Wind tunnel athletes, or “Flyers” as they are called have been getting large amounts of publicity in the last few years due to the amazing acrobatic maneuvers they are performing in the wind tunnels. These maneuvers are beautiful and graceful compared to traditional gymnastics or trampoline due to the ability to control all aspects of the flips and twists with minor adjustments of the body. Traditional acrobatics is limited to larger ‘clunky’ movements due to their reliance on gravity compared to air flow.
This does not mean that traditional gymnastics does not utilize the same biomechanics principals. Greg Roe, former Team Canada National Trampolinist and co-founder of the Freestyle Trampoline Association (FTA) says that a trampoline and gymnastics base to training flying is a crucial aspect to solid flips and tricks in the tunnel. Lets face it, tunnel time is expensive!
By utilizing a trampoline in your wind tunnel facility or at a local trampoline park Flyers will make their tunnel time more eﬀective. Athletes can fumble around learning body movements on the trampoline for very little cost and then when they get to the tunnel they can focus on adapting the previously learned movements to the tunnel rather than starting from scratch unnecessarily spending money for tunnel time. Aerial awareness is not developed in the mind or brain as some believe.
Neurologists study how mechanoreceptors in the muscles and tendons of the body send signals to the brain which creates a metaphorical 3D ‘map’ of acrobatic awareness based directly on the movements the body has been exposed to previously. By training these movements previously on a trampoline or in a gymnastics gym, Flyers can then enter the tunnel with a pre-constructed ‘map’ of where they are going and simply have to adapt gymnastics movements to the tunnel which is a much easier and shorter process.
Greg and his team have trained Flyers on the trampoline and have provided them a long term program where Flyers train on the trampoline between their tunnel time cumulating 5-10 hours a week of trampoline 3D ‘map’ development.
“In Poland I was able to learn multiple flips and twists within 2 days of tunnel time because of my trampoline background. I recommend it to all Flyers to save money and unlock new skills” ~ Greg Roe
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