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Should my flexibility be tested before starting gymnastics?

A flexibility assessment is a great start to see what general muscle imbalances or joint restrictions exist.

An example of a movement assessment that can reveal possible tight structures is an overhead squat assessment. This assessment is a way for a health care practitioner to look at total-body neuromuscular efficiency, functional strength, and dynamic flexibility. Locations that are viewed are the feet and ankles, knees, hips and back, shoulders, and head. Compensations seen in these areas can indicate tighness and weakness in surrounding muscles. Once found, imbalances can be corrected with a proper program of flexibility and stability.

A single-leg squat assessment can also be used which can hone in on the lower extremity. Assessments are valuable to reveal altered movement patterns which can then be corrected to prevent further imbalances or injury during gymnastics. Advanced assessments exist for joint abnormalities or abnormal muscle firing patterns. These are usually done by a chiropractor or physical therapist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.