Bar – tangent of release

Repost – Bar clinic yesterday. We talked, as always, about tangent of release:

… the body’s mass center exits from any external swing at a 90° angle to its radius of rotation (tangent to the swing) …

Just as the archer’s bow establishes the flight direction of the arrow, so too does the tangent release establish the flight direction of the gymnast. …

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double back tucked

Information excerpted from Championship Gymnastics: Biomechanical Techniques for Shaping Winners, by Gerald S. George, Ph.D.

That graphic would generate a discussion regarding whether or not she might “pull-in” to the bar by shortening the body before release. … She might.

I’ll use this layout flyaway graphic, instead, to introduce the concept of “tanget” to the point of release of swing.

Of course the path of flight is a “parabola” after release. (Unless the gymnast goes straight up, straight down.)

The problem with biomechanics is the risk of generating more heat than light.

aerial ski flipping & twisting

In the sport of freestyle aerials, skiers are judged on their ability to perform complex jumps in the air. Emily Cook, a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Freestyle team, and Paul Doherty, a Senior Scientist at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, show how these jumps actually come from three basic twisting techniques that you can try in your own classroom.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (2010)

(via Gymnast Crossing)

G.S. George – “Accelerating the Rotation”

Close your eyes while coaching tumbling. Can you hear the acceleration?


See this article excerpted from Championship Gymnastics and edited by Dwight Normile of International Gymnast Magazine.

Jake Dalton – tap swing

Great drill by a great gymnast. Jake was demonstrating for coach Dave Juszczyk.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Don’t expect your beginners to swing like Jake. Older, taller gymnasts with long limbs have a biomechanical advantage. It’s easier to snap a longer whip than a shorter one.

Be patient with your shortest, youngest kids. Swing technique takes time.

an unfair deduction – “chest low”

In NCAA Gymnastics in particular, I keep hearing people refer to “chest low on landing” deduction.

Yet in the current FIG Women’s Code of Points I see only this reference: Landing faults ~ Body posture fault = 0.1 or 0.3 deduction

An angled chest on landing is not necessarily a “body posture fault”, though it could be. If the impact forces are not safely and smoothly brought to zero, the gymnast can be deducted. Regardless of the angle of the chest.

For example, here’s a good landing that should not be deducted. Check the angle hip to shoulder on first contact.

chest angle on contact

landing sequence

How many judges are deducting that landing?

None in Men’s Gymnastics. Few in FIG WAG Gymnastics. But in College Gymnastics gymnasts are wrongly penalized, in my opinion. The good lady judges of the NCAA have so few deductions to take, they incorrectly jump on “chest low”.

Leave a comment if you have an opinion on this. Especially if you are a College judge.

Those graphics come from a study by Gittoes, Irwin and Kerwin. Kinematic Landing Strategy Transference in Backward Rotating Gymnastic Dismounts in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics.

related – deduction for “chest low” on landing

biomechanics of Circus

Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil in Vegas.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

After all these years, Boris Verkhovsky is still energized. He’s Director of Acrobatic Performance and Coaching at Cirque. And Boris is very much a biomechanist coach. He loves to push the limits of the laws of physics. :-)

Aliya – Yurchenko contact position

I like the low feet on contact. Good potential for height. Height = time in the air.

Aliya Yurchenko contact

See the vault on instagram.

via Elizabeth Booth on GymFever2012