I'm Somewhat Baffled That This Is How Gymnasts Are Supposed To Fall Off The Uneven Bars After Seeing Someone At The Olympics Do It

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As someone who has dreamed of doing a single cartwheel since I was in the fourth grade, I'm incredibly impressed with the gymnasts in the Olympics.

A gymnast in a full split high over the balance beam
Amin Mohammad Jamali / Getty Images

They're the best athletes in the world — period, end of story.

  Loic Venance / AFP via Getty Images
Loic Venance / AFP via Getty Images

And the other day, I was looking at some uneven bars pictures and was like "holy shit."

Simone Biles reaching for the uneven bars
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Like...

A gymnast twisting through the air
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The pictures really put it into perspective.

  Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

It's terrifying.

  Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Anyway, I was on Reddit and I found this video from Tokyo of a gymnast falling on the bars into a big ol' belly flop:

Nastia Liukin did the same at the 2012 Olympic trials.

NBC

Reddit user ikefalcon pointed out that this is actually normal:

They do that an infinite number of times in practice, often on purpose when they’re learning a release. That’s one of the safest falls you’ll ever see in gymnastics.

Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller says you should NEVER stick your arms out when falling, hence the belly flop:

You should never try to stop your fall or brace yourself by sticking your arm out. I learned this the hard way when I reached out my hands during a wayward uneven bar dismount, dislocating and breaking my left elbow just 10 weeks prior to the 1992 Olympic Trials. After that I never once tried to break falls with my hands.

So, basically, when in doubt: belly flop.

  Defodi Images / DeFodi Images via Getty Images
Defodi Images / DeFodi Images via Getty Images