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The margin for error when releasing the high bar for dismounts

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journal contribution
posted on 23.03.2010, 12:41 by Michael HileyMichael Hiley, Fred Yeadon
In Men's Artistic Gymnastics the current trend in elite high bar dismounts is to perform two somersaults in an extended body shape with a number of twists. Two techniques have been identified in the backward giant circles leading up to release for these dismounts (J. Biomech. 32 (1999) 811). At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games 95% of gymnasts used the “scooped” backward giant circle technique rather than the “traditional” technique. It was speculated that the advantage gained from the scooped technique was an increased margin for error when releasing the high bar. A four segment planar simulation model of the gymnast and high bar was used to determine the margin for error when releasing the bar in performances at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The eight high bar finalists and the three gymnasts who used the traditional backward giant circle technique were chosen for analysis. Model parameters were optimised to obtain a close match between simulated and actual performances in terms of rotation angle (1.2°), bar displacements (0.014 m) and release velocities (2%). Each matching simulation was used to determine the time window around the actual point of release for which the model had appropriate release parameters to complete the dismount successfully. The scooped backward giant circle technique resulted in a greater margin for error (release window 88–157 ms) when releasing the bar compared to the traditional technique (release window 73–84 ms).



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


HILEY, M.J. and YEADON, M.R., 2003. The margin for error when releasing the high bar for dismounts. Journal of Biomechanics, 36 (3), pp. 313-319


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