An 11-segment three-dimensional simulation model was used to modify the body configurations of eight gymnasts performing multiple somersault dismounts during the Men’s High Bar competition in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Four layout double somersault performances were modified to change a characteristic backward arch to a straight body position. This modification reduced the somersault rotation by 0.03 to 0.10 somersaults. Four tucked triple somersault performances were modified so that the thigh abduction angle was reduced to zero. This modification resulted in underrotations ranging from 0.01 to 0.34 somersaults depending on the amount of thigh abduction in the original movement. The additional angular momentum needed for successful completion of the modified movements was small in general and in no case greater than 13%.
D.G. Kerwin is with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Dept. of P.E. and Sport Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics. LE11 3TU, U.K. Sung-Cheol Lee is with the Dept. of P.E. at Yonsei University, Seoul, S. Korea. M.R. Yeadon is with the Biomechanics Laboratory at Loughborough University and the Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4.