trampoline – Thriller, Turgeon, Killer, Polyarush

The “Miller plus plus” is a double back somersaults with 5 twists. It is sometimes also called “Thriller” or “Turgeon”.

A double back with four twists is a “Miller plus” or “Killer” or “Polyarush”.

(I’ve never heard of most of these names.)

Of course all this is academic because who could possibly compete skills like those?

Jason Burnett of Skyriders in Toronto, for one.

Click PLAY or watch double layout with 5 twists on YouTube.

I recall Boris Verkhovsky teaching us twisting years ago with imagery of turning a hula-hoop, or steering wheel.

Jason Burnett takes that concept to the MAX, holding an exercise ball throughout a routine.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Thanks Jeremy.

get info on a specific “apparatus”

We’ve just added Categories (in the right hand navigation column) for most of the Artistic gymnastics events.

For example, you can now click on beam, or rings, to see posts specifically on those events.

It’s interesting to note that the only apparatus where girls and boys could compete directly against one another is vault. (Especially since Jr. Olympic girls in the USA are allowed to raise the horse to the men’s height.)

rings – Muscle-Up

Back in the day, we didn’t consider you a real gymnast until you could get above the rings by yourself.

CrossFit coach Tyler Hass posted a very comprehensive overview on what he calls the one upper body exercise that reigns supreme.

I might argue that rope climb is even more important than Muscle-up. But I can’t dispute Tyler’s article. It is excellent.

The Muscle-up —

youth weightlifting – is it safe?

The old blanket objection to any prepubescent athlete using any weights is slowly disappearing.

It’s obvious to me from personal experience that very young children can condition in very similar ways to adults.

My objection to youth weightlifting is not that it is unsafe, but that it is inefficient. Take identical twins. Put one in the weight room 10hrs / week and one in a gymnastics program 10hrs / week.

Within a month you would see a conspicuous advantage in most motor and physical traits for the gymnast.

I often recommend free weight and even weight machines for young athletes — but normally only as a general conditioning supplement to the “real” conditioning in the gym using their own body weight as resistance. Or to correct a muscular imbalance.

Safety is a slight concern for me. The worst accident I have seen in years was a gymnast who dropped a free weight on his toe. (He was fooling around without permission at the time in socked feet.)

Still, it is worth checking this article to see what the most recent research is showing:

… There are still those who insist that training with weights and particularly the sport of weightlifting should be avoided until a person is fully developed. …

The lack of data is the issue; the alarmist negative response by well-meaning physicians and scientists has done an immeasurable disservice to the sport of weightlifting.

The sport is actually safer than is generally believed, especially if training and competition are appropriate for the age group and properly supervised …

USOC Olympic Coach E-magazine article


photo – CrossFit Kids – Canadian gymnastics website

Just added a link to the Gymbrooke blog news page under “Blogs” on the right hand navigation. I subscribe to their RSS feed, as well, to keep informed on what new topics they post.

Gymbrooke posts gymnastics news from the perspective of Ontario, Canada. They look at the big picture, as well, with content on College and Olympic sport.

I am happy to say, they just picked up one of our posts praising Grant Golding, winner of Men’s Elite Canada last weekend.

Gisela Pulido – Kite Surfer

I was impressed with Adam Ondra, a world ranked rock climber at age 11.

Then I saw video of Gisela Pulido, a World Champion in the booming sport of Kite Surfing at age 10, I believe. She was too young to compete in one World Championships, but won the other, KPWT (Kiteboard Professional World Tour), 2004, 2005.

photos and interview with Gisela Pulido and her father –

A video of the wonder child from Spain is posted on YouTube. This kid takes some major air.

Kite Surfing is extremely difficult. I am very surprised Giselita could get so good at such a young age.

Gisela Pulido – official website


judge in the USA, not in Canada

As an “inactive judge” (I missed the FIG course for this quadrennial) I saw things more objectively at the competition last weekend.

If you are not judging or coaching, gymnastics meets are slow and boring in Canada. The “action” is short compared with the period of time I spent sitting on my butt.

I love gymnastics — but, as a spectator, was ready to exit when the meet was half over.

Certainly some of the American competitions are much more efficiently run than are ours in Canada. Some competitions there do everything they can to shorten the meet.

Post-competition I visited (drank beer) with the judges and heard the usual concerns.

“The judging regulations are not clear. Not smart.”

“The rules are changed too often. It is confusing for judges and coaches.”

“I’m giving up my holidays / missing work to judge.”

This competition the judges were aggravated by being charged a $50 “membership fee” in my region. For some reason the Provincial Gymnastics Association does not deduct that $50 from the first honoraria judges get each season — far easier for all concerned. (I immediately offered to have my club pay that fee for the judges in my city.)

Correction – judges can have the $50 deducted from honoraria, I am informed.

Bottom line — Canada does not treat their judges well enough. When we judge in the USA we are well paid and treated with respect. That is not the case, normally, in Canada.

elite female gymnasts are small

Zhang.jpegZhang Nan, China, 147.5cm (4.8ft), 38kg (83.8lb)

Small, light athletes have a huge advantage in acrobatic sports.

This is wonderful for those kids. (They certainly aren’t getting selected for basketball at school.)

Some female World and Olympic competitors weigh as little as 70-80 pounds (31-36kg). These young women are tiny, though the average height and weight must be increasing as difficulty becomes more important relative to artistry.

A study focusing on talent selection included these points of interest:

  • Girls who are naturally small in structure and slim have a greater chance of being a good performer.

  • Although bigger gymnasts also had stronger legs, this did not help them to outperform the smaller more agile gymnasts. Hence it may be that a small structure is a better predictor to good performance than being strong.

  • Gymnasts who had a high strength to weight ratio also produced high levels of performance. Therefore, strength is only a relevant predictor of good performance if it is considered closely with body mass. This was particularly obvious in skills where there was less technique involved. The results indicate that as the skill became more technical (ie the back salto) girls with good technique could outperform those with a high strength : weight ratio.

  • …a gymnast twists she needs her body to be as narrow as possible to permit speedy (twisting).

  • Talent Identification in Elite Gymnasts: Why Body Size is so Important – Joanne Richards – Western Australian Institute of Sport Gymnastics