Tumbling Tips Thursdays!

Standing Back Handspring

It is Thursday! That means it is time for another tumbling tip. This week we will be focusing on the standing back handspring. Standing back handsprings are a tumbling skill that takes time to learn, and even more time to perfect.

The standing back handspring is a skill that opens up many tumbling doors, and allows athletes the ability to learn how to connect skills. Every athlete starts with connecting standing back handsprings, or round off back handsprings before they move onto tucks or layouts.

Here are a couple of tips when learning or perfecting your standing back handspring.

1. Start with your knees bent, arms by your side, chest and head forward. As you initiate the skill, think of sitting backwards into a chair, with your hips leading. Keep your chest up while sitting.

2. Once you start to feel a falling sensation, jump. Make sure it is an aggressive jump to drive your hips up over your shoulders. As you jump, swing your arms to your ears, pushing through your shoulders, and keeping your whole body tight.

3. After you jump, reach with your arms by your ears for the ground, keeping your head in between your arms. While reaching, arch through your chest so you create a bridge with your back, from your shoulders to your hips.

4. Once your hands touch the floor, continue to keep your core tight, pulling your toes over your hips. At this point in the back hand spring, you should be in a handstand. Remember, to keep your core engaged the entire time and your toes pointed.

5. Once in the handstand position, snap your toes from the top of the handstand, and block through your shoulders. Just like your hand stand snap downs, as your toes snap and hit the ground, you should block through your shoulders, causing your chest to come up. You will land in a standing hollow body position with your arms by your ears.

Remember, the more you jump and engage your core the easier the skill will be. If the jump is not very aggressive, most likely your arms will feel heavy in the skill, leading to bent arms, and a head spring (wink, wink) rather than a hand spring.

If you relax your core at the top of the back handspring, you allow our hips to fall through, putting our body in a “C” shape, rather than a hollow body. This causes your hips to fall towards the floor faster than your toes, making it very difficult to snap your toes under. If you don’t snap your toes back under your hips, it is very hard to block through your shoulders and land in the standing hallow body position. So keep tight and squeeze your core through the entire back handspring.

Hope these tips help! Come back next week to see what skill we choose to focus on then!