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The Physics Behind Gymnastics

English: per 6
by

Hannah Strzelinski

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of The Physics Behind Gymnastics

The Physics Behind Gymnastics Also to gain momentum a gymnast can swing from bar to bar (uneven bars). When a gymnast is on the bars her momentum is the only thing that keeps her moving, gravity does not help. Smaller gymnasts need less force to move, they have an advantage (Newton’s first law). By: Hannah Strzelinski For a gymnast to stay on the beam she has to have very good balance, good posture, and have to have their routines almost perfect. The gymnast always has to work her muscles and have perfect foot position. Beam: When the gymnast tucks in she spins faster because there is less air friction slowing her down. Bars: To start a gymnast will have to run and mount the bars, usually involving twists and/or flips. To gain momentum the gymnast can do a giant around the bar. A giant is when a gymnast straightens out her body and swings around the bar. They have to bend their knees and keep their ankles straight otherwise they could break a bone when landing tricks/moves. Smaller gymnasts need to use less force when executing a move because they have less mass. Floor: Floor: Floor is similar to vault when a gymnast has to do a tumbling pass. The gymnast will need to gain momentum from running to do a series of twists and flips. To help the gymnast when executing a tumbling pass the floor mat usually has springs underneath it. When a gymnast pushes down on the mat, the mat will push upwards with an opposite force, propelling the gymnast into the air, Newton’s third law (Theo Caplan). Smaller gymnasts need less force to propel themselves into the air because they have less mass (Maeve Rich). Vault: The first force in a vault is when the gymnast is running down the lane, then to gain more momentum the gymnast can do a round off onto the spring board which produces a vertical angle, therefore helping the gymnast get even more height and time in the air. The more height and air time the gymnast gets, the more time she has to do complicated twists and flips which earns them more points. After a gymnast is in the air she can’t gain any more angular momentum.
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