• S.G. Prassas


The purpose of this study was to identify the crucial mechanical factors that determine the successful performance of the 1992 compulsory dismount from the parallel bars. Mastering of the dismount, a backward somersault from a handstand position, is a must for most gymnasts since the great majority of them perform backward somersault(s) dismounts as part of their optional routines. Ten dismounts, recorded during the 1990 United States Gymnastics Federation Championships with a NAC 400 HSV camera operating at 200 Hz, were analyzed utilizing the Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS). Two dimensional position data of 6 body points (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows and hands)were digitally smoothed before being submitted to further analysis. Product moment correlations between mechanical variables and the scores given to the dismounts by qualifying judges, indicate that the best predictors of a good score are the vertical velocity at take-off (p<0001) and the maximum height above the bars p<.0001), the total time in the air (p=.001), the hip joint angle at touch-down(p=.002), the shoulder (p=.007) and hip p=.008) joint angles at take-off, the angular velocity at take-off (p=.009), the time from maximum height to landing (p=.012), the time from take-off to maximum height (p=.02), the vertical velocity at landing (p=.027), and the body's angle (angle of the line connecting the CM to the hands) relative to the bars p=.038). Qualitative comparisons between the best three and worst three dismounts revealed technique differences between them relating to body configuration at take off and landing, as well as hip joint action when airborne.
Coaching and Sports Activities