The release from the high bar was analyzed for six performances of triple backward somersaults. All 6 gymnasts released the bar with their mass centers below the level of the bar. The mean horizontal velocity of the mass center away from the bar was 1.2 m · s−1. This horizontal velocity was partitioned into contributions from the tangential and radial motions of the mass center relative to the bar and the movement of the bar relative to its neutral position. It was found that the tangential motion was the major contributor although the radial motion produced substantial positive contributions and the bar movement gave large negative contributions in two cases.
David G. Kerwin and M.R. Yeadon are with the Biomechanics Research Laboratory, Department of Sports Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK. Michael J. Harwood is with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Bedford College, 37 Lansdowne Road, Bedford MK40 2BZ, UK.