Principles of Physics of Gymnastics

963 Words Jan 28th, 2018 4 Pages
The sport is a combination of dance and acrobatics and involves immense physical and mental power over one’s body. Gymnasts execute the most unnatural body positions as they flip and twist through the air. These tricks combine creativity with the laws of physics. Sports-writer Tommy Deas explains, “Gymnastics may seem to defy gravity and the laws of the universe as they tumble and spin through the air, but they are actually relying on the principles of physics to perform their feats” (Deas). Spectators are memorized and amazed by theses seemingly impossible skills, however, from a physicist’s perspective; gymnastics can be broken down from a few simple principles of physics. There are many different ways for a gymnast to perform a vault. One of the simplest vaults is a front hand spring. All vaults begin with the sequence of a strong run which increases acceleration and momentum, a hurdle onto the springboard, and a transition from the board to the vault. To continue with a front handspring the gymnast will pass through a handstand position on the vault, and then push off the vault though their shoulders and landing feet first on a mat (Gymnastic Corner). Through this sequence, a vault can be broken up into four parts: run, spring board, pre-flight, and post-flight. Each of the sections represents different principles of physics. Some of these principles are…

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