The Swing

By Roger Harrell

In Gymnastics/Tumbling

August 01, 2006

PDF Article

Generating and maximizing swing has application in a wide variety of activities and sports. From a gymnastics perspective, swing generally means swinging your body on an apparatus, but the principles and techniques apply to swinging objects with your body as well.

There are four fundamental factors involved with maximizing swing: maximizing momentum in the downward phase, maintaining momentum throughout the swing, maximizing the application of force against gravity in the upward phase, and minimizing loss of speed in the upward phase. All four factors are affected dramatically by body mechanics. Proper mechanics can make an enormous swing effortless, and improper mechanics will reduce a potential swing to a wiggle.

Maximizing momentum in the downward phase of the swing involves keeping your center of mass as far as possible from your anchor point (your hands). Moving your center of gravity an inch or two away from the anchor point can have an enormous impact on the outcome of the swing. Maintaining momentum throughout the swing is all about proper mechanics.

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