Schottenbauer Publishing

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Affordable Gymnastics Equipment

Due to the popularity of home gyms and the availability of low-cost imports, the price of exercise equipment has decreased substantially in the past 30 years. Despite these improvements, most formal gymnastics equipment is still above the reach of many consumers. Several options are available, however, for improving access to quality experiences.

Homemade Equipment
Beginners who are learning the most basic moves may be able to use simple homemade equipment. A variety of YouTube videos show how to make equipment suitable for simple exercises, although not for intermediate or advanced moves. Individuals using homemade equipment should beware the risk, which may cause injury or death. 

Direct Imports
Formal gymnastics equipment is available low-cost through the formal supplier to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Tiashan Sports, as an import direct from China. For instance, an Olympic pommel horse, parallel  bars, and rings with support frame, plus 3 landing mats, shipping to an Eastern USA seaport, and import tax (approximately 5.5% in the USA), were quoted in February 2015 as only $13,000. Equipment must be picked up at seaport, or shipped within the USA at additional expense. Other foreign suppliers can of equipment can be located on the Made-in-China website, and other foreign trade websites.

Online Discount Vendors
A variety of online discount vendors, including, provide surprisingly low prices on formal gymnastics equipment. Some equipment is delivered with free shipping directly from Amazon, while other equipment is delivered at additional cost directly from vendors. offers Olympic gymnastics equipment, as well as preparatory equipment for children and traditional exercise equipment. The latter, including bicycles and weights from low-cost vendors such as Sunny Health & Fitness, may be the most convenient for facilitating gymnastics training at home.

For serious gymnasts, equipment will require a special building with a high ceiling. Several low-cost options include tension fabric structures, steel structures, and pole barns. These options are available at ultra low-cost from China, with prices as low as $3 per square foot, compared to US models from $9 per square foot or more! Some companies also offer free installation options.

Additional Information

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Examining Periodicity with a Goniometer

Gymnastic routines involve many types of repetitive motions. In graphs, repetitive motions tend to appear as sine wave functions. Sometimes, multiple sine wave functions must be added, in order to create more complex graphs. A form of advanced mathematics called Fourier analysis allows scientists to analyze oscillation which is more complicated than a simple sine wave.

The following graph is excerpted from The Science of Gymnastics: Volume 2 from Schottenbauer Publishing.

Discussion Questions
  1. What is the smallest angle of contraction of the arm? What is the largest angle?
  2. Counting from the bottom of the first trough, what is the amplitude of the first oscillation? What is the amplitude of the second oscillation?
  3. Counting from the bottom of the first trough, what is the wavelength of the first oscillation? What is the wavelength of the second oscillation?
  4. In the first two oscillations, what is the average frequency of oscillation?
  5. What occurs at the end of the graph?

Additional graphs of oscillatory motion in gymnastics are available in the same volume, The Science of Gymnastics: Volume 2 from Schottenbauer Publishing. Similar physics data is also available in Volume 2 of several other lab manual series, including The Science of Athletic TrainingThe Science of Exercise EquipmentThe Science of Yoga, Pilates, & Ballet, and more.