Schottenbauer Publishing

Friday, September 26, 2014

Graphs Shed Light on the Science of Gymnastics

Gymnastics is an amazing sport, which can be studied scientifically in several different ways. First of all, there is a simple physics perspective on the sport: trajectory of movement, velocity, acceleration, and force. But gymnastics is much more complicated, and must include multiple aspects of the human body in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of its movements. Biophysics data, including joint angles, electrical activity of the muscles (EMG) and heart (EKG), heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and lung capacity add additional perspective to the sport of gymnastics.

Real scientific data on gymnastics is now available to the public in a set of science lab books, The Science of Gymnastics, from Schottenbauer Publishing. These books, which are suitable for science classes from 7th grade through 12th grade, plus some college and university, offer a variety of samples of data from the above categories. The books can be integrated into math and science classes, plus physical education, health, and coaching sessions in extracurricular sports.

Several samples from the lab manuals (Copyright 2014; All Rights Reserved) are included below. 

Discussion Questions
1) For each graph, describe the range of x and y variables.
2) Which graph above provides the data most self-evident to observers of gymnastics?
3) On Graph 1, how many times does the gymnast bound? Is the force of bounding greater than the stretch jump? If so, why?
4) On Graph 2, what is greater, the electrical activity associated with dipping down or pushing up? What occurs after the dip has been completed?
5) On Graph 3, how high is the ankle during the V-Sit, in comparison to the ankle during the L-Sit? How long is the leg? What is the angle of the V-Sit?

Data such as those above can be obtained in several series of science and math books by M. Schottenbauer, Ph.D. The first set of books are multi-volume series of graphs. Selections from these lab manuals have also been collected into anthologies: 

Graphs & Data for Science Lab: Multi-Volume Series
  • The Science of Gymnastics
  • The Science of Athletic Training 
  • The Science of Exercise Equipment 
  • The Science of Yoga, Pilates, & Ballet 

     Each of these series contains multiple volumes, with the following content:
    • Volume 1: Force & Acceleration
    • Volume 2: Biophysics (Joint Angles, EKG/EMG, Heart Rate/BP, & Breathing)
    • Volume 3: Video Analysis

Anthologies of 28 Graphs
    • The Science of Gymnastics
    • The Science of Summer Olympic Sports
    • The Science of Physical Fitness
    • The Science of Dance & Ballet
    • The Science of Yoga

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    New Video Demonstrates Basic Gymnastics Moves on Homemade Equipment

    A new YouTube video features basic gymnastics moves on parallel bars, pommel horse, pommel pod, and rings, modeled on homemade equipment by science writer and publisher M. Schottenbauer, Ph.D. The author, a self-taught amateur gymnast who practiced intermittently over 7 months, was 38 years old and 50 pounds overweight at the time of filming this video in September 2014.

    The demonstration includes: 

    • Pommel Horse
      • Side Swings
      • Preparation for Scissors
    • Pommel Pod
      • Hops (Preparation for Circles)
      • Half-Circle with Windup
    • Parallel Bars
      • L-Sit
      • Swings
    • Rings
      • Straight Hold
      • L-Hold
      • Backwards Sequence with Inverted L-Hold, Handstand, and Fold

    Update (12/24/2014): New Videos

    Update (7/30/2015): New Video

    These moves are similar to the ones represented in the author's books on the science of gymnastics, including:

    • The Science of Gymnastics: Volumes 1-3
    • The Science of Gymnastics: An Anthology
    • The Science of Summer Olympic Sports: An Anthology
    Related books by the author include:
    • The Geometry of Gymnastics
    • The Geometry of Summer Olympic Sports
    A complete listing of sports-related books from M. Schottenbauer, Ph.D. are available at the author's blog on Sport Science Education.

    Additional Information

    The Science of Gymnastics: An Anthology of 28 Graphs

    The Science of Gymnastics: An Anthologyof 28 Graphs for Kids, Teens, & Curious Adults by M. Schottenbauer, Ph.D., provides a unique set of data for students of math, science, and gymnastics. Containing a selection of graphs from a longer series by the same author, the book provides students with various types of data for comparison and contrast. Graphs represent a variety of motions typical of elementary gymnastics moves, including:
    • Floor
    • Vault
    • Parallel Bars (Parallettes)
    • Pommel Horse (Trainer & Pod)
    • Rings
    • High Bar

    The 28 graphs include the following types of data, from the following positions:

    Force Plate
    • Plank Position
    • Floor Hurdle
    • Chassé

    • Arm Motions
    • Crab Walk
    • Tuck Jump
    • Vault
    • Handstand
    • Salto and Handstand on Rings
    • Side Swings on Pommel Trainer

    Video Analysis
    • Quarter Circle on Pommel Pod
    • Half Circle with Flare on Pommel Pod
    • Side Swings on Pommel Trainer
    • Swing to L-Sit on Parallettes
    • Salto
    • Rings Sequence (Upper Body & Lower Body on Separate Graphs)

    • Dip on Large Parallettes
    • Simulated Pushup in Handstand Position
    • Standing to Deep Squat on Floor
    • Standing to Tuck on Large Parallettes

    • Forward Support
    • Dip on Large Parallettes
    • Pull-Up on Large Parallettes, Neutral Grip
    • Pull-Up on Rings, Neutral Grip
    • Side Swings on Pommel Trainer

    • Normal Breathing
    • Breathing with Inappropriate Holding of Breath after Inhale

    As with the main series of graphs, this book provides material for a flexible combination of lesson plans. The most basic skills include graph-reading, while more complex skills include comparison and contrast, critical thinking skills, and mathematical modeling.

    The Science of Gymnastics: An Anthologyof 28 Graphs for Kids, Teens, & Curious Adults by M. Schottenbauer, Ph.D. is for sale from CreateSpace wholesale and major internet retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and more!