Ankle and foot injuries are one of the most common problems gymnasts face. Depending on the study you read, up to 50% of all lower-body injuries in gymnastics occur at the ankle and foot. When you look at the sport, it makes sense. It is full of high impact forces, high repetitions, young athletes going through puberty, and has many cultural issues that might make it challenging to keep the ankle and foot joints healthy.
As a former collegiate gymnast, I’ve had my fair share of ankle injuries including 2 broken ankles, numerous strains/sprains, bone bruises, and microtears in my Achilles tendon. As a Sports Physical Therapist, Strength Coach, Gymnastics Coach, and researcher specializing in gymnastics, I’ve unfortunately worked with 1000s of gymnasts for foot and ankle injuries.
In an effort to help provide high-quality information to the gymnastics community, I wanted to create this podcast and “mega-blog” for people to use as a reference. I provide all of my thoughts on common ankle and foot injuries and how to manage the stages of different injuries. I also share how to safely progress back to gymnastics after an injury, and how to reduce the risk of ankle and foot injuries in our sport. I have spent hundreds of hours reviewing the literature on this topic in an effort to make this blog very high quality.
8:30 Ankle and Foot Injury Rates in Gymnastics
13:37 What Causes Ankle Injuries in Gymnastics?
30:00 Basic Ankle and Foot Anatomy
43:30 Common Injuries Introduction
45:00 Ankle Sprains
49:58 “Crunched” Ankles / Talocrural Impingement
54:00 Growth Plate Injuries (Sever’s Disease, etc)
56:00 Tendonitis and Tendinopathies
1:02:02 Shin Splints
1:04:05 Ankle Stress Fractures / Fractures
1:08:00 Rehabilitation of Ankle/Foot Injuries
1:14:20 Acute Phase – Swelling, Pain, & Walking
1:28:05 Intermediate Phase – Strength & Balance
1:32:05 Advanced Phase – Power & Plyometrics
1:35:25 Return to Gymnastics Phase
1:41:30 How To Reduce Ankle/Foot Injuries in Gymnastics
1:46:20 What If Gymnasts Aren’t Getting Better?
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Hey, my name is Dave Tilley.
I was a collegiate gymnast and have been coaching gymnastics for 15 years. I work as a Sports Physical Therapist, Strength and Conditioning coach, and optional gymnastics coach in Boston MA. I’m also really fortunate that I get to travel the world and teach about performance and sports medicine concepts.
I started SHIFT in 2013 with one goal. Help people change the lives of athletes they work with.