Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Physical Education


Gymnastic rules specify that a routine on the still rings should contain one strength move of at least medium difficulty. The iron cross and any of its variations fulfills this requirement. The investigator believes the iron cross is a "required elective" in any still ring routine whether the competition be regional, national, or international. A study of eighteen state high school gymnastic meets, 1969, 1970, 1971, reveals that all the state champion ring men performed the iron cross. Also, the top six ring men of the NCAA 1970 Championship performed this move. The cross is seemingly an integral move in any competitive. The iron cross is a very difficult maneuver requiring strength. Wilshin determined the total force necessary to hold an iron cross averaged 14.73 pounds greater than the performer's body weight. For years gymnasts and their coaches have been searching for the best method to develop the strength required to hold the iron cross. To develop the necessary strength, isotonic training exercises have been used considerably and are still being used at the present time. In addition to weight training, the actual performing of the iron cross with additional aids has also been used. Coaches using this method have utilized inner tubes attached to the rings for support of the body weight or have had someone hold the performer's feet while he lowers himself into the cross position from support. The purpose of this study was to determine the most effective of two selected training programs for developing the strength necessary to perform an iron cross on the still rings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Weight lifting
Muscle strength



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University