The Science Behind Gymnastics

As a gymnast sitting in physics class last year, I always wondered how gymnastics actually worked in relation to kinetics and dynamics. We learned in physics that during a skill, a gymnast’s potential energy at the beginning converts into kinetic energy. Newton’s first law states that the object at rest will stay at rest until it has a force to move. The object at rest is the gymnast and the force applied would be like swinging on a bar. The more kinetic energy and momentum a gymnast has, the more airtime a gymnast will have.



For me, it is hard to do gymnastics because I am tall. Most gymnasts are very short because it is easier for them to rotate because of their center of gravity. If you are taller, you have to have more strength to rotate your entire body over and to flip. There is a study that shows that gymnastics stunts your growth. They found that female gymnasts’ skeletal systems matured at decreased rates during gymnastics training, but then began to catch up during periods of reduced training and retirement. The researchers found that the more years a gymnast does gymnastics, the greater the decrease in growth. They also found that gymnasts tend to have more problems with their spinal growth.

Gymnastics is the most difficult sport  in the world. To be a gymnast, it takes balance, rotation, spatial awareness, and many more special skills. The force between the gymnasts’ feet and the mat, works to bring the energy of the gymnast to zero. A lot of force is used in gymnastics, even more than a football player uses. It is hard on your body, and that is why there are so many injuries in gymnastics.



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