Functional phases and angular momentum characteristics of Tkatchev and Kovacs

Gareth Irwin, Timothy Exell, Michelle L. Manning, David G. Kerwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding the technical requirements and underlying biomechanics of complex release and re-grasp skills on high bar allows coaches and scientists to develop safe and effective training programmes. The aim of this study was to examine the differences in the functional phases between the Tkatchev and Kovacs skills and to explain how the angular momentum demands are addressed. Images of 18 gymnasts performing 10 Tkatchevs and 8 Kovacs at the Olympic Games were recorded (50 Hz), digitised and reconstructed (3D Direct Linear Transformation). Orientation of the functional phase action, defined by the rapid flexion to extension of the shoulders and extension to flexion of the hips as the performer passed through the lower vertical, along with shoulder and hip angular kinematics, angular momentum and key release parameters (body angle, mass centre velocity and angular momentum about the mass centre and bar) were compared between skills. Expected differences in the release parameters of angle, angular momentum and velocity were observed and the specific mechanical requirement of each skill were highlighted. Whilst there were no differences in joint kinematics, hip and shoulder functional phase were significantly earlier in the circle for the Tkatchev. These findings highlight the importance of the orientation of the functional phase in the preceding giant swing and provide coaches with further understanding of the critical timing in this key phase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-616
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number6
Early online date10 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • boimechanics
  • coaching
  • men's gymnastics
  • high bar


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional phases and angular momentum characteristics of Tkatchev and Kovacs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this