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Biomechanics ~ Just a Language

Biomechanics is complicated. Most acrobats struggle with understanding it and make a simple mistake they can stop making right now!

Most acrobats struggle with understanding biomechanics and make a simple mistake that they can stop making right now to help them understand biomechanics. Here is the simple reality of what biomechanics really is:

It is a measurement of human movement AFTER THE FACT. “After the fact” is the most important part that many miss. You have to remember that biomechanics is a language of human movement. Did you learn English by memorizing the full alphabet and the annoying rules of proper grammar? No you didn’t. You learned like anyone else does, by simply mimicking sounds you hear. Did you have to memorize every single word of the English language to be able to speak freely and efficiently? No you didn’t. Being successful at acrobatics is not about memorizing a fancy language, it's more about getting in touch with your biology that is inherent in you no matter what language you speak.

If you remember that simple reality it will help you realize that biomechanics is nothing more than another language that you really do not need to learn. I know that is blasphemy in acrobatic circles but it’s true. When I did my first quad, I was not in University studying kinesiology yet. I was just “going a bit farther than last time,” Degree-By-Degree from a single flip, to a 1 and 1/4 etc. I just need M.O.T.S, "More Of The Same Thing". I do not need to know F=MA to learn acrobatics. I do if I want to write a paper about it in academic situations but that is simply a way to communicate with researchers about what I did and has nothing to do with the what my biology was doing before I started writing out the language.

I have been a long time friend of Dr Gerald George, Biomechanist and author of 'Biomechanics of Women’s Gymnastics'. Dr. George has been a prolific writer and researcher. He has served as author, contributor, and/or Senior Editor to over 10 textbooks and 120 article publications. His other notable works include: USGF Gymnastics Safety Manuals (Senior Editor and Project Director), The Magic of Gymnastics (Editor and Project Director), The Art and Science of Judging Men’s Gymnastics (contributing author), the USA Gymnastic Safety Handbook (contributor), The Advanced Study of Gymnastics (contributing author), Rookie Coaches Gymnastics Guide (contributor), all three AACCA Cheerleading Safety Manuals (Senior Editor and Project Director), The Biomechanics of Competitive Diving (contributing author), and the USA Dive Safe Manual (contributor).

Dr. George and I recently did an interview discussing how to simplify biomechanics on my Freestyle podcast, THE ROE SHOW, which you can listen to HERE

Like a baby, you will first crawl and bump yourself as you move around your gymnastics environment. This happens all the time with “Parent And Tot” classes. The only difference between a baby learning to walk and an athlete learning to do a Handspring is that it just takes specific movements.

As you fine-tune your motor control you will get better at moving the body whether or not you understand the language of Biomechanics. The language of biology is how you will actually learn to do Gymnastics and biomechanics is nothing more than the language you will use to tell others about what you did with your biology.

So if you are a young athlete looking to find a simple approach to training that is not filled with crazy biomechanics, simply think about going a bit farther than last time. As I learned my first front flip all I told myself as I attempted it was “A bit more.” I just needed more power or more speed in a particular direction, ie. up and forward to do a front flip. A block that I tried to flip onto taught me more about biomechanics than any text book. As the word indicates, biomechanics is the mechanics of your biology. You can make anything mechanical if you do it enough and acrobatics is more about repetition and “A bit more” than it is about equations.

Those equations will help you analyze what you did to improve on it later, but in reality so will simply watching it back on a video and asking yourself “where do I actually want to be?.”

Slowly construct your training to put your biology in that position and you will have what you need to know to learn any skill. You will build your skills Degree-By-Degree over the years from the feeling of the last attempt, not what some researcher writes on a piece of paper. So do not get worried about biomechanics. Just stick to the biology and the biomechanics will happen naturally as you learn to control your motor pathways with more and more precision.

For more information on Dr Jerry George, please visit

For more information on the NEW GRT Training Program, that was written with both athletes and coaches in mind, please CLICK HERE. We offer both written materials and corresponding videos, from beginner to Olympic Level, including freestyle and traditional approaches. It is a complete training program that goes through every progression, step-by-step or degree-by-degree (as I say) and includes Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics, #GRTcertified


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