Vault and Rings: The Great Divide

July 2nd, 2012 by Gymbit

Muscles are made up of two kinds of fibres: fast-twitch and slow-twitch. Fast-twitch muscle fibres are responsible for explosive movement, while slow-twitch muscles allow for static strength and endurance. Our muscles are usually made up of about 50% fast-twitch and 50% slow-twitch fibres. Athletes who possess a greater proportion of fast-twitch muscles excel in sports such as sprinting, while those with more slow-twitch muscles excel in sports like cross-country running.

How do these different muscle types factor in to gymnastics? Well, vault, for example, requires fast-twitch muscles for the sprinting down the runway and for an explosive block off the table. Still rings, on the other hand, require slow-twitch muscles in order to hold the strength elements for a minimum of two seconds.

Men’s Gymnastics: 7.0 – 7.4 Vaults

Men’s Gymnastics: E and F Elements Rings (2011 Edit)

Have you ever noticed that the gymnasts who win medals in one of these events rarely achieve the same level of success in the other? You’d be hard-pressed to find a gymnast who qualifies to both of these apparatus finals. In fact, the last time this happened in a World Championships or an Olympic Games was in 1995 when Li Xiaoshuang qualified to both.

Can you think of a gymnast whose best two events are rings and vault? Let me know!

Posted in Fun | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Vault and Rings: The Great Divide”

  1. RJL Says:

    I had never heard of the words “swallow” or “felge” before watching the rings video. Amazing to see such strength in slow motion. Too bad Thomas Bouhail and Ri Se Gwang won’t be at the Olympics – both could’ve medalled.

  2. Triple-double Says:

    Samir Ait Said would count vault and rings as his best events. Probably the same for Igor Radivilov. Denis Ablyazin is best on floor and vault, but not far behind on rings.

  3. Gymbit Says:

    Thanks for letting me know about these gymnasts!

    Samir Aït Saïd does show great strength on rings:

    …as well as fantastic explosive power on vault:

    Here are some videos of Igor Radivilov and Denis Ablyazin. Triple-double, you’re right – they’re both great on these events!

Leave a Reply