Newton's 3 Laws of Motion in Gymnastics By: Danielle Fisher

Newton's first law of motion: An object stays at rest and will remain at rest until another force is acted upon it.

In gymnastics, the bars are a great example of Newton's first law. As the gymnast begins her bar routine, she swings to get up on the bar, exerting her own force to get up. The gymnast is at rest until her force acts upon her. Another way this law is in gymnastics is on the beam. As the gymnast moves across the beam and does her skills, she is exerting her own force causing her to move, as she was in a resting state before.

Newton's 2nd law: The acceleration of an object varies directly as the external unbalanced force applied to it and inversely as its mass.

This law occurs in gymnastics because the gymnasts mass varies depending on how short or tall you are. The less mass a gymnast has, the faster she will run and do a tumbling pass and the faster the acceleration will be. With a gymnast that has more mass, the slower they will accelerate and the slower they will run. Another way to look at it is, when a shorter gymnast may not be able to put as much force in her running than the heavier gymnast. The lighter the gymnast, the the lighter the mass is and the lighter the force is. The heavier the gymnast is, the heavier the mass and force is.

Newton's 3rd law of motion: For every action force on an object there is equal reaction force applied in the opposite direction.

In gymnastics the beam is a great example of the third law. On the beam, you perform many jumps and flips that apply a great amount of force to the beam. While you are jumping on the beam and applying force, the beam is reacting in the same way, applying the same amount of force. If the beam did not apply that force it would break in half. Another, example is when the gymnast is tumbling. When they are flipping up and down and doing their tumbling pass, they are putting force on the floor. The floor is reacting by putting the same force that the gymnast applied so he or she does not fall through the floor.


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