Dr. Dave Tilley is concerned:
… the unfortunate reality is that the typical way gymnasts were taught to land growing up (me included) may not be the safest for them and most effective to stick skills. Not to mention coaches are also unfortunately very mis-informed about what the best available science suggests for proper landing mechanics. The concerning typical landing position that we need to move away from is one of
• Knees and feet together
• Glutes engage with the “hips tucked under” into hollow
• Knee dominant landing strategy
• Stiff impact with upright torso
… The reality of the situation is that we need to change the way gymnasts land, starting from a very young age. The more ideal landing we should be teaching and forcing athletes to use is
• Feet hip width apart
• toes, knees, hips, and shoulders close to inline (generally)
• core engaged in relative neutral (not excessively hollowed or arched)
• proper angular displacement of the hip and knee joints
• hip angle generally 30 degrees, and trunk / tibial lines close to parallel …
With greatly increased difficulty being competed now and into the future, obviously the “best” landing positions are the ones that bring impact forces to zero with the least risk of injury, especially major injuries like ligament ruptures.
Most of the top male gymnasts in 2016 land their difficult skills in a very typical way.
Check these successful WAG landing positions. (Some are luck, of course. But many are skillful.)
Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.