Female Gymnasts Who Made Olympic History

The sport of gymnastics not only requires physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, balance, and grace, it also requires a high level of passion for the sport. Throughout Olympic history there have been several women who have stood out above the rest, mastering artistic gymnastics in events like the uneven parallel bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and vault. Their competitive spirit and athletic achievements have gained them a place in the record books as the best gymnasts in the world.

Olga Valentinovna Korbut is a Soviet-born gymnast who won a total of four gold medals and two silver medals while representing the USSR team during the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics. Known for her talented acrobatics and open displays of emotion during her routines, she became one of the first gymnasts to ever do a backward somersault on the balance beam in competition. Olga also performed a skill known as the Korbut Flip on the uneven bars where from a stand on the high bar, the gymnast performs a back flip and regrasps the bar. Korbut amazed audiences with this routine at the 1972 Summer Olympics, the first time it was performed on the uneven bars in international competition.

Her 1972 Olympic debut was so memorable that it caused many young girls to join their local gymnastic clubs and take up the sport. Her focus on acrobatics rather than on elegance also reversed the trend of the way athletes performed their routines. In 1988 Korbut was the first gymnast to be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Nadia Elena Comaneci is one of the best known gymnasts in the world. She received three gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, as a member of the Romanian team. In 1970 she became the youngest gymnast ever to win the Romanian Nationals. She won her first all-around title in 1971 when she participated in her first international competition that also won her team the gold. At the age of 11 she won the all-around gold at the Junior Friendship Tournament in 1973. By age 13 she won the all-around gold medal on every event except the floor exercise at the 1975 European Championships in Skien, Norway. Her success was recognized by the international community and was named the United Press International's "Female Athlete of the Year" for 1975.

It was at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal where 14-year-old Comaneci became a shining star. Her routine on the uneven bars was scored a perfect 10.0, the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had ever been awarded. By the end of the Olympics, Nadia had earned six more perfect ten scores capturing the all-around, beam, and bars titles and a bronze medal on the floor exercise. In addition to being inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, Nadia also received the Olympic Order, the highest award given by the International Olympic Committee. She received the award in 1984 and 2004 making her the only person (and the youngest) to receive this honor twice.

Inspired by watching Nadia Comaneci on television, Mary Lou Retton took up gymnastics in her hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia. She then moved to Houston, Texas to train under Romanian coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, Nadia's former coaches. Retton won the American Cup in 1983 and the American Classic in 1983 and 1984. She also won Japan's Chunichi Cup in 1983. Gymnastics at the time was completely dominated by Eastern European gymnasts. Mary Lou Retton was the first gymnast outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title during the 1984 Summer Olympics. She also won two silver and two bronze medals. Her performance during the Games earned her Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportswoman of the Year. Retton was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.

Renovating A Public Gym For Residents

Indoor gyms are community hotspots for families interested in partaking in some sort of physical activity, whether it be weightlifting, gymnastics, swimming or running. Most community parks often operate an indoor gym of some sort with one or more of these activities for parents and children to join in. Some community gyms often lack one or many of these facilities due to budget concerns, space restrictions or insufficient equipment. If you have the additional room in your city's budget to perform some aesthetic upgrades or even buy new equipment, here are some of the best items to spend that cash on.

Floor

Your basketball court is big enough with sufficient seats, but once visitors look at the floor, they are welcomed with a grave sight.

Most guests may observe the dire condition the wood floors are in, and while most indoor gyms probably have the same wooden floors since the day they opened, it might be a good concept to repaint the floors. Getting a decent contractor to come and repaint the floors will cost a few thousand dollars, but the upgrade is worth the cost. Contractors will take off the old paint from the floor, re-sand the wood and paint the floors with a new color or its original color. Your newly finished floors will go with any wood or aluminum bleachers you may have scattered throughout a gym.

Exercise Equipment

You may have plenty of space inside your gym to erect a little exercise room to house cardio machines and a couple of weightlifting machines. Exercise equipment, as with the floors, will set you back a few thousand dollars, but these machines can be purchased at steep discounts from nearby equipment resellers wanting to help community parks and gyms. With the purchased equipment, your city's local gym can start conducting exercise classes and free work-out sessions for residents interested.

Pool

Some indoor pool may still be utilizing older pool plaster for the floor and sides, and while this is okay, the plaster will chip after a few years. For swimmers, cracked plaster will produce minor cuts on their feet, and minor cuts inside a chlorine-filled pool says "ouch" for swimmers. Of course emptying the pool and having it repainted will set you back a few thousand dollars, but it's worth the investment of getting the floors and sides retouched. Repainted sides and floors will prevent swimmers from getting cuts on their toes and feet, rendering a more enjoyable swim. Other likely pool renovations may include the purchasing of lifesaver rings, life vests and grandstands for spectators to enjoy water polo games or swimming events held inside a gym.

The Magic of Depth Jumps

Depth jumps almost have a mythical status in vertical jump training. On one hand they can be extremely effective at generating quick and impressive results in your jumping ability, and on the other hand, their incorrect application can very quickly lead to injury. So what do you do? For a start, you can read this article and find out what the is the best and most appropriate way to incorporate this great exercise into your training program.

WHAT IS A DEPTH JUMP

Depth jumps are an excellent exercise to help improve reactive/eccentric strength. One of the great things about them is that often they provide immediate and noticeable gains in jump height. The down side is that these short term results often lead to them being abused as a training tool (see below).

Depth jump is simply a jump that is performed after the athlete has dropped to the ground off a platform or box. The jump should be both immediate and rapid. As the goal of depth jumps is to improve an athlete's reactive strength, the less bending of the knees and the less time the feet are in contact with the ground, the more effective it is.

One of the more commonly heard myths about this exercise is that you should land on your toes and that your heels should not touch the ground. The rationale for this is that your heels touching the ground increases contact time.

This myth is half true. Yes your heels touching the ground may increase contact time, but the landing and jumping can still be performed sufficiently fast so that they provide plenty of reactive stimulation. The other upside to a bit of heel contact is that it helps reduce the pressure on your joints by increasing the surface area over which forces can be dissipated.

Another quick point about performing depth jumps is that they are very hard on your CNS. In order to get the most out f them you should make sure you have plenty of rest between sets (2-3 minutes at least. The more reps you perform per set, the more rest you need between sets). You should also get plenty of rest between training sessions. Even with advanced athletes I would still only recommend their use up to twice per week.

SAFETY CONCERNS

Before I continue I wanted to address one of the biggest issues that coaches have with depth jumps - safety. Over the years the abuse of them in an athletes training program has lead to many reporting injuries from their use. Due to this there are a lot of coaches who feel that only advanced athletes should use them (often quoted is the need for a minimum of a 1.5x BW squat).

This however is something that to I do not entirely agree with. Why? I believe it has more to do with the volume and the drop height causing the injuries, not the exercise itself. After all you only have to look around the various athletic chat rooms to see that there are plenty of athletes will lots of strength and training experience who have still had problems from depth jumps.

Another way to look at it is that no one argues that squats are a great way to build strength in the legs. If you have never squatted before the chances are that you would be pretty bad at it. The squat is also a reasonably advanced exercise. It requires balance, core strength, decent range of motion etc as well as strength.

Does this mean that you wouldn't have a beginner squat? No of course not. What it does mean however is that instead of loading up the bar with 2x your bodyweight you would pick a very light weight to start with and work up from there.

The same approach should be applied to depth jumps. They are a great way to develop reactive strength. Just because you are not great at them to begin with doesn't mean you cannot do them, it just means you have to start nice and easy. In this case nice and easy means starting with a low box and with low number of jumps until you have found a height and volume that allows you to perform the movement quickly, correctly, and most important of all, safely.

One final comment about depth jumps and training experience that I would like to make is that it is my experience that stronger, more experience athletes definitely get more out of this exercise. However it is also the case the stronger athletes generally get more out of all jumping exercises. Why? Stronger athletes have the potential to generate more force and performing plyometrics such as depth jumps and other jumping drills helps reduce the explosive strength deficit (ESD).

Less experienced and weaker athletes do not have the ability to generate much force to begin with so there ESD is generally going to be much smaller meaning they have less to gain from plyometric activities.

What is the ESD you ask? The ESD is the difference between how much force you can develop if you have an unlimited amount of time against how much force you can develop when our time is limited. A powerlifter might be able to squat 4 times his bodyweight but if he can't jump high it just means he cannot access his strength quick enough and he has a high ESD.

A sprinter might squat only 2.5 times his bodyweight but he can access that strength much more rapidly which allows him to run so fast and often jump quite high. What does this mean to you? It basically means that if you are inexperienced and not very strong and you are going to use this exercise in your program, you would be well advised to also be doing plenty of strength work as well.

DETERMINING DROP HEIGHT

The intensity of the exercise is largely determined by the height from which you drop, and as such the box height (in conjunction with training volume) must be carefully monitored to ensure both safety and effectiveness. If you use a box height that is too high the obvious problem is as already covered, the increased chance of injury.

The other issue related to excessive drop height is that it can create an eccentric (downward) force that is too great for the athlete's reactive strength to handle. So even though the athlete might not injure themselves on that jump, the downward force might still be too great for them to rebound straight back up off the ground quick enough for there to be a decent training effect.

So what is an appropriate height? The most commonly prescribed method is to identify the drop height that allows you to jump the highest when performing a depth jump. The process of determining what this height is might take a bit of trial and error.

A number of authors (Chu, Baggett) suggest the following method.

Step 1. Perform a standing vertical jump (SVJ) and mark the height you 2. Stand on an 18 inch box and perform a depth jump trying to beat your 3. If you did not reach the same height as your SVJ, keep lowering the box in 6 inch intervals until you can reach the same or a higher 4. If you did reach a same or higher point than your standing vertical you keep raising the height of the box in 6 inch intervals until your performance declines.

An example might be:Standing Vertical Jump Height Touched: 290cm

Test 1 - Height Touched Off 18 inch box: 292cmTest 2 - Height Touched Off 24 inch box: 295cmTest 3 - Height Touched Off 30 inch box: 289cm

Optimal drop height therefore would be a 24 inch box.

Alternatively the situation might look like this: Standing Vertical Jump Height Touched: 290cm

Test 1 - Height Touched Off 18 inch box: 287cmTest 2 - Height Touched Off 12 inch box: 288cm

Recommendation - If you have an insufficient strength, do not do this exercise.

This is generally accepted as very a good way to determine your optimal drop height but I don't believe it is the best way. Comparing depth jump height to standing vertical jump height really only indicates how reactively strong you are. If you can't match your standing vertical jump from a 12 inch box this doesn't mean you should not do depth jumps (as suggested by Chu), it just means you are low in reactive strength.

The better way for determining the optimal depth jump height is to start on a 6 inch box and work your way up in 6 inch increments until you find the drop height that results in the highest touch.

For example:

Test 1 - Height Touched Off 6 inch box: 290cmTest 2 - Height Touched Off 12 inch box: 296cmTest 3 - Height Touched Off 18 inch box: 293cmTest 4 - Height Touched Off 18 inch box: 292cm

Optimal drop height in this case is 12 inches.

What about drop height for single leg depth jumps? The answer that comes to mind is to use a box half the height of your regular two foot variety. However, it isn't quite so simple. Landing and jumping with two feet is much easier as you have two legs pretty evenly spaced apart to do not only balance you, but to generate the force required for the jump.

When you land on a single leg it is much harder for your joints and muscles to absorb the eccentric forces. For single leg depth jumps I would use exactly the same method I just outlined but I would start with a 6 inch box and move up from there in 3 inch instead. You will be surprised how dramatically your performance drops off when using the single leg version.

Speaking of drop height the next question is when should you start to increase it? Whilst progression is the key to achieving your vertical jump goals, you don't want to do it too quickly, particularly with high impact plyometrics. You should start increasing the box height only after you have made noticeable improvements in your jump height without sacrificing the speed of the jump.

SHOULD DEPTH JUMPS BE USED ALL THE TIME

The short answer to this is no. One of the great things about this exercise is that often they provide very good gains in a short space of time. However the rate of these gains also tapers off quite quickly. What this leads to is athletes thinking that more is better so they end up doing way too much volume for too long a period of time.

It is this overuse of depth jumps that I believe has contributed to so many injuries in the past. The length of time you should use them for will once again depend on the height of the box, the volume of jumps performed, and the training experience of the athlete. Once your gains taper off take a break from them for a few months and when you come back you will be ready once again to take advantage of this exercise.

CONCLUSION

Depth jumps can be a very beneficial exercise for improving your vertical jump. They frequently rate in many coaches top 10 jumping exercises lists. However abuse of them has often resulted in injuries leaving them with a bad reputation with many coaches.

Hopefully in this article I have given you some good ideas about how to safely incorporate this interesting exercise into your vertical jump training. The key points are to start conservatively, and to use low boxes and low volume until you start to get a feel for what you can handle.

One final thing, depth jumps are just one exercise out of many you can perform to help you jump higher. If you are worried about getting injured, or that you are not sufficiently prepared to use them - then don't. There are plenty of vertical jump exercises you can do besides this one.

Jumping On A Trampoline Does It Have Health Benefits?

Have you stopped exercising on a regular basis because an injury or illness has left sapped your energy and endurance? Are you desperate for a way to start rebuilding your muscle strength while also working to lose weight, but can't handle the high cost of a physical trainer, or the impact of most gym machinery? Many people have found themselves in this same position, and the unexpected solution has often turned out to be jumping on a trampoline. You might think of these structures as mere children's toys, but they've actually been shown to have considerable health benefits.

If you've never thought about using a trampoline as your own personal workout center, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of jumping structures and their respective uses. The most common kind of trampoline, the small, shallow styles that many children play with at school, is actually called a rebounder. This design is perfect if you want to take advantage of the health benefits of the trampoline, without committing your entire yard to the larger models. If you want to take full advantage of the workout that jumping on a trampoline can provide, getting a full size model equipped with trampoline mats and enclosures is the way to go.

The most important health benefit of jumping on a trampoline is the cardiovascular stimulation. When you're bouncing up and down, using your muscles to propel yourself into the air, or bending and stretching on the trampoline's elastic surface, you'll be breathing deeply, increasing your heart rate and blood flow. You might even break a sweat, which is something that's all too easy to avoid in today's sedentary lifestyle. Cardiovascular workouts are the best way to reduce your body fat as well.

Another important health benefit of jumping on a trampoline is the strength workout that you'll be giving your muscles. Because the trampoline springs provide a great deal of resistance (i.e. they're pushing back against your weight) just walking and bouncing around is actually a workout for the muscles in your legs. When you start working on jumping as high as possible, your core muscles will also be given a workout because they are how you stay balance and coordinate your landings and takeoffs. As you become more confident on the structure, you'll be able to incorporate tuck jumps and jumping jacks, which work out even more muscle groups at once.

How do we Deal With Bullies

What happens when a kid is a bully? Sadly, sometimes nothing. In the movies the bully always gets their comeuppance, but life is not a movie and often what we wish would happen to the bad guys actually happen in reverse. Often the aggressors are rewarded for their behavior. They get what they are seeking by becoming popular or promoted. This is usually evident in the world of athletics where an aggressive person is seen as an asset to the team. Bullies get away with their actions because weaker players will align themselves with the bully to protect themselves from being at risk themselves.

You may think that your kids are not the bullying kind, and maybe that's true. But bullying takes on many shapes. Using gossip or spreading rumours to maintain their alliances or to increase their own popularity is still the act of bullying. Also being complacent to do nothing while being aware of something wrong is also a form of bullying."Most teens don't bully and may not experience it [personally], but they're often bystanders or witnesses," says Dr. Sue Limber, PhD, MLS, professor of psychology and associate director of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University. Other kids might look up to athletes as role models so when a kid in that role doesn't condone negative behavior, they may not, either. "Athletes are often popular and respected by their peers at school. It's important that they not abuse their power and are positive role models for speaking out against bullying and helping prevent it," says Dr. Limber.

What do we need to tell our children when they witness or are the intended target of a bully? We usually advise that they go to an adult and report the threat as soon as possible. However, sometimes this can be a recognition to the bully that they are getting through to the target, they are afraid and on the run. I would never tell a child "not" to report a perceived threat, but they need to be aware of the actual threat. Yes, sticks and stones may break bones, and words too can be dangerous, but sometimes acknowledging a bully gives them incentive. Sometimes, it's best to walk away. However, at some point all bullies should be reported. It is not OK for a child to feel threatened. Ever.

Many times kids understand the message they hear from teachers and counselors when they are told about how terrible bullying is, but they don't feel that they are doing any bullying. They don't see that rumors, gossip or making comments online are what they are hearing about. They don't feel that turning a blind eye is just another form of condoning the aggressive acts. We need to educate our kids that listening to, and spreading gossip is still an abusive act. My son comes home from school and tells me that someone called him "stupid." I ask "Are you stupid?" to which of course he says no. Then I advise him that he shouldn't listen to someone elses opinion about him if they don't know him. The bully is the one with no credibility. Izzy Kalman, certified school psychologist, recommends harnessing your power instead of focusing on being a victim. The next time you hear a rumor about yourself, simply ask the gossip, "Do you believe it?" Even if the rumor is true, Kalman says it makes no difference. "It's just like with name-calling. The real reason they call you names has nothing to do with the truth. It only has to do with making you the loser."

Kids need strength to overcome the assertiveness of a bully. Next time I will share some thoughts on how sports can help a child avoid being a target, or help if the child feels threatened.

Rebounders Provide a Lot of Health Benefits

Rebounding basically works with three forces gravity, acceleration and the de-accelerated, this effect positive on the body. Rebounding jumping provides aerobic effects for your heart. It gives your energy when tired and rebounding is the most convenient forms of exercise. It is easy on the joints so you don't have to worry about your joints. You can do it at any time of the day according to your convenience.

Rebounding Jumping is Good for Health

Rebounding has tons of benefit. It basically works positively on every system and every cell of the body. There are a lot of benefits of rebounding such as jumping reduces body fat and circulates oxygen to the tissues, Lowers elevated cholesterol, Improves digestion, strengthen cardiovascular system, increase blood flow, aids lymphatic circulation and normalize your blood pressure.

The Most Common Rebounder Exercises

The best trampoline exercises are starter bounce, trampoline jog and trampoline jacks.

Health Bouncing

Standing on rebounder and gently bounce to get comfortable with rebounding. Simple and gentle bouncing will be helpful to have significant health benefits and get you on track of fitness.

Basic Rebounder Jog

Basic jogging on rebounder will burn more calories than jogging on the ground or floor. Jogging is a nice thing because it moves our body up and the down movement which really helps the cell and which really help the lymphatic flow to move through you body. The only downside is the impact on the joints while jogging on the hard surface but on high quality rebounder 85% of the impact is taking out of the joints.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jack is great because it works on your entire abdominals region, shoulder. When performing jumping jacks on the rebounder, you be capable of perform more than ground because you won't experience the similar harsh force on your joints and your foot.

Benefits of Using Mini Trampolines

Jumping on mini trampoline is good for bones. It also helps to lose weight and tone up muscles. Jumping on indoor trampolines is an alternative of jogging. Jumping provides psychological benefits as well. One of the biggest benefits is that rebounder does not put stress on your joints while you jump. It also helps to stimulate the blood flow throughout the body. Using the rebounder for exercise is helpful to increase your metabolism as well and one of the most important benefits of jumping is the development of body balance.

You can choose from folding and non folding models, hard bounce and soft bounce models and every rebounder frame hinges, platform pins, and leg tubes have lifetime warranty. These rebounders additionally make use of durable material and high quality springs to keep you bouncing for a lifetime.

Where to Buy Trampoline Mats

Your best bet for buying mats is to find a local store that specializes in mat fabric and have a good experience in the industry. Make sure you buy from a store that has an excellent return policy.Durability and Warranty

The reason we buy new mats, because the old ones damaged or get somehow destroyed. No one out of us likes to buy a new trampoline if its mat has damaged. When you get to the store, see how durable it is.

Read Online Reviews

While you don't want to buy mats or other parts solely based on what you see online, reviews are a great way to narrow it down to a few models, and to know what issues you want to keep an eye out for on any specific product. People usually search and consider reviews from customers.

Shapes Available in the market

Beds are available in various shapes with various options to suit every budget. Basically, the mat is the black fabric.

(Tumble Track, Double Mini, Mini , Mini Open End)6. Other Shape Trampoline Mats(16- Sides, 12- Sides, 5-Sides, Oval, True Oval, Lacrosse, Rebounder)7. Custom Shape Mats

If you need a mat for building a new trampoline of your thoughts, you might choose custom-built mats in any unusual shape you think.

Topmost trampoline Mats Brand Available in the market

Fun Spot Trampolines, JumpKing, Airzone, Airmaster, JumpSpot, Hedstrom, NBF, Roadmaster, Flexible Flyer, Trampoline Pro Shop, Bollinger, Sky Bouncer, Bazoongi, Jump Pro, Magic Circle, Texas, Giant, Hercules, Sidlinger, Nissen, Rave, Skywalker, Variflex, Bounce Pro Sports Power, Orbounder, Leisure kingdom and other brands.

How to install trampoline Mat

Always remove the springs from the trampoline when measuring. Measure the entire springs including hook, then count the number of the springs on the mat.

If mat is still on the trampoline, measure from where the spring joins the mat to where it joins the mat on the opposite side. Measure in at least two directions or if your mat is no longer measure from the spring hole using the point closest to the inside of the frame as the starting point across the trampoline to the spring hole opposite ensure you measure in 2 places that is all to measure a trampoline mat.

How to measure Trampoline mat

Before you order your trampoline mat you need to measure the diameter of the frame, this is the size mat you need to buy. Secondly you need to count how many springs you trampoline has and make sure the mat you are placing order for has the same number of springs. With the springs you need to make sure that the spring length is the same spring length.