Article Text

  1. J Hannah1,
  2. G Penitente1,
  3. WA Sands2
  1. 1Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA


The straight jump is performed by gymnasts of all levels in warm-up routines on the floor and on the beam. Refining this basic skill serves gymnasts when learning high-difficulty jumps. It is common practice for gymnasts to master skills on floor before transferring them onto the beam. The aim of this study was to investigate the kinematic differences of the straight jump on the floor and on the beam performed by county and national level gymnasts. Four county (9±1 y; 133.5±7.6 cm; 29.8±1.9 Kg) and four junior national (13±1 y; 148.5±8.2 cm; 42.8±5.6 Kg) gymnasts volunteered to participate. The straight jump performances were video recorded (80Hz). Simi Motion was used to track nine markers on the gymnast's body. The floor and beam apparatus were instrumented with a pressure mat connected to a digital timer. A 2x2 factorial ANOVA (apparatus x expertise) analysed the following variables: relative angles of shoulder, hip, knee and ankle joints at take-off, peak of the flight and at the minimum vertical displacement of the centre of mass during landing. There was no interaction between apparatus and expertise. There was a main effect of apparatus for shoulder angle at the take-off (fl=132±12°; bm=119±12°), shoulder (fl=154±18°; bm=143±16°) and hip (fl=180±7°; 175±10°) joint angles at the peak of the flight. Expertise showed an effect on the hip joint angle at the take-off (c=164±9°; n= 179±6°) and jump height (c=25.0±7.8 cm; 33.5±4.2 cm). The present study showed that kinematic differences occurred at the instant of take-off between floor and beam and between county and national gymnasts when performing the straight jump, thus some caution should be used in transferring jumping skills from the floor to the beam. Apparatus-specific drills should be used with young gymnast to master these jumping abilities.

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