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Somersault animation
Somersault animation

A somersault (also flip, heli, and in gymnastics salto) is an acrobatic exercise in which a person's body rotates 360° around a horizontal axis with the feet passing over the head.[1] A somersault can be performed forwards, backwards or sideways and can be executed in the air or on the ground. When performed on the ground, it is typically called a roll. Somersault originates from an obsolete French word sombresault, from Occitan sobresaut, and ultimately Latin supra, "over", and saltus, "jump".

Types

Front somersault in the pike position
Front somersault in the pike position
Back somersault on one foot
Back somersault on one foot

There are many variations of front and back somersaults. Somersaults can be performed in multiples, or multiples of quarter body revolutions, in some cases with additional twist rotations or ending in body landings, producing variations such as:

Terminology

A pitch tuck somersault performed by acro dance partners
A pitch tuck somersault performed by acro dance partners

The names and nomenclature used for somersaults varies among different sports and activities, as well as regionally. In competitive gymnastics and trampolining, standardized names have been assigned to all common variations, which may be performed in tucked, piked, or straight body orientations. Within British gymnastic associations, a crash dive is referred to as a ¾ front somersault (straight). Similarly, a Barani Ballout is referred to as a Ballout Barani to indicate that the forward somersault is executed before the twist.

The word flip is synonymous with an airborne somersault in a number of countries.[citation needed] In contrast, in Britain and some other countries, a flip must rely on the arms to induce body revolution, and the body need not be completely airborne (hands may contact the floor).[citation needed]

The word somerset was also used in Victorian England to describe what today is called a somersault. For example, an 1843 poster advertising Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal boasts, "Mr. HENDERSON will undertake the arduous Task of THROWING TWENTY-ONE SOMERSETS, ON THE SOLID GROUND."[2] This inspired a line in Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! by The Beatles.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Gymnastics 101: Glossary of Terms". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  2. ^ "The Most Famous Circus Poster of All. For the benefit of Mr. Kite".