The kovacs


 

The Kovacs is a release and re-grasp skill performed on the high bar in men’s artistic gymnastics. From a backward giant swing the gymnast releases the bar and rotates through approximately one and a quarter somersaults, catches the bar and then continues to swing in the backwards direction. This is a popular skill in elite competitive gymnastics, although it is not uncommon for gymnasts to miss the re-grasp, resulting in a fall and a heavy points deduction from the judge. The release window (the timing window within which the gymnast can release the bar and successfully complete the following skill) has been reported for dismounts and the Tkatchev release and re-grasp skill (Hiley & Yeadon, 2003, 2005; Hiley, Yeadon & Buxton, 2007), whereas a re-grasp window (the time period during which a successful re-grasp could be made) has not. Understanding the time constraints that the gymnast works within will give insight into why some gymnasts are more successful at consistently re-grasping the bar than others. 

 

The reasons for the consistent success of this gymnast are his consistency of timing together with large windows for release and re-grasp generated by his giant circling technique. The implication for coaching is that a gymnast needs to use a giant circle technique in which the body moves from a pronounced back arch beneath the bar into a flexed position prior to release in order to flatten the mass centre path and reduce the variation in flight trajectory arising from release timing variability. 


10 phases

PHASE 1:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 174° and the Shoulder angle of 176°.

The projection of the CM is vertical above the bar

PHASE 2:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 149°.

PHASE 3:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 143° and the Shoulder angle of 152°.

PHASE 4:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 188°, the Shoulder angle of 174° and the Knee angle of 150°.

PHASE 5:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 216°, the Shoulder angle of 187° and the Knee angle of 114°.

PHASE 6:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 164°, the Shoulder angle of 166° and the Knee angle of 176°.

PHASE 7:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 133°, the Shoulder angle of 132° and the Knee angle of 138°.

PHASE 8:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 129°, the Shoulder angle of 116° and the Knee angle of 60°.

The subject releases the bar to 81°.

PHASE 9:

 

During the flight phase, the subject maintains the position on the take-off.

PHASE 10:

In this phase the subject has the Hip angle of 202°, the Shoulder angle of 157° and the Knee angle of 172°.

The subject re-grasp the bar to 61°.


Two key points:

1- Momentum of inertia and Angular Momentum

During the loading phase, the gymnast decreases his moment of inertia approaching the body segments to the point of rotation, so doing, increases his rotational speed, which, at the moment of detachment enables the execution of double rotation in flight.

During the flight phase, the angular momentum remains constant. increasing the moment of inertia, the angular velocity decreases and conversely.

2- The release angle to the bar:

The release angle must be as precise as possible (81°) to then have an optimal re-grasp angle.