Human Movement, Flexibility and Balance

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In human movement, flexibility and balance have a close relationship. The balance distributed across the heels, toes, balls and outside edge of both feet is adjusted when a single step is taken. The centre of gravity of the body’s mass is initially moved sideways over one supporting leg, then forward over the ball and toes of the supporting foot. It is then transferred sideways in the opposite direction if the other leg is then used for support in standing, or for another step.

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The Center of Gravity in Human Movement

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The Center of Gravity in Human Movement - A gymnast demonstrating how the center of gravity has to be vertically aligned over the balance point to maintain balance.

All objects with mass have a center of gravity. In human movement, such as gymnastics, balance is achieved around this point. The position of the center of gravity within the body, relative to the apparatus, will determine which moves can be successfully completed.

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The Tumble Pass

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The Tumble Pass - Gymnast executing a backward salto in a tumble pass.

In artistic gymnastics, successful execution of the tumble pass depends upon throwing your weight around in a controlled manner. Accuracy of body position will help to avoid injury, as will a power-to-weight ratio sufficient to complete each skill.

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Dance in Gymnastics - Responding to Rhythm

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Responding to rhythm is a basic element of dance in gymnastics. It has two components. The first is the natural rhythm of life everyone has, and the second is the rhythm imposed by the music used for the floor exercise. In Australian gymnastics many coaches compile a floor routine with elements fitted to phrases in the music. This gives scant attention to rhythm, producing a series of snapshots of movement rather than a cohesive, flowing presentation.

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The New Gymnastics Australia WAG Program

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New Gymnastics Australia WAG level program.

The new Gymnastics Australia Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Program, under Mihai Brestyan’s direction, is a good start, but it does not operate in a vacuum. An important aspect which will determine its success or failure is the prevailing culture of the community implementing the program.

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Integrating Dance with Gymnastics

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Integrating Dance with Gymnastics - Elizabeth Heyblom from Morwell Gymnastics Club (Out of business) at the Senior Gippsland Championships 2017.

In women’s gymnastics, the floor routine shows the best example of integrating dance with gymnastic or acrobatic elements. Yet a sense of rhythm is a critical factor in the execution of skills on all apparatus.

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