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Functional Acrobatics

Generally we talk about the cross over functionality of gymnastics being primarily in kinsethetic development. The diversity and rigorous technique in gymnastics sets up an athlete to learn new things very quickly and to a degree that is not matched by many other disciplines. There are a lot of skills that generally transfer over to other activities directly, but most of the acrobatic elements do not necessarily translate directly. The video is an exception.

One thing to note is the ridiculous vertical jump that Jerome has. This would not have been possible without tremendous explosive hip extension. Now, a dive shoulder roll would have actually been more functional in this case, but it is quite impressive in any case. If this had not across the goal line then the front tuck would have been more valuable. A shoulder roll would result in a downed ball, a front tuck would not.

Free runners often add acrobatic elements to their paths, but this does not generally increase efficiency. Performing flips and twists is fun and puts on a good show, but very rarely would it be the right choice if speed and efficiency were the true demands such as in a foot chase. This video is just a good example of where developing an “air sense” can come in handy. Try some gymnastics classes and learn how to keep your awareness in any situation.

5 Responses to “Functional Acrobatics”

  1. Nick says:

    He sees it coming and even punches the ground as he takes off. Plus, the pose after he lands… yeah, he’s done gymnastics before.

  2. Patricia says:

    I was just going to ask….had he done flips like that before, or is he just a crazy incredible athlete that just went for it in a split second decision.. ? I can’t do a vertical jump to save my life. Actually people (Andres) laugh at my pitiful vertical jumps…

  3. Blair Lowe says:

    Most professional football players are “Crazy, incredible athletes in their own regard.” Take a look at NFL combine numbers if you ever care to and want to see some insane numbers. I rarely see any numbers with less than a 30′ standing vertical jump and 9 foot broad jump.

  4. Bill N says:

    The original video link posted is broken (revoked due to copyright issue).
    This link works:

    Lynn Swan was known for his poise and vertical lift as a “smallish” wide receiver (5′ 11″) for the Steelers, known to take ballet to improve his height. In 1979 NFL game he makes a split second decision and a fancy move over this car in the end zone. In his case a Kong vault would have kept him on his feet upon landing.

    But one of my all time favorites for acrobatic vertical lifts, was seeing Spud Webb (at 5′ 7″) defy gravity and win the Slam Dunk contest at the ‘86 NBA All Star Game.

  5. Patricia says:

    OMG the video is no longer available on Youtube!!! what did you do Roger??? ;-)

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