Terms of Motion | Acrobatic Arts

The primary focus of this article is to teach about terminology of numerous varieties of motion. This might help offer you a deeper understanding of motion, and thereby hopefully enhance your coaching, training, and probably judging. One factor to remember while teaching nevertheless, is that as a coach, you research onerous and have a higher understanding than the athlete sometimes does. Which means though you may understand lots of this terminology and use it to assist your understanding of the motion, you’ll sometimes still want to use much more simplistic phrases whereas explaining things on your athletes. Quite a bit of occasions a coach can ask the athlete to do one thing that will not technically be attainable, however might provide the required outcomes.

Desk of Contents

Planes & Axes  ↑

I will begin with ‘planes of motion’ and ‘axes of rotation’ from a training view. That is for myself as a lot as it is for others as I continuously get confused and maintain having to look it up myself.
A aircraft is the surface through which a movement takes place, type of like saying the motion goes in that course.
An axis nevertheless is a line by means of the body about which the athlete rotates.

  • Forward and backward rolls move alongside the sagittal aircraft, and across the frontal axis.
  • Cartwheels move alongside the frontal aircraft, and around the sagittal axis.
  • Performing a leap 1/1 turn strikes along the transverse aircraft around the longitudinal axis.

Muscle Contractions ↑

When talking about muscle contractions we don’t simply imply the muscle shortens, as muscle tissues are much more complicated than that. What we commonly check with as muscle contractions is a little more along the strains of muscle activation that generates a drive. These differing types of muscle contractions are essential, especially in terms of conditioning, as they can be utilized in numerous ways to organize the athlete. Now lets cover the 3 principal varieties of muscle contraction. [1]

Concentric – A concentric muscle contraction is when the muscle is activated and shortens. A superb example of that is performing a pull-up. On the best way to getting your chin to the bar, the biceps are utilizing concentric contraction to tug.

Isometric – An isometric contraction is when the muscle is activated, however does not change its length. An instance of this might be whereas performing the pull-up, once your chin reaches the bar you hold that place for a number of seconds. While holding yourself up there, your biceps are performing an isomeric contraction.

Eccentric – An eccentric contraction is when the muscle is activated however lengthens. An instance of that is after holding your pull-up for a couple of seconds you slowly begin to lower your self again to the bottom. Decreasing slowly like that signifies that your biceps are using an eccentric contraction to regulate your descent.

Anatomical Terms of Motion ↑

Now to cover the anatomical phrases of motion for the joints.
To do it from a training perspective I’ll cover the motions in accordance with elements of the body, fairly than by the motion definition.
I additionally need to word that I am not doing every single motion there’s as I didn’t consider it was needed or ever really used for common coaching.

To start we’ll begin with the human physique’s anatomical place as our reference point. The default place is principally standing straight with ft shoulder width apart, arms at the sides with palms dealing with forwards. This is the reference point for all motion.

The Backbone ↑

Beginning with motion of the backbone (this consists of the neck of course obviously). Right here we’ve got;

Flexion: Like holding a dish physique shape.
Extension: Expertise reminiscent of holding an arch or bridge.
Lateral flexion: Corresponding to performing a aspect arch or cartwheel.
Rotation: An action used when utilizing using a torque twisting method.

The Shoulder Girdle ↑

The movements of the shoulder girdle (scapulothoracic joint) are;
Elevation: Motion used when shrugging shoulders reminiscent of in a handstand, handspring, or a swing on bar.
Melancholy: This motion is utilized in expertise akin to to assist speed up a swing on the parallel bars.
Protraction: A motion typically used for entrance help body shapes or in circles on the pommel horse.
Retraction: An motion used when gymnasts are within the rear help part of a circle on pommel.

The Shoulder ↑

We’ve got movement of the arm at the shoulder (glenohumeral joint). These actions are;
Flexion: A motion used when making an attempt to forged to handstand on bar.
Extension: A motion used lots by men’s gymnastics in ahead swings on the parallel bars or at the entrance of a circle on pommel.
Abduction: This action is tough to identify in primary expertise, but is utilized in some advanced males’s expertise similar to a Japanese Handstand.
Adduction: This motion is used by any male making an attempt to hold himself in a help of the rings.
Inner rotation: This is very onerous to see used instantly in a talent, nevertheless when doing flicflacs with fingers pointing inwards it occurs, in addition to when a gymnast performs a muscle-up on the rings.
Exterior rotation: Another action exhausting to spot instantly in a talent, nevertheless when a gymnast holds himself in help on rings the rings are presupposed to be externally rotated by 45 degrees. Arms are additionally externally rotated in a forwards big on bar with an beneath grip.
Horizontal abduction: This action is usually used whereas performing a forwards format salto.
Horizontal adduction: Not straightforward to spot this motion instantly in a talent, one of the best instance I can assume of is throughout a backwards uprise on rings.

The Elbow ↑

We even have motion of the forearm on the elbow (ulnohumeral and radiohumeral joints).
Flexion: Motion used when performing a pullup.
Extension: Action used when performing a pressup.

The Forearm ↑

We now have movement in the forearm (radio-ulnar joint).
Pronation: This motion in used whereas performing a primary tap swing on bar.
Supination: This movement is used while performing an underneath grip forwards big on bar.

The Wrist ↑

Motion at the wrist consists of;
Flexion: This is used typically by male gymnasts who use a false grip on the rings.
Extension: This movement is used in any help on flooring, like a handstand for instance.
Radial deviation: Any forwards swing beneath the parallel bars or backwards swing on prime of the parallel bars use this motion.
Ulnar deviation: This is used in and backwards swing beneath the parallel bars or forwards swing on prime of the parallel bars.

The Hip ↑

We now have motion of the leg on the hip (acetabular joint).
Flexion: This motion is used any time a gymnast performs a tuck or pike physique form.
Extension: This movement occurs within the again leg whereas kicking into a handstand.
Abduction: Any time a gymnast strikes right into a straddle they use abduction, corresponding to while performing a cartwheel.
Adduction: Most expertise in gymnastics require the gymnasts maintain their legs collectively, this implies they need to virtually always be utilizing adduction.
Inner rotation: At this stage I can’t assume of any talent utilizing inner rotation, nevertheless it could typically be seen occurring on the entrance leg if a gymnast is just not specializing in sustaining right type whereas performing the splits.
Exterior rotation: This action typically occurs to the again leg whereas performing the splits.

The Knee ↑

Motion at the knee.
Flexion: Flexion occurs on the knee during any talent the place the gymnast should tuck his legs.
Extension: Extension of the leg ought to happen during most expertise as the gymnast should sometimes have straight legs during their expertise.

The Ankle ↑

The movements right here on the talocrural and subtalar joint are; [2]
Dorsiflexion: Gymnasts move into this position while landing, though they come into this position, it is accomplished so with an eccentric muscle contraction for plantar flexion.
Plantar flexion: During all expertise the gymnasts are alleged to be pointing their toes, this is planter flexion.
Inversion: This motion just isn’t usually seen in any expertise, nevertheless it still typically happens while gymnasts try to point their toes and sometimes end up with one foot half curled over the opposite.
Eversion: One of the primary occasions this motion might be used in gymnastics is when a gymnast is leaping right into a torque twist.

The Pelvis ↑

Now the one factor I did overlook to photograph which should probably be in here is the anterior and posterior pelvic tilt.
The anterior pelvic tilt is when the pelvis is rotated forwards so the lower again is arched (extended). The posterior pelvic tilt is when the pelvis is rotated backwards and flattens out the decrease back (flexed). In case you wrestle to visualise it, it might assist to seek for diagrams of this action online. An excellent link which will assist you to understand it may be found by clicking HERE.

I hope this has been useful for you.

Thanks for studying!  ?


[1] ↑ Muscle Physiology – Varieties of Contractions. (2006, Might 31). Retrieved September 1, 2015, from

[2] ↑ Anatomy of the Ankle. (2012, September 30). Retrieved September 16, 2015, from