The Importance of Safety Features In Gymnastics Equipment

Ethel Gonzales

Gymnastics is a sport that consists of difficult acrobatic movements which require a high level of skill and fitness. During practice gymnasts often make mistakes whilst trying to fine tune some of their skills and sometimes these mistakes can result in serious accidents. That is why modern gymnastics equipment comes with standard safety features. Whilst browsing the internet, I came across a banner entitled tumble track for sale and naturally me being inquisitive I clicked it just to see what safety features do tumble tracks have.

Layers made of foam or other shock absorbing materials

According to the rules of gymnastics for tumbling only the hands and feet are allowed to touch the surface of the tumbling track. However, in the event of a failed skill or mistake, a gymnast may fall to the surface either head first or on their back. The material of the tumble track is padded with two layers of foam or other material which dampens the gymnast’s fall. This feature of the tumble track surface is very essential because it reduces the chances of gymnasts breaking their wrists of spraining their joints during a failed skill attempt.

Padded end decks

The end decks of a tumbling track are padded because this is the part of the trampoline where athletes are at a high risk of falling off. The end decks ensure that even when an athlete misses the trampoline by just a few inches and part of their body brushes against it, they will not be scratched. The padding of the end decks also dampens the fall of an athlete when they brush against it, thus reducing the impact of their fall when they touch the floor mat.

Padded springs

A spring is definitely something that is very familiar. Imagine an exposed spring and during its stretching and contracting action your skin comes into contact with it. Definitely it would pitch you and probably not only cause you a lot of pain but it could tear your skin. In order to prevent such incidences from happening, tumble tracks have all their springs padded. The padding on the springs is designed in such a way that it does not alter the performance of the springs and make the trampoline rigid. Rather the trampoline maintains its full springing capacity, with an added advantage of increased safety.

An end mat for skill dismounting

When a gymnast is tumbling on a tumble track, he or she gains momentum during the process. Momentum is energy which is gathered by a moving object and that energy will be transferred to the surface on landing at the end of a tumble sequence. If the landing surface is hard, that will mean the transfer of energy when the gymnast’s body loses momentum on landing will result in a force that can be so high to even fracture leg bones. As a safety precaution a mat is placed at the end of a tumbling track. This mat ensures that when a gymnast makes the final landing after a tumble, all the energy will be absorbed, eliminating all chances of injury.

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