Friday, February 15, 2013

The Foam Pit

A gym without a foam pit would be like a school with no principal. It's an essential piece of equipment. While our littlest gymnast see it as a toy box, our team kids are thankful to have a soft place to land when learning new skills. And as with all our equipment it must be used properly to avoid injury.

Now, I know what you're thinking "How do you get injured in the foam pit"? Well, there are a few things to be careful of. Always jump in feet or butt first. Landing the the pit head first or on your belly can cause neck or spinal injuries! Also, if you don't look before you leap, you may end up landing on a fellow student.

Here are our basic rules for foam pit safety:
Do not land head first into the pit
Do not bury yourself under the pit blocks.
Do not attempt skills you cannot do by yourself safely
Do not dig holes in the pit blocks
Do not throw foam out of the pit
Do not pick the foam pit blocks apart
Do not throw foam blocks at anyone’s face
Do not jump into the pit from the trampoline

These rules are not meant to take the fun out of the pit experience, but are there to make sure your fun doesn't come to an unfortunate ending.

So, how is the pit an essential tool? Foam pits are very useful because it eliminates a huge amount of spotting from the coach. There are certain gymnastics skills that are very hard to spot and on occasions a coach spotting just gets in the way.

It's also great for conditioning! You see, those foam blocks are incredibly deceptive. The more you weigh the more they pull you towards the bottom. It makes moving difficult and gives your muscles a great workout!

Weather you're playing, conditioning, or practicing new skills a foam pit is a must for every gymnastics club.