The Physiological Demands Of Women 's Competitive Gymnastics Routines

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Gymnastics is one of the most demanding and dangerous collegiate sports. Marina and Rodriguez (2014) investigated the physiological demands of women’s competitive gymnastics routines. Post-exercise heart rate, oxygen uptake, and peak blood lactate concentration were studied from eight elite female gymnasts. The gymnasts reached their highest heart rates (183-199 beats/minute), their highest oxygen uptake (33-44 mL/kg), and their highest blood lactate levels (7-9 mmol) following the floor and the uneven bars. The mean oxygen uptake levels of the gymnasts for all four events ranged from 65 to 85% of their individually recorded VO2 maximums and their maximum heart rates. Gymnasts work at very high physical levels during practice and competition. Gymnastics competitions create increased levels of anxiety for athletes. Cottyn, Clercq, Pannier, Crombez, and Lenoir (2006) investigated competitive anxiety during balance beam performance in eight elite female gymnasts. Anxiety was measured by heart rate monitoring and a self-report of nervousness during practice and competition routines. A negative correlation was found between the self-reports of nervousness and overall routine performance. The heart rates were significantly higher during the competition routines in comparison to the practice routines. Gymnasts’ heart rates are already quite high because of physical exhaustion, but anxiety and emotions can also impact gymnasts’ hear rates. Cottyn, Clercq, Crombez,
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