Foot injuries can occur when playing sports but a shoe or cleat can often protect the foot from injury. Some sports, like gymnastics, are performed barefoot. Gymnasts have extra demands placed on the small muscles of the foot as they are not getting the support of a shoe. When training barefoot, there is an increased demand of the muscles in the foot and lower leg. These muscles will help to stabilize the foot and ankle which may reduce the risk of ankle sprains or injuries higher up the leg such as in the knee or hip. How can gymnasts help prevent injury when training barefoot? Here are some ways gymnasts can strengthen their foot muscles to improve their performance.
Gymnastics clubs across the country have been closed for several weeks in order to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in gymnasts focusing on stretching and conditioning at-home in preparation for when they can get back to the gym. This is a good time to address any flexibility and strength issues that may have affected an athlete’s ability to train earlier in the year and help with injury prevention when allowed to return to practice. Here are 6 key exercises to target common areas of weakness in gymnasts.