Entries Tagged 'sport science' ↓

Jet Lag app

Jet lag is nobody’s idea of fun. A bunch of mathematicians say they can make the adjustment less painful with a smartphone app that calculates the swiftest way to adjust.

Users plug in the time zone they’re traveling to, and the app will do the calculations before spitting out a schedule specifying when the user should stay in bright light, low light or be in the dark, says Olivia Walch, a graduate student at the University of Michigan who designed the app. …

This Jet Lag App Does The Math So You’ll Feel Better Faster

I’ve downloaded it to my iPhone. The Android version is still under development.

Great idea. Should work. But those eggheads made it far too feature rich. It’s not intuitive to use.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Get it free via iTunes.

Janssen-Fritsen research

Check what’s happening in the Netherlands “lab” gym.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

“chest position” on landing

GymCastics has lately been including Evan Heiter @yoEv as another of their pundits on the terrific weekly audiocast. Great choice. Evan’s entertaining and knowledgeable.

On the other hand, last week’s episode 71 is titled “The Chest Position Enforcement Bureau“.

Too much deduction on landings for “chest position” is an error.

It happens a lot in WAG NCAA. Judges kill terrific vaults, ignoring multiple technical and form breaks for weaker vaults.

The goal of a landing is to bring huge impact forces to zero. Efficiency on the skill of landing will help reduce landing injuries.

via supermura.tumblr

Uchimura is as good as any gymnast who ever lived. Check his shoulder position.

Kohei is using every possible shock absorber, including trunk and hip flexion.

Any set of rules that deducts this performance is ethically, medically and biomechanically wrong. Indeed, young kids should be taught to land like Uchimura from a young age.

Deducting “chest low” is like deducting a gymnast for lack of foot point on the sprint for Vault.

… that said, there are SOME unsafe landings — poorly controlled — that should be deducted. This one, most likely.

Dr. Joshua Eldridge in the comments:

Love it…you are so right on with this post. Our number one goal in gymnastics needs to be protecting athletes from injury.

Increased angular joint movement (proper movement of the hips/knees on landing) is proven to reduce the load placed on the body by allowing muscles to absorb the forces and displace the energy through movement and heat.

Well said that it is unethical to deduct for athletes protecting themselves!!!! I agree fully.

According to the LESS (Landing Error Scoring System), 30 degrees is the optimal hip angle and building more core control can help our athletes maintain this hip angle and not “bow” as much. This 30 degree angle also makes sure glutes are activated which is an important mechanism to make sure the spine is protected.

Bill Sands audiocast

In Session 6 of the Gymnast Care Podcast, we sit down with Dr. Bill Sands and discuss his history in the sport of gymnastics, from the beginnings when he taught himself how to do gymnastics, through college, and the start of his coaching career at Mid America Twisters.

We then get into the meat of this podcast talking about how to protect your gymnast through proper biomechanics, strength training, and recovery.


Listen to Bill interviewed by Dr. Joshua Eldridge on Gymnast Care. Or download the MP3 from that page. (about 1hr 15min)

gene doping in acrobatic sport?

I’m quite worried about this looming issue.

The idea is simple: to alter our genetic makeup, the very building blocks of who we are, in order to make us stronger or faster. The practicalities are highly complex. …

Back in 2003, Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) banned gene doping. …

BBC – Gene doping: Sport’s biggest battle?

Picture from Andy Miah's book Genetically Modified Athletes

Picture from Andy Miah’s book Genetically Modified Athletes

Aussie International Development

Jo Richards:

99 of Australia’s best young gymnasts aged between 9-12 years and their personal coaches recently attended the International Development Program (IDP) Clinic, in total representing 15 different High Performance programs from around the country.

The clinic was led by Gymnastics Australia’s National Pathways Manager, Jo Richards, along with experienced coaches:

– Women’s Artistic Gymnastics National Coach: Peggy Liddick
– VWHPC VIS Gymnastics Coaches: Misha Barabach and Tracey Penaluna
– Choreographer: Stacey Umeh


… In between training sessions many of the girls were involved in the final testing session of the research study – “A Multi-factorial risk analysis of Australian elite female gymnasts”. Gymnastics Australia, the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Australian Catholic University are working together on a nationwide research project on injuries in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics. The project aims to identify the “at risk” development stages for elite female gymnasts and, secondly, the risk factors associated with elite gymnastics. …

Best young talent impress in Melbourne

related – John & Kathryn Geddert are Down Under (PHOTOS) working with Aussie kids, as well

Flame Retardants and Gymnastics

Amanda Turner linked to that single study on a small sample of Collegiate gymnasts. The researchers have put up their own web page dedicated to the topic:

We are a group of researchers from Dartmouth College, Boston University and Duke University who study how people are exposed to flame retardant chemicals.

More broadly, we study how chemicals in the environment can affect the health of people. We chose to do a study of gymnasts because one of us is a former competitive gymnast and because we were concerned competitive gymnasts may have elevated exposures to flame retardants due to their use of foam containing equipment.

The study included 11 collegiate gymnasts that was published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology: Carignan CC, Heiger-Bernays W, McClean MD, Roberts SC, Stapleton HM, Sjödin A, Webster TF. Flame retardant exposure among collegiate U.S. gymnasts. 2013. Environ. Sci. Technol.


This website was developed to advise gymnasts and coaches to wash their hands after practice and before eating, to provide facts about flame retardants and gymnastics and to facilitate collaboration between flame retardant scientists, fire safety experts, equipment manufacturers and the gymnastics community. …


Tramp video monitoring

Jeroen van der Eb, Bert Coolen, Chris Laumans, Rik van der Sar, Andreas Daffertshofer

VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands

31 International Conference on Biomechanics in Sports (2013)


We developed a video-based analysis system to monitor and analyze performance in technical sports, the CoachCockPit.

The CoachCockPit captures footage of a performance, stores and presents it instantly.

Footage can automatically be analyzed and fed back. We show how daily training activity of trampolinists is monitored and parameters like number of routines, number of jumps per routine, or jump height, can be extracted.

Over weeks and month these parameters display trends that provide information about training progress in relation to the aimed-for training results. Overtraining and stress fractures are crucial risk factors in trampoline jumping. The deployment of the CoachCockPit in trampoline jumping will, in the future, help to predict these risk factors at an early stage.



Growth and Maturation of Gymnasts

Robert M. Malina, Adam D. G. Baxter-Jones, Neil Armstrong, Gaston P. Beunen, Dennis Caine, Robin M. Daly, Richard D. Lewis, Alan D. Rogol, Keith Russell


Short stature and later maturation of youth artistic gymnasts are often attributed to the effects of intensive training from a young age. …

… the Scientific Commission of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) convened a committee to review the current literature and address four questions:

(1) Is there a negative effect of training on attained adult stature?

(2) Is there a negative effect of training on growth of body segments?

(3) Does training attenuate pubertal growth and maturation, specifically, the rate of growth and/or the timing and tempo of maturation?

(4) Does training negatively influence the endocrine system, specifically hormones related to growth and pubertal maturation?

… Allowing for noted limitations, the following conclusions were deemed acceptable:

(1) Adult height or near adult height of female and male artistic gymnasts is not compromised by intensive gymnastics training.

(2) Gymnastics training does not appear to attenuate growth of upper (sitting height) or lower (legs) body segment lengths.

(3) Gymnastics training does not appear to attenuate pubertal growth and maturation, neither rate of growth nor the timing and tempo of the growth spurt.

(4) Available data are inadequate to address the issue of intensive gymnastics training and alterations within the endocrine system.

Role of Intensive Training in the Growth and Maturation of Artistic Gymnasts

The full PDF is linked.

In short, Artistic Gymnastics does not make you short.

Olympians Hannah Whelan (4ft 9in) and rower Josh West (6ft 91/2in).

tall and short

studying great distance runners



Or both.

weightless acrobatics

Astronaut Al Bean on Skylab 3. A trained springboard diver.

A great way to see how “tilt twist” works.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

(via Trampoline Pundit)

ESPN Sport Science: Gymnastics

I’ve linked — but not embedded before — this 2011 feature.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Don’t bother commenting on the painfully obvious Y axis confusion. The more ESPN notices gymnastics, the better.

10,000 hour rule debunked

The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual’s innate qualities (“nature,” i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences (“nurture,” i.e. empiricism or behaviorism) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. .…


The 10,000 hour rule started with this study:

The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance (PDF) by K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer (1993)

They found that many of the best of the best in different fields had trained at least 10,000 hours over 10 years.


But correlation is not causation.

… since that landmark 1993 paper, other researchers have been finding exceptions to the rule; some experts were crowned with only 3,000 hours of practice while others still had not reached the mountaintop even though they had doubled the 10,000 hour mark. …

“The evidence is quite clear,” … “that some people do reach an elite level of performance without copious practice, while other people fail to do so despite copious practice.” …

The Sports Gene: What Makes the Perfect Athlete by David Epstein – review by Richard Moore

Epstein quoted:

… for an American man aged between 20 and 40, standing between 6ft and 6ft2in the chances of playing professionally in the NBA are five in a million. If he’s 6ft2in to 6ft4in there is a still-distant 20 in a million chance. But if he’s 6ft10in to 7ft, the odds shorten to 32,000 in a million. And if he stands 7ft, there is a one-in-six chance he will currently be playing in the NBA. …

Height is far more important than number of hours trained in that sport.

related – Why Kenyans Make Such Great Runners: A Story of Genes and Cultures:

.…This medium-size country of 41 million dominates the world in competitive running. Pick any long-distance race. You’ll often find that up to about 70 or 80 percent of its winners since the late 1980s, when East African nutrition and technology started catching up with the West, have been from Kenya. …

Most are from one tribe in Kenya, the Kalenjin.

What about coaching?

Wayne Goldsmith weighs in – 10,000 Hours to make a Sporting Champion? I don’t think so.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

To reach a high level in any discipline you need genetics and good training.