THE INFLUENCE OF SIZE ON PERFORMANCE IN WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS
Keywords:gymnastics, body size, strength, children, biomechanics
AbstractThirty-seven female gymnasts, aged initially between 10 and 12 years, completed a mixed longitudinal study over 3.3 years to investigate the effect of size on gymnastic performance. Subjects were tested at four-monthly intervals on a battery of measures including structural growth, strength and gymnastic performance. The size of these gymnasts at 150 months had a varying effect on perfmmance. Performances of front and back rotations, as well as the twisting jump were significantly, 'but inversely related to the height and mass of the gymnast. The twisting jump was positively influenced by a high ratio of strength to body mass. Gymnasts with large bodies also took Ilonger to perform the v-sit action, thus indicating poorer performance. A theoretical model was developed to demonstrate the effect of size on the ability to perform generic gymnastic skills.