Archive for February, 2014

About the Uneven Bars in Women’s Gymnastics

An experienced gymnast, Brooke Kuecker trained in the sport throughout her high school years. Brooke Kuecker developed high-level coordination as a result of this training.

One of the most popular sports in women’s gymnastics, the uneven bars evolved from the men’s parallel bars. In the early days of the event, the bars were little more than a man’s shoulder width apart, and routines performed on them were simple. Women would circle the bars or balance and hold, which evolved into bounce, twist, and eventually release moves.

As the event became a standard in women’s competitions, the equipment itself evolved. Bars became smaller in circumference and set wider apart. This allowed gymnasts to perform more advanced and visually impressive moves, such as the giant swing and the clear hip release. Now, spectators of high-level competitions can expect to see several flips and twists within the same routine, as well as complex bar-to-bar transitions, pirouette-to-release combinations, and high-difficulty sequential releases.


Health Benefits of Gymnastics Training

An active young professional, dental assistant Brooke Kuecker participated in gymnastics throughout all four years of high school. As a health science major in college, Brooke Kuecker has remained focused on fitness.

Gymnastics is a sport that involves the whole body. It trains strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination, as well as spatial awareness. Gymnasts develop a command over their own bodies due to the many actions and positions required to execute movements such as flips, handstands, and tumbles. In addition, the learned familiarity that comes with being upside down, sideways, and backwards also leads to exceptional development of the vestibular mechanism. This part of the brain directs inner ear function and balance, two characteristics for which gymnasts have received widespread renown.

In fact, a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration found that gymnasts fare far better than trained astronauts in basic testing. They have attributed this result largely to the gymnasts’ training, which familiarizes them with the feeling of the body in both aerial and grounded configurations. The same training also builds gymnasts’ muscles and bones, which in turn enables them to move their bodies efficiently and assume challenging positions.