“pulling in” on Flyaway

I’m at a coaching course right now. As always we spent disproportionate time on this skill

Dr. Bill Sands posted an article on the Biomechanics of Flyaway dismount on Bars. A good read for every coach.

I want to do EVERYTHING I can to prevent my gymnasts from hitting their feet on the rail. Or – worse – their head. 😦

Most dangerous, in my opinion, are tucked and double tucked flyaways. While changing position from the stretched long swing to the tucked position, there’s a chance the gymnast will “pull in” to the Bar. That is to say, redirect the path of the Centre of Mass towards the Bar.

That’s in addition to the normal problem – releasing too late.

What we WANT is a “pitch out” of the Centre of Mass. A redirection out and away just before release.

Dr. Bill Sands
Dr. Bill Sands

For me layout and double layout flyaways are safest. Then piked.

See it on The Advanced Study of GymnasticsHow Does a Flyaway Work? (link is now correct)

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

5 thoughts on ““pulling in” on Flyaway”

  1. why this continues to be an issue mystifies me…..the key question to ask any/all gymnasts is “when do you release?”……just about every gymnast I’ve ever encountered has no idea (prior to being informed)….the answer? 45 degrees above horizontal (rough ‘rule of thumb’, I am aware that the complexity of the particular dismount changes the angle to some degree)…..how do you know where 45 is?
    this is the key and is easy…..the gymnast can SEE it…..FIND a point at 45 degrees above horizontal (water pipe, heat pipe, light, etc.) above the bar and when one’s knees (tuck) or feet (layout) intersect that point, let go of the bar……
    as I’ve told countless gymnasts, you can find that visual point anywhere in any gym in the world and it makes your dismount predictable and therefore ensures your confidence


    1. 45 degrees above horizontal?!?! Are you teaching them Kovaks or Flyaway 😉 I assume this notion is based on “how to achieve maximum range in projectile motion”. Unfortunately this notion is completely incorrect. The release position you are describing would take an athlete over the bar! If someone is successfully teaching Flyaway with this information the athletes are figuring it out despite not because of the coaching. Please read the Bill Sands article that Rick is mentioning to help you better understand how the center of gravity leaves at a tangent from the circle. Please…no one take this 45 degrees above horizontal notion to heart or someone is going to hurt themselves.


  2. oh….how to spot…..coach should have gymnast work the skill on a raised LOW bar…..if coach is right handed, the coach should stand (at gymnast level) with right hand overgripped on gymnast’s left arm…..and right arm will spot beneath hips……key is right hand overgrip…..IF gymnast attempts to “pull in”, the right hand overgrip enables coach to “pull” the gymnast up and away from the bar


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