Energy-wise, airborne gymnasts produce enough force through bouncing on a trampoline for 20 seconds to compare to a 200-metre sprint. Beginning and ending the short routine upright on two steady feet, they perform ten moves including somersaults and twists. They achieve incredible velocity or speed in those rotations. Perfection is the standard.
Getting the Bounce
For the first bounce, the gymnasts’ feet begin flat; pressure is in the mid foot. Pressure moves to the forefoot, then the toes and ultimately to the big (great) toes for the upward push off. With each successive bounce, the gymnasts’ bodies feel gravitational force (Newton’s 3rd Law). When a gymnast bounces down back to the trampoline, the surface of the trampoline reacts by pushing the same force upwards onto his feet. Olympic gymnasts can soar as high as a two-story building from their trampolines and land with between 15 g and 18 g of force. (1) When a gymnast’s feet hit the trampoline, they deform the bounce mat. But as his feet return to the air, the mat returns to its original shape. Each take-off has a consistent base.
Scrutinizing the Bounce
Aiming for perfection, gymnasts and their coaches try to recapture and improve every move. They even film the bottom of the feet from under the bed/bounce mat of the trampoline. They check the timing, power and angles of footwork. Every aspect of footwork makes a difference in the velocity they can achieve in the air as they perform their somersaults or twists.
“Whatever happens in the air is determined by what happens in the bed.” (1)
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM