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A KINEMATIC COMPARISON OF BACKWARD TUCKED SOMERSAULT DISMOUNT PERFORMED ON HIGH BAR BY ELITE AND NON-ELITE GYMNASTS
  1. E Mosscrop1,
  2. G Penitente1,
  3. WA Sands2,
  4. JP de Vries3
  1. 1Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA
  3. 3York St. John University, York, UK

Abstract

The backward tucked somersault dismount from the high bar, also known as a ‘fly-away’, is a basic gymnastic skill. While it is a common practice for gymnasts to practice high-difficulty dismounts upon stable execution of basic skills, there is little evidence to support this practice. The aim of this study was to investigate the kinematic differences of the fly-away dismount performed by elite and non-elite gymnasts. Four elite gymnasts (18±3 y; 166.7±4.3 cm, 61.4±10.4 kg) and four non-elite gymnasts (10±1 y; 137±2 cm, 34.6±8.7 kg) volunteered for the study. The sagittal plane of the release action up to the peak of the flight and the landing were recorded by two cameras at 50Hz. Simi Motion was used to digitize 7 markers placed on the gymnast's body. The angular position of the release measured from the handstand, the flexion-extension angles of hip and knee joints at the instants of release and landing, the vertical peak of the flight and the horizontal distance of the hip from the bar at the peak of flight were analysed. The differences in the variables were rank-ordered and a Mann Whitney test was used to compare the ranks for the elite and non-elite gymnasts. The angles of hip and knee joints at the instant of release for the elite gymnasts (Hip=mdn (range)=142°(49); Knee=69°(61)) were different from the non-elite gymnasts (Hip=161°(54); Knee=109°(87)). Vertical and horizontal distances at the peak of the flight were different between elite (Vert Peak=1.4 m (0.8); Hor distance=1.7 m (0.9) and non-elite gymnasts (Vert Peak=0.7 m (0.9); Hor distance=1.2 m (0.3)). To improve the performance of the fly away dismount, non-elite gymnasts should focus on their ability to rotate in a full tucked position stressing flexion of hip and knee joints; and control the increased angular momentum. It is assumed that by employing these strategies, a double rotation fly-away will be mastered more quickly.

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