Can you tell ...........

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gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,841
North Carolina
Hi -

I am just curious. Are you able to tell between a limb (elbow - knee) that is actually bent vs. one that looks bent? I don't mean to be confusing. My DD does have some trouble w/ bent limbs, however, while I was watching practice the other day a mom commented that even when her leg is straight it looks bent. She is very thin and she was on beam. Her leg was straight (kinda looked like a Scooby Doo cartoon where it almost looked warped back if that makes any sense - but her knee cap actually sticks out so far over her shin that in the front it looked like she was bent.

She also has funky looking elbows that when in a front support on bars look weird ( I actually say gross, but........ she can't help it, it's just the way they are)

Thanks for your time.
 
Had a Gymnast Like That

I once had a gymnast like that. I really didn't know what to do about it (it was my first year coaching competitively). My boss at the couple of meets had the girl show the judges her straightest arms before the competition began. As she got older and filled out more it was no longer an issue, but she spent her entire level 4 & 5 seasons showing the judges her elbows and knees before the meets. Still, I think that, judges usually have a good idea of when the gymnast is stretching her tallest and straightest and when they are not.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
I once had a gymnast like that. I really didn't know what to do about it (it was my first year coaching competitively). My boss at the couple of meets had the girl show the judges her straightest arms before the competition began. As she got older and filled out more it was no longer an issue, but she spent her entire level 4 & 5 seasons showing the judges her elbows and knees before the meets. Still, I think that, judges usually have a good idea of when the gymnast is stretching her tallest and straightest and when they are not.


Good points. What did the judges say? We have one of those bent leggedy, skinny gymmies too.
 
Not much!

They never really said anything. Just, "okay." I never really knew if it helped her scores or not. I was thrilled when she came back from a trip one summer and had filled out. I think she about 11 at the time...
 

gymkat

Judge
Jun 24, 2008
690
That's why I don't look at the bottom of their leg to tell a bent vs. straight knee- I look at the line that the top of their leg makes. (Does that make any sense?) Some girls have knobby knees or more muscular calves, so looking at the line that the shin/knee/quad make is a better method IMO. Obviously you'll have the little bump for the kneecap, but you can definitely tell the difference between a bent leg and a knobby kneed kid.
 
Jan 31, 2009
410
I would think looking at the line of the back of the leg would be a good indicator of straight legs?
 

gymkat

Judge
Jun 24, 2008
690
The top of the leg is the better indicator IMO; you can compare the direction that the thigh and shin are going by looking at the top. It's trickier looking at the back of the leg if you're watching a very muscular gymnast. Regardless of how you do it, yes, judges can tell the difference between a kid with bent legs and a kid with Terin Humphrey knees.
 

Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,188
I'd deduct, we take points from kids who don't have the flexibility for splits. Although knee flexibility is not as important, it is part of being a good gymnast. I would probably take it as an overall insufficient stretch deduction rather than on each move, if it was clear that the gymnast was stretched to her fullest.
A poor conditioning programme can make a kids leg look bent. There are stretches to help with this; I believe IG's posture lady did an article.
 

gymfan4ever95

Coach
Gymnast
Mar 29, 2009
635
North Carolina
I have problems with this and i am 14.
it is just the way my body was made...my legs WONT straighten ):
like, my coaches will try to push them down but they just don't go all the way straight...so i am pretty sure that the judges deduct, but i hope not.
 
Jun 10, 2008
26
37
Ohio
i have come across this problem, too, with some of our gymnast. i would suggest doing more pike stretches and really gaining flexability in the hamstrings.

i also asked a good friend of mine about it because she is a physical therapist. she agreed with them needing more flexability and also added that the quads might need some more strengthening but assured me that with a little work, they should all be able to get their legs to straighten

hope this helps!
 
Apr 12, 2009
17
32
Perth, Australia
I once trained with a girl that broke her elbow. It is now bent the other way. She got deducted for having a 'bent arm' in some of her competitions especially when doing a handstand because it was such an outrageous bend. It was probably about 15-25 degrees the other way.
 
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