Motor control

Document Type



Gymnasts flex at the hips in the lower part and extend in the upper part of the giant circle. In order to perform a sequence of circles at even tempo, any variation in angular velocity at the end of the flexion phase needs to be reduced by the end of the extension phase. The aim of this study was to determine the nature and contribution of such adjustments. A computer simulation model of a gymnast on high bar was used to investigate strategies of (a) fixed timing of the extension phase (feedforward control) and (b) stretched timing (feedforward and feedback control). For three elite gymnasts fixed timing reduced the angular velocity variation by 36% and stretched timing by 63%. The mean reduction for the actual gymnast techniques was 61%. It was concluded that both feedforward and feedback control strategies are used by gymnasts for controlling such movements.