Entries Tagged 'safety' ↓

top U.S. gymnasts getting bigger

Dr. Bill Sands is always doing this — stifling perfectly entertaining online debates with the facts. :)

Here’s an abstract of one of their newer publications looking at the official heights and weights of U.S. Olympic teams since 1956:

The lay press, scientists, and physicians appear to believe that gymnasts are continually getting smaller and that their “smallness” is a health risk.

PURPOSE: Assess the historical changes in the size and age of the U.S. Women’s Olympic teams from 1956 to 2008.

METHODS: The official records from the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, of Olympic team members were assessed at two levels: 1) individual height, mass, age, and body mass index (BMI) and 2) the team performance scores and rankings.

Fourteen Olympic teams with a total of 106 team members, including the alternates, were included. Trend analyses were conducted using linear and polynomial models.

RESULTS: Simple linear correlations indicated that since 1956 height, mass, age, BMI, and team Olympic rank have been declining. However, 2nd order polynomial curve fits indicated that in the last four Olympic Games the members of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastic Teams have been getting larger.

CONCLUSION: Women’s Olympic gymnasts were getting smaller through approximately the 1980s and early 1990s. Since then the size of these gymnasts has increased. The minimum age rule modifications may have played a role in athlete size changes along with a shift from former communist Eastern Bloc near dominance.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2012 May 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Historical Trends of the Size of U.S. Olympic Female Artistic Gymnasts.

Sands WA, Slater C, McNeal JR, Murray SR, Stone MH.

Source: Monfort Family Human Performance Research Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO.

In jock speak:

… the teams got continually smaller through the 80s and early 90s and then have been getting bigger ever since.

Interestingly, Olympic places and medals tends to follow the same trend. As the latter gymnasts got larger so did their medal count.

“Fitness Wheels” by Tumbl Trak

Most big gyms will have one of these within a year, I predict.

It’s a stand alone mobile “circuit”. Brilliant for Rec. Useful for all your other programs.

It’s so obvious (now) that a round, soft shape is safe for kids. Why wasn’t this concept popularized sooner?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Look for Peng Peng in that edit. We took one to Oakville.

As a Tumbl Trak Ambassador, I’ve got one in transit to my gym right now. :)

Doug Davis and crew will have units on DEMO in San Jose. They go on sale sometime in July, last I heard.

(via Rec Gymnastics)

gymnast Andrew Donnellan

Andrew Donnellan of Tucson, Ariz., will be presented with the 2012 USA Gymnastics Robert Miller Spirit of the Flame Award at the 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in San Jose, Calif., on June 30 at the Hilton San Jose. He is awarded for his demonstration of strength and bravery after suffering a career-ending injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. …


GREAT choice. I’ve followed Andrew since his fluke accident, over-rotating a simple front tuck on Floor.

And I’ll try to meet with him in San Jose. Catch-up in person.

great Bar padding

Is it possible to do better than this?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

From Nick Blanton.

compulsories teach basics

No matter how many times Bruno Grandi insists that quality of gymnastics is paramount, fact is that highest start scores win the medals.

… but how did we get to this state of affairs?

Three main reasons, I postulate:

open-ended Code encourages more and more difficult routines
easier for judges to rank top routines
• fewer “compulsories” world-wide

Do you have compulsory routines where you coach?

Though Edouard Iarov has moved on — to WOGA — the developmental program he put in place as Canada’s Men’s National Coach is still working.

We have a big base of good young guys in the “Argo” program doing “compulsories“. It’s still the best way to reward “basics”.

Here’s a sample Horizontal Bar routine.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Elija is from Calgary Gymnastics Centre.

building a Bar channel pit

At Al Fong’s gym in Missouri, I was wowed by his self-designed Bar trench pit. It works great. And can be quickly reconfigured into dozens of different set-ups.

Here’s my new prototype spotting box, inspired by those at GAGE.

Used for many different things in the gym, it’s made from lightweight Styrofoam topped with a layer of (old) closed-cell mat.

The custom vinyl cover has a Velcro closure on one end and 4 handles. It can easily be moved by 2 kids.

Coaches at A-Mazing Adventures, Regina, like the concept. I’m now pricing 6 more that could be put together as a channel pit.

The most expensive part is the cover, $159 from Triad.

Have you ever built anything similar? If so, leave a comment. There are a few more photos of the construction here.

don’t TOUCH that spring board

via email from Lise Gosselin of Gymnastics Canada:

re Gymnova boards:

Any athlete, coach or manager who takes one or more spring(s) out of any board will be red-carded for the duration of training or competition session when this occurred. The person will leave the training or competition floor immediately. She/he will be allowed back on the training and/or competition floor once authorized in writing by the WAG Program Director and following a payment of a fine of $300.00 to the WAG Program of GCG.

Yes sir.

One of our gymnasts had to change her Beam mount first day of podium training at the National Championships.

The only board allowed for Beam was rock hard. She couldn’t deflect it.

The vaulting boards were quite good this competition, however. Gymnova brought “used” boards that had been broken-in at previous competitions. Please do that for Beam too, next time. :)

In past meets, even the softest Gymnova Boards were too hard for the smallest female gymnasts.

Why is it that 50lb young girls are required to vault on Olympic boards?

Is that safe?

On a personal note, thanks to Pascal and the Gymnova crew in Regina. My club purchased discounted equipment at the competition. And we are LOVING our new mats.

yucky honey in the gym

Aussie gymnast Luke Wiwatowski has a blog:

… Almost without fail every gymnast that will ever compete in a senior event will apply honey to the parallel bars. …

… one may find rows of honey bottles splayed across any given competition podium for parallel bars. …

… uses maple syrup but the concept is much the same. …

Gymnasts and Honey

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I don’t like honey in the gym. It’s messy. And unsanitary.

Instead, microwave sugar water, boiling it for some seconds. Use that supersaturated solution to apply chalk. It works as well or better, and is much cleaner.

Shallon Olson – Vault

She’s been competing this DTY for years. … since she was a kid.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

No female gymnast has ever done so much difficulty at such a young age. The Canadian Jr Champion (still age-11) is a unique talent. A trickster.

It’s going to be interesting to follow her career.

best photo/video release forms?

I’m looking for the perfect release form blanks for USA and Canada. Leave a comment if you’ve got one you like. Some models would be children, of course.

Dave Ross – Supertramp

Skyriders Head Coach Dave Ross told us that there are 6 or 7 “Supertramps” he’s built, out in the wild. Those are GIANT trampoline beds that allow athletes to get more air time than on the FIG specs.

His own in Toronto is the best design, so far, he feels.

He’s back to a rectangular frame, at this point. Supporting the corners of such a big bed is an issue.

Click PLAY to watch Sam Sendel. This (updated) edit on YouTube from 4yrs ago is called 40 Different Triples and a Quadriffus on Supertramp.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Mortals find Supertramp height terrifying. If you want to know why Sam uses a throw mat on those skills, watch it through to the end — the crashes.

Dave’s company that sells the Supertramp is called Rebound Products.

Thanks Hal.

Amanar: Maroney v Ross v Biles

The greatest Vaulter in history makes everyone else look bad.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (9.60 execution)

Kyla Ross is looking like an Olympian right now, in no small part due to her Amanar. But that’s a dangerous skill. How far away is this from an injury?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

As John Geddert said, FIG gymnastics in 2012 is Russian Roulette. Sooner or later skills like this, landing on mats this hard, results in serious injury.

One more, for comparison, the amazing Simone Biles. This may be the second best in the world.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I call for FIG to reconsider the landing mats on Vault. They should be as wide an absorbing as those used for Double Mini.

Daniel Purvis falls on a judge

Busy at the Canadian Championships, I’ve not had time to follow Men’s Europeans. But I had time to watch THIS.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Reminiscent of Paul Hamm in the 2004 Olympics debacle.

related – American Gymnast – The Coolest Routine of Men’s European Championships Thus Far

(via Examiner)