biomechanics of swing

Those interested in the what computer models can tell us about the mechanics of swing should check out Swinging in Gymnastics, by David Kerwin.

Kerwin arrived at no strong conclusion. There are pros and cons for using different techniques of giant swing.

My general rule is that a “stretched” giant is better for simple turns (blind change, “whip change” to el-grip) and that a more “scooped” giant is better for everything else.

I feel male gymnasts over-use the scooped technique, female gymnast under-use it.


from Swinging in Gymnastics – coaches’ infoservice

dancers – Young Canadians

The Young Canadians are a performing arts company out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show is the focus of their training year.

Singers and dancers are auditioned, mainly, and scholarships are available to those selected.

For decades they have trained (wisely) at gymnastics clubs. For decades gymnasts have been critical of their level of fitness.

That was then.

The Young Canadians are now athletes. Flexible, strong, fit. Many can do good aerial walkovers, for example. I was very impressed with the improved conditioning. Congratulations to the coaches for raising the standard so significantly.

training at Altadore Gymnastics

Young Canadians
– official website

I need a well-padded “trench pit”

The things I like best about the fantastic gym at Woodward West are their padded trench pits for bars.

Yes, “pits”.

They have two. One for men, one for women.

For spotting blind change, a trench pit is particularly useful. Y(ou can step across while the gymnast turns.)

Almost any same bar skill is better learned in a trench pit. I’m convinced that the elite coach there Don Eckert can teach anyone Tkachev on this set-up.

Woodward West, California

Ohio trampoline director speaks out

It gives the Olympic sport of trampoline a bad reputation, said Steve Anderson, Ohio State director of tumbling and trampoline.

“Backyard trampolines are unpredictable and dangerous; they were never meant to be anything but exercise trampolines,” says Anderson …

Trampoline is performed and judged similarly to gymnastics, with athletes required to perform certain skill sets, for which they are judged on a scale of 1 to 10. And for athletes, it requires much less time in the gym than gymnastics.

“Our belief is that it’s up and coming,” Anderson said of the sport. “I believe it will be the wave of the future, because parents are busy and it requires much less time. Tumbling and trampoline gives athletes the high-end competition without that huge time commitment.”

Now if only the sport could get rid of its dangerous backyard nemesis, more parents would see it as a viable athletic option for their kids.

“I hate backyard trampolines and want them pulled off the market,” said Huff. “Trampoline is a very safe sport when it’s trained in a controlled environment with a coach. The majority of trampoline injuries are from the backyard, and it just gives the entire sport a bad name.”

The Enquirer – Trampoline gets a bounce

Not sure of the statistics, but I do agree with his assertion that kids should not be doing trampoline unsupervised.

photo – Rob Alder – flickr

cheerleading IS now a sport – absolutely

Cheer does not get the respect it deserves. Especially from the Artistic gymnastics community.

Have you seen Cheer teams lately?

They are getting good. Technique is improving. Fitness way up.

A series of articles featuring the West Side Starz from Pennsylvania was published by reporter / Mom Terrie Morgan-Besecker in the Times Leader.

Is Cheerleading Now a Sport? Hard physical stunts and competitions make some say it merits that status.

LARKSVILLE – For decades cheerleaders were viewed as pompom-waving cuties whose job was to strut along the sidelines, rousing up fan support for sports teams.

The squads, which were almost always all-female, might throw in some dance moves and maybe lift a teammate into the air. But for the most part, the routines didn’t require a lot of skill.

That was then.

Today many high school, junior high and even mini-football cheer teams have ventured into competitive cheerleading with routines that include high-level acrobatics. Tired of being the Rodney Dangerfields of the sports world who “don’t get no respect,” some cheerleaders and coaches have been clamoring to get the activity recognized as a school sport.

“They’re not just pretty girls in skirts on the sidelines anymore,” said Amy Fry, one of the head coaches of the West Side Starz, an all-star cheerleading team based in Larksville. “If they’re doing the physical end – tossing girls, lifting girls and taking the bumps and bruises – it should be considered a sport.”

Times Leader | 12/19/2006 | Is cheerleading now a sport?

In the end, the only opinion that matters is that of the athletes. Hear the girls speak for themselves: Meet the West Side Starz (audio)


More articles:

  • On a quest for perfection. Competitions before the qualifier for Disney stressful and problematic for team.
  • Do-or-die time
  • As girls and athletes, these 30 cheerleaders touched my heart
  • With more difficult cheer stunts come more injuries
  • Gymnastics UK – Beth Tweddle inspires

    Gabby Logan posted a strong personal opinion piece on why elite gymnastics is good for kids. And why Beth is a great role model.

    As it turned out, Beth Tweddle finished third in voting for BBC Sports Personality of the Year after world champion horse rider Zara Phillips and golfer Darren Clarke.

    Beth Tweddle’s gold medal on the uneven bars at the World Gymnastics Championships this year has inspired a generation of children in Britain who were previously under the impression that unless you are Chinese or from a former state of the Soviet Union, you don’t stand a chance on the world stage.

    The gold medal was a good start, as was the one she collected at the World Cup in Brazil on Saturday night, but coming in the top three on Sports Personality of the Year could give gymnastics the kind of PR that money can’t buy.

    What is not to love about gymnastics? It combines just about every attribute you could hope for in a sportsman or woman: grace, bravery, confidence, dexterity and power, to name a few. Most young girls and lots of young boys do gymnastics of some sort, even if it is only for one term at school, so the chances are you will be familiar with a horse, a beam or at the least a mat, although because of scarce television coverage we are not on first-name terms with the national squad.

    Gymnastics: Tweddle can prove an inspiration to whole generation of children – Sport – Times Online


    2004 photo – Samantha Davies (one of our favourite photographers)

    world’s highest bungie jump, Macau

    You will be hearing a lot about Macau in the coming years.

    It’s being developed as Las Vegas EAST. (Cirque du Soleil is already in creation.)

    source – LaTur – flickr

    The Macau Tower (aka Dr Ho’s erection) is becoming a world adventure tourism destination.

    You can climb to the top of the mast (video), “Sky Jump” (video), or “Sky Walk” around the tower. No hand rail.

    source – jo_chua1081 – flickr

    Or bungie jump from a platform 233m high stopping about 30m from the ground. You reach speeds of 200km / hr during the 4-5sec freefall.

    Details –

    (via TeamGearedUp blog)

    UPDATE: more photos – Adventure Blog

    Austrian gymnast Carina Hasenöhrl injured

    Get well soon.

    Carina Hasenöhrl (18) was badly injured in a training accident in the Netherlands on November 7th. She landed a double front on the floor on her head with full force. The MRI-diagnosis revealed that the 4th cervical vertebra is broken and the 3rd vertebrae is dislocated but luckily there are no signs of paralysis (anymore).

    Backflip Gymnastics News РCarina Hasen̦hrl injured


    photo – V. Minkus, FIG