The Key to a Proper and Safe Landing
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
As a gymnast, we all want to stick that perfect landing.
It’s an amazing feeling! We want a good score, we want to know we did our best when put to the test and we also want to keep our bones and joints protected.
Landing properly isn’t just about the score. In fact, a proper landing is a key aspect of injury prevention in the sport of gymnastics. It’s important to understand these proper positions and practice them with EVERY LANDING. Remember the more you practice the more it will become second nature.
Proper landing technique helps to reduce the forces of landings. A safe landing position should be a natural position for any gymnast.
- Knees should be bent. Never land with straight legs or locked knees. Too deep of a knee bend, like a squat, is not good either. Aim for a 45 degree angle.
- Arms should be extended to the front. They should be straight and should be kept level with your heart. This will also help to keep your chest up on your landings.
- The back and spine should be straight with no bend at the waist.
Follow those few tips and you’ll not only cause less stress on your body, you’ll find you stick that perfect landing a lot more often.
In the gym practice:
For extra practice, use a large training block that is between 3-6 feet high (depending on your size and level). Start by standing on top of the block and do a straight jump to the floor exercise mat or landing pad. Each time, focus clearly on the three main points above. Try to stick ten jumps in a row.
Create a sticking game with your friends and see who can stick the most in a row. Add a tuck jump, straddle, pike or even a full twist to make it more challenging! This is a fun way to work on one of the most important aspects off our sport and add points to your score.