Some Gymnastics Basics…

A very dear friend of mine is just getting interested in gymnastics by reading this (and maybe other?) blog(s). That’s why I would like to answer some basic questions about gymnastics he mailed me yesterday. I do it here because some other readers who also aren’t involved in the sport of gymnastics might be interested too.

  1. VT, UB, FX, BB – These are shortcuts for the four women’s apparatus (it’s easier & faster not to write the long term): Vault (Sprung/Sprungtisch), Uneven Bars (Barren/Stufenbarren), Floor Exercise (Boden), Balance Beam (Balken/Schwebebalken); the correct order of these apparatus is: VT, UB, BB, FX (In a competition, normally the first eight gymnasts who had the best qualification results are allowed to start at the vault. The next eight gymnast on the UB etc.)
  2. What’s a triple twisting double back and a double front dismount? – I think I mentioned the triple twisting double back in the post about the unbelievable Kohei Uchimura. Twisting (schrauben/drehen) is a turn around the roll axis (Laengsachse). So Uchimura twists three times. But at the same time he turns twice around his cross axis (Querachse) as well. He does the turn backwards. That’s why it’s (shortcut again) a triple twisting + double somersault backwards = triple twisting double back. Some gymnasts aren’t even capable doing a double twisting double back (YouTube). And if the gymnast doesn’t tuck his body you will add “layout” (gestreckt), which is a lot more difficult. Oh yes, that would be interesting to see a layout triple twisting double back! A double front dismount (here on UB) is performed on BB, UB or FX (on floor the last tumbling is named the “dismount”). The gymnast turns twice around his cross axis forwards (double salto forward).
  3. What’s a doubletwisting-Yurchenko, a somersault and a round-off layout? –  These terms sound as if I used them in a report about a VT-EF report (Event Final (Geraetfinale) – the best eight qualifiers of each apparatus do the “event final”; AA = All Around (Mehrkampf) – the best (mostly 24) qualifiers do all four apparatus). Well, a doubletwisting-Yurchenko. A Yurchenko (named after Natalia Yurchenko) is a vault in which the gymnast does a round-off on the springboard followed by a back handspring on the vaulting table followed by a salto and a hopefully good landing. The “doubletwisting” refers to this salto. The gymnast does a layout salto backwards while he twists twice around his roll axis. Here’s a good example done by Samantha Peszek at the US Classic. A somersault is a simple salto (backwards or forwards) and a round-off layout is a round-off (Radwende/Rondat) and as soon as the feet hit the floor or the springboard or the beam, the gymnast does a somersault backwards in a streched position.

Click through the categorie “clips for now and then” to see what else is possible in the big world of gymnastics. That’s it for the moment, but I’m sure there will be more questions – I’ll keep this post up-to-date!

Did I use/explain an English term in a wrong way? More questions? – Please leave a comment!

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