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Take Care of Your Feet When You’re Young

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By Oleg Vasiliev, Gymnastics” Magazine

Load, but don’t wear out!

In gymnastics foot and ankle are loaded most of all in the locomotor apparatus. As soon as the sprung foot function drops, noncompensated load gets higher: knees, thigh joint, loin etc. everything could suffer till the cervical spine. That’s why very often doctors treats knee, back and neck pains by the corrective insole, shaping the arch of the foot.

Insufficiency of the sprung foot function makes a gymnast bend her knees and slouch a little bit, damping the axile load. So if a gymnast lacks the LINE, start rehabilitating her feet.

It’s important to differ treatment from the rehabilitation. Flat foot of the II and II degree requires a special orthopedic treatment (in some cases training even shouldn’t be stopped, but the load should be corrected).

When we write about the rehabilitation we mean the obligatory procedures for every gymnast. Because the training process fades if the locomotor apparatus is not fully rehabilitated, this threatens to wear out the organism too early.

Main feet and ankles problems and their reasons:

1.      Weak ligaments, more than 80% of the children going in for gymnastics suffer from it.

2.      Ligaments looseness because of injuries and errors of the training process, for example, in-toed work while the turnout is required

3.      All this causes hypertonia of the muscles compensating the work of the lose ligaments, then the weakness of almost all the muscles follows.

Main efforts should be directed for feet and ankle rehabilitation. In case you don’t take any rehabilitation actions, feet or ankle “insufficiency” will cause various diseases (flat foot, flat foot, ligamentitis, osteochondropathy, degenerative-dystrophic change of arthrosis type etc.).

The main principles of feet and ankle rehabilitation are not difficult to follow, but they require regular attention:

1.      Release muscle hypertonia from ankles and tine feet muscles

2.      Give tone to the weak muscle groups; as a rule, these muscles don’t take part in the training process and that’s why they require additional training.

Rehabilitation procedures usually include therapeutic exercise, massage, warm feet-baths with sea salt after the training, various relaxing ointments or oils. Unfortunately, these procedures are often neglected or stopped (because many people think they’re ineffective).

We offer you some exercises which are necessary to do in the gym at the end of the training.

1.      Gymnastics and reflex therapy

Reflex therapy in combination with gymnastics exercises. You can use a massage ball for that, rolling it along the feet, unbending the knee and pointing the toes. This exercise rehabilitates the feet tone not in general, but exactly in the gymnastics position, when the knee is straight and toes are pointed.

2.      Stabilizing gymnastics with resistance

A coach or other gymnast makes a stand against bending or unbending of ankle and toes, training weak muscles

3.      Exercise as old as the hills

-          Hold the crumple towel with the toes

-          Crumple the towel  with the feet

-          Draw with the pencil held by the toes

-          Shifting various things with the feet

In winter running on the snow can be recommended during 5-10 seconds. This is the extremely effective way to rehabilitate not only feet, but the organism in general. But it depends on a person.

All the rehabilitation procedures for gymnasts during the training period will be ineffective, if summer is used irrationally. In summer gymnasts should walk on the grass, stones and sand as often as possible and swim a lot (in the sea)! Proverb “Make provision for a rainy day but in good time” ideally expresses the main point of orthopedic rehabilitation.

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