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

G.S. George – Somersault Rotation

While rotating in the air, the more you bring body parts closer to the axis, the faster you spin.

rotation salto

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

To decelerate, move parts of the body further from the axis.

3D-Gym – animation software

There’s a very cool, very frustrating site at fb-curves.com.

Here’s why it’s cool.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Fantastic. A perfect Rybalko. The first time I’ve ever seen one. :-) Consider me seduced.

The site is frustrating for me because it’s so Flash based. I hate Adobe Flash. I turn off Adobe Flash every chance I get. On my laptop, fb-curves.com doesn’t work well.

Happily, developer Fabien Bougas has some of that same content on his YouTube channel.

He has a blog, as well, in French and English, with some of the content.

unusual Yurchenko blocks

Here’s our World Champion HONG Un Jong.

via FIG
via FIG

Here’s McKayla Maroney.

Maroney block

A common coaching error is to emulate the best of the best. Just because it works for Maroney, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

I don’t recommend wide arms with the hands out-turned for young, developing gymnasts. Stick with the most popular, traditional arm position (e.g. Cheng Fei) unless you have a very good reason not to.

Cheng Fei 2004

Watch VIDEO of Cheng Fei.