BIOMECHANICS OF LATE TWIST INITIATION IN GYMNASTICS

  • Nelson K. Ng

Abstract

The ccmplexity of the present-day gymnastics artform is a result of the rapid evolution of stunt difficulty in the past decade. The incessant challenge to the limits of difficulty and risk have made once seemingly impossible stunts-particularly, those involving simultaneous twists and rotations-now routine. Twisting, a seemingly innate ability in midair, is in fact in an overwhelming majority of gymnastic maneuvers, initiated from a supporting surface and not in free space. However, it is those fewer instances of late twist initiation by catlike movements that are so aesthetically appealing, and from a biomechanical standpoint, pose interesting questions. Can man twist like a cat? How is twist effected in a torque free environment? Examination of gymnasts in action reveal the late twist to be unsubstantiated solely by the cat twist theory, but rather, by a combination of twist techniques.
Published
2008-04-13
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities