine should be an enjoyable journey, not a season filled with fear, stress, and risk of injury.

Let me know how I can help your gymnast.

www.bestgymnasticstraining.com

www.bestsportsconditioning.com

#gymnastics #sports #training #gymnast #strength #usag #usaigc #ncaa #joga #highschool #newjersey

Many gymnastics and cheerleading coaches do not know the science behind flexibility… It’s sad.

My reaction to this situation… http://www.ketv.com/article/local-cheer-gyms-react-to-colorado-cheerleading-video/12092617

So sad… Many gymnastics and cheerleading coaches need more education on flexibility and conditioning…

web-flexibilityI’ve seen a horrible gymnastics coach do this too. She was fired from one gym, but she is coaching gymnastics again in another gym. It IS ABUSE. If your child’s coach is manually stretching them to the point of tears remove them from that team immediately. There are plenty of good coaches to train with in this country. Your child does not need this physical damage or emotional trauma in their lives!

There IS a way to increase flexibility drastically without all of that pain and trauma. It is not always the muscle group that is tight. It is often the neurological system that will not allow more range of motion. It is literally locking up.

There are safe, effective ways to manually stretch to increase flexibility. I have done it countless times while keeping my athletes happy and healthy. If your daughter or her teammates need more flexibility I am happy to help them become more flexible without torturing them.

The gymnastics and cheer worlds need more people with the CSCS certification involved for conditioning. (Search online for NSCA CSCS to see what it is.)  I am the ONLY CSCS in NJ with 30+ years of high level/competitive gymnastics experience. Yes, there are MANY wonderful coaches in NJ that I greatly admire and respect, but none with the sports science background. Let me know how I can help your daughter and her teammates,  www.bestgymnasticstraining.com

And if your team needs help, https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/gymnastics-consultant-and-strength-coach-in-nj

#gymnastics #cheerleading #flexibility #stretching #sports #nj #training 

Gifts! Gymnastics Books for gymnasts and coaches!

 

Gifts! Gymnastics Books for gymnasts and coaches!

Nice gifts for gymnasts and gymnastics coaches… Gymnastics Books.

Gymnastics Journal: My Goals, My Scores, My Dreamshttp://a.co/bw2jaWm
The gymnast will write all about their gymnastics events, competitions, and goals in this amazing journal and save the memories forever. This is the only gymnastics journal your gymnast will need the entire gymnastic season. There are spaces for gymnastics competition scores, event goals, future goals, and much more. The gymnast will be encouraged to set goals for the near and distant future. Many gymnasts do not set goals until a coach or parent asks about goals. Gymnasts often need a simplified way of setting goals with a clear pattern of goal setting, goal achieving, exceeding the goals, and setting new ones. The gymnast using this gymnastics journal will see that many goals can be set and achieved in each gymnastics season. Every gymnast is capable of reaching success and every gymnast defines success differently. In this gymnastics journal the gymnast will be able to track their progress and goals from month to month and year to year. Keeping a gymnastics journal is a great way to set goals and preserve memories.

Gymnastics Lessons Learned: Life Lessons through Gymnastics… http://a.co/5HBX9q9
Gymnastics Lessons Learned: This is a collection of stories about gymnasts who learned valuable lessons through gymnastics. Most gymnasts here were the author’s own gymnasts. By reading these short gymnastics stories your child will learn new lessons, change their attitude, or possibly redirect their gymnastics career. The stories show the value of gymnastics lessons beyond the fun, gymnastics skills, and competitions. Gymnasts will enjoy reading this book and sharing the stories with their friends. Nice gift for any gymnast, gymnastics parent, or gymnastics coach.

Gymnastics Coloring Bookhttp://a.co/hE007Vp
This Gymnastics Coloring Book is a beautiful gift for any girl who loves gymnastics and coloring. The designs and quotes are unique and inspiring for the gymnast. The face and leotard have been left blank so that each person coloring can create their own gymnastics art.

Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Bookwww.GymnasticsDrills.com
Gymnastics Training Book: Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Exercises… The gymnastics drills and conditioning exercises in this book will help speed the learning process. Every gymnast must master the gymnastics skills addressed in this drills and conditioning book. The topics include running, vaulting, dance, uneven bars, and press handstand. In the uneven bars section there are drills for the glide kip, cast handstand, and clear hip among other skills. In the dance section there are drills and conditioning exercises for the split leap, straddle jump, and other dance skills. First ed published in 2000. Simple format with stick figure illustrations. There are over 100 drills and conditioning exercises in this book.

BOOK REVIEWS…

  • “WONDERFUL book-packed with information. Super tool for visual learners. THANKS!” M. Maxwell, RI
  • “Great book! My daughter loves it. A #1 seller. Would recommend it to all!!!” D. Conine, OH
  • “FANTASTIC! A goldmine for new team and pre-team coaches! This one is high quality, useful, and reasonably priced…” Sarah Jane Clifford, Owner GTC Rochester, NY

Are you in NJ? Here’s some info on training with Karen, www.BestGymnasticsTraining.com.

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