Some readers have been asking if I would go for more “video blog” entries to explain some of the stuff that may be hard to get from just pictures and text explanation. So here it is, the first video blog post on an issue I think is super common for gymnasts who may struggle with nagging or re-occuring back pain. This short video touches on some basics, explains an easy drill to teach gymnasts core control with extending movements, and promotes firing patterns using the glutes/thoracic spine/shoulder blades, rather than initiating motion with the lower spine. Firing from the lower spine first can be dicey because it causes the athlete to just hanging out on passive structures in the spine like ligaments, bony structures, and joints. Overtime this can create a problem like muscle strains, joint irritation, and even worse stress fractures. I’m sure a lot of coaches and gymnasts promote this which is great, but I think sometimes gymnasts may become a little lazy and rely on their spine flexibility. Over time it can catch up to be problematic.
Please keep in mind that if a gymnast is getting re-occuring pain in skills this or complains of constant lower back pain, they need to be cleared and evaluated by a medical professional. I gave this gymnast a pretty in depth work up and assessment before I chose to use her for this video, and she had undergone about a period of rest/recovery/modification. Wanted to make it short and useful so I purposefully left out some discussion stuff. If your interested more check out some of the “bridge” related articles through the website. Hope it’s helpful,