Archive for the ‘lordosis’ Category

The First of Many Ankle Sprains

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

The first ankle sprain happened on a beam mount.  It was a jump to handstand off the spring board onto the end of the beam, walkover out.  I remember trying to keep from falling, but landing on the side of a hard 8-inch mat that was under the beam.  My ankle rolled hard and I felt the first of many ligament “pops” to come.  It swelled with a golf ball lump on the side of it right away, and I was told to get back up there and keep working out.

Today, I really believe that most ankle sprains are preventable.  This one, on the side of the mat,  probably was not.  I also believe that people should treat ankle sprains seriously and stay off of the leg and protect it right after the sprain.

A person may prevent ankle sprains by keeping the hip flexors adequately stretched out, the hip lateral rotators strong and the ankle dorsiflexion at full range of motion.   Most people sprain their ankles when their foot is pointed down (plantarflexed in an open-joint position) versus flexed and close-packed.  Most people sprain their ankles when their hip turn-out muscles are weak, allowing for the femur (thigh bone) to rotate inward and create that pointed foot/sprain action.  Many gymnasts who sprain their ankles (inversion sprains) have short hip flexor muscles and stand and move in lordosis (low back arch).

I had all of these problems.  I went on to sprain my ankles over a dozen times each. 

Catching the Choreography Bug

Monday, April 7th, 2008

I caught the choreography bug at a young age.  Not only did I enjoy trying out different styles of dance and dancing around to music, but I truly respected my choreographers.  We were the lucky gymnasts back in the 70’s.  We had staff choreographers right there with us during workout and I looked up to them often.  A choreographer in the gym daily seems like a rare gem now. 

My mom enrolled me in ballet class as a very young gymnast.  I already had lordosis (low back arch), because I remember getting poked at for my “bottom sticking out” during barre work.  The general posture and carriage created in a ballet class cannot be underestimated.  A local gym hired me this season to start a “Dance for Gymnastics” class, where I currently try to teach good posture and dance expression.  The gymnasts are doing a great job and after seven classes, I’ve noticed less intimidation and more confidence in presentation.

Personally, I will try any kind of dance at least once.  I love watching and learning and teaching various styles.  Some of my memories of dance at our gym in the 70’s include lessons in modern (dancing inside giant bags), disco and jazz.  I remember my first routine was Hungarian (many of my ancestors came from Hungary, along with Romania and Italy).  My second floor routine was to a villian-style piece, combined with “Camptown Races.”  Another routine that I competed was to “Carmen.”  I always really got into the routines and felt the music and enjoyed myself.  Since retirement from gymnastics, I have kept trying dance styles, craved learning more about dance, and challenged myself to have the confidence to step out onto the floor mat year after year.

I continue to encourage gymnasts and coaches to become choreographers.  Once the choreography bug bites, it doesn’t seem to go away easily!