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Technique Discussion: Arm Circles on Front Salto (floor exercise)

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JBS

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The level 5 men's vault is a front tuck (no vault table) off a spring board with an arms circle that ends below shoulder height. How does this relate to a front tuck on floor? While I do not teach an arm circle for a front tuck on floor I have seen some gyms that do. What are the advantages and disadvantages of arm circles on floor?
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

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I don't teach an arm circle, though some of my kids seem to do it naturally. IF you do an arm circle, the timing is very different from vault; the circle should finish (ie arms up) just before you punch, so your arms are up for takeoff. The arm circle doesn't actually do anything, as far as I can tell.

Unless, of course, you're talking about a russian punch front. In this case, there is a reverse arm circle, so that the shoulders reach the limit of their flexibility behind the gymnast just as he/she is punching.
 

JBS

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No...the gyms that I have watch teach this do it the same as vault. Quick sharp arm circles ending below shoulder height. I tried a couple with my out of shape body and it seems to work. I have always done more of a volleyball set though.
 
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LasswadeCoach

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I do coach an arm circle, a fast sharp circle backwards the a powerfull thrust of the arms upwards creates a great lift and allows the gymnast to create much more height, this arm swing also helps in double fronts, it can cause problems in front twisting if the gymnast lacks in height, as they have no time to drop the arm to the side, or often get confused, what do you think on this technique?
 

JBS

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I do coach an arm circle, a fast sharp circle backwards the a powerfull thrust of the arms upwards creates a great lift and allows the gymnast to create much more height, this arm swing also helps in double fronts, it can cause problems in front twisting if the gymnast lacks in height, as they have no time to drop the arm to the side, or often get confused, what do you think on this technique?
With current front tumbling I don't see much difference either way. Sounds like they both work well. However...if a gymnast were to throw a triple front I don't think they could develop enough height my way (volleyball set). I think in super high level tumbling I would have to switch to the arm circles. I wonder...I need to try and find a video.:scratchchin:

EDIT:
Ha Ha...I found one...that was quick.

Here it is...triple front with the arm circles.
(I think you have to click the video twice and it will take you to YouTube)
[youtube]KElzXKauXas[/youtube]

I found a couple other running triples...the one's using the arm circle seem to get far greater rotation.
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

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Ok, so what's the exact timing of the arm circle? When the feet contact the floor to punch, where should the arms be?

I do and coach a "volleyball" set.
 

JBS

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Ok, so what's the exact timing of the arm circle? When the feet contact the floor to punch, where should the arms be?

I do and coach a "volleyball" set.
I would say straight out in front. The video looks a bit higher, but I think that's due to the slowness of the tumble track.

When I was trying them myself in the gym today, I was trying to keep them below shoulder height. It gave me more power than I expected.
 
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LasswadeCoach

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The timing of the arm circle comes BEFORE the start of the somersault, the circle should end with a powerful thrust directly upwards on take off, the man doing a triple front in your video is doing it very incorrectly, resulting in him landing on his bum! his arms swing starts far too late, and his arms do not finish to the ceiling, his shoulders are facing forwards, and therefore his chest is down, forcing him to go forwards not upwards, if your arms are at the ceiling, you are slightly leaning back, and that is the correct take off possition to get the set up needed for a triple.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Ok, this is interesting: apparantly I do an arm circle when I do a double front -- but I don't do it on anything else.

I never even realized I was doing it until today.
 

JBS

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The timing of the arm circle comes BEFORE the start of the somersault, the circle should end with a powerful thrust directly upwards on take off, the man doing a triple front in your video is doing it very incorrectly, resulting in him landing on his bum! his arms swing starts far too late, and his arms do not finish to the ceiling, his shoulders are facing forwards, and therefore his chest is down, forcing him to go forwards not upwards, if your arms are at the ceiling, you are slightly leaning back, and that is the correct take off possition to get the set up needed for a triple.
Yes, as the arms come up...it forces the body down...compressing the floor or tramp more. Then as you come up...you get the little "volleyball set" action that I'm talking about. Many gymnasts can toss a double with or without arm circles. I guess I'm more interested in the gyms that teach the arm circle to below shoulder height. Do you think they are just wrong...or have they come across come great new thing that I don't know about?

The more I look at the video...it does look like he is just doing the original arm circle the wrong way.
 

Rick McCharles

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arm swing on front tuck vault

I teach all kids both an overarm front tuck salto (for tumbling) and an underarm action (for vault). They must be able to switch back and forth between the arm actions depending on the situation.

I like the underarm action on front tuck for vault as it leads to underarm action (later) on the handspring. I do not allow an overarm action on vault until about Level 8 (USA).

Rick McCharles, editor GymnasticsCoaching.com

PS

Coincidentally, there is a related discussion on this page:

http://gymnasticscoaching.com/?p=1149
 

ACoach78

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Based on my education in biomechanics and from looking at research on standing vertical jumping and on the jumps (high, long, triple) in track and field, I have concluded that the arm circle accomplishes three things for the gymnast.

Those three things are the following:

1) The backwards arm circle slows the forward rotation of the upper body so that the center of gravity does not move too far in front of the feet upon touchdown with the floor and cause too much rotation and a lack of height. Furthermore, this should assist in positioning the center of gravity slightly behind the feet and allow for more time in contact with the floor as the center of gravity pivots over top of the feet just prior to take-off. This is useful in that it allows for more time for force to be applied to the floor and creates a greater impulse. (impulse = force x time)

2) As the arms swing up, they eventually stop and the angular momentum contained within them is then transferred to to the rest of the body in the same direction.

3) The upward swing of the arms actually creates a downward reaction force against the ground. If you stand up and swing your arms backwards/upwards really fast and stop them around shoulder/eye level, you should feel a downward push against the ground.

So, those are the advantages of the arm circle as I've been able to uncover. I feel that they apply both to vault and floor.
 
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