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Back Handspring Bent Arms - Technique or strength?

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Michael

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Mar 22, 2017
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Hi

DD has been trying to get her BHS working right for about a year now, but still struggles with bent arms on landing. She can do it fine with spotting and on the trampoline or mattress, and she tends to be able to do it better after a roundoff rather than standing, so I'm not sure if it's technique or strength (from what I've read it can be either)

I've uploaded a recent video here


Any tips or suggestions most gratefully received!

Thanks
 

Sasha

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I'm not a coach, but I see a lot of technique issues.

First, her roundoff looks more like a cartwheel-step in. She is not landing with feet together and isn't getting any rebound to launch into the back handsrpring. She is also landing this "cartwheel" on bent legs, so she is not at the right position, nor angle, to launch into BHS. Feet should land in front of hips, to her allow her to quickly rebound up and back. She then throws her head way back behind her arms and jumps from a bent leg position. She does not keep a tight core or legs in the jump, which buckle and flail apart, so she comes down at the wrong angle onto her wrists, which then, unsurprisingly, cause her arms to bend due to the impact at this angle.

So much off in the technique and angles leading up to the "hand" spring part of the movement, which leaves her very little chance of finishing the skill with straight arms and hollow-ing down properly.

I think she needs to go back to shaping and technique drills.
 

Michael

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Thanks Sasha, that's really appreciated. She does have gymnastics lessons but evidently that's not enough. I don't pretend to really understand all the comments here but it seems like I need to learn if we are to progress!

Are you able to point me at the a resource for the shaping and technique drills you refer to?
 

LouLou

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I would not let her do that at home - she could really hurt herself. Her technique on both the round off/cartwheel and back handspring are pretty far off. If there are tumbling specific classes or cheer tumbling classes around, look into those. If not, a few private lessons might help.
 
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Michael

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Thanks for the feedback, have to say I am shocked. She does quite a lot of tumbling in her classes with qualified coaches. I think this video is probably a worse attempt than normal but her coach today said she needed to make sure to keep her arms straight when she lands (this was from a standing start but I thought the issues would be similar)
 

triplethreat+1

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Sep 10, 2016
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Have you watched her at practice, does that seem like her usual attempts?
Have to agree with one of the above, that wasn't a roundoff... Also the bhs was very undercut, she needs to lengthen the first phase (before her hands touch the ground). So technique is an issue. But strength might be too. The thing that helped my dd the most was to work handstands a lot. Free stands, belly to wall, back to wall. It's something that is safe to do at home as well.
 

Tumbellina82

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Stop her. That's an accident waiting to happen.

She doesn't look like someone who has proper coaching or who has worked through appropriate drills and progressions. You are now asking for resources for those which further suggests your daughter does not know them because she hadn't worked through them in class. If the feedback she is being given is that she needs to keep her arms straight that also does not suggest adequate coaching, because the bent arms are an inevitable consequence of the incorrect take-off.

It seems that either the situation is not as you present it (she is "self-taught" and possibly you are actually her, sorry to impugne you if this isn't so but it's what comes to mind from available info) or else her coaches are not competent. Gymnastics coaches in the USA are not required to have any specific formal training so this is a possibility.

Either way to progress and to avoid serious injury she needs better coaching than what she's getting now.
 

profmom

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One of our L4 little guys recently broke his wrist doing a back handspring badly. It happened in the gym with a coach right there -- he had been getting the hang of it but his technique was off that one time and boom, he was in a cast. This is not a skill the individual in the video should be figuring out on her own with some internet advice. Kinda hard to tell just looking at one, but in my kids' gym, she'd likely still be doing standing BHSs with a heavy spot by an experienced coach.
 

tpMom

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I'm not a coach either but I agree with everyone. Based on what I see I think that my DDs coaches would probably still have her drilling round off rebounds and jump backs onto a mat, at the very least.
 

Michael

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Err, like wow. Some pretty scary feedback there. To clarify I am the person behind the camera not on camera, just trying (and maybe failing) to be the supportive parent. She's been doing gymnastics classes (in the UK) for a good few years and has done (and I believe still does) the sort of drills mentioned to the best of my understanding. This was definitely a bad effort which she was well aware of, but I thought that would make it a good one to post, especially with it being caught in slow motion (and I'm usually spotting the standing BHS so not able to video). Perhaps I was mistaken in that, but I don't really have a grasp on the right technique - it all goes so fast and my untrained eye is just about able to see the height of the head off the ground but not much else. I was just trying to get some tips to backup what she's doing in the lessons (the coaches do know she is working on this at home). Wasn't really prepared for some of these responses.
 

profmom

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Err, like wow. Some pretty scary feedback there. To clarify I am the person behind the camera not on camera, just trying (and maybe failing) to be the supportive parent. She's been doing gymnastics classes (in the UK) for a good few years and has done (and I believe still does) the sort of drills mentioned to the best of my understanding. This was definitely a bad effort which she was well aware of, but I thought that would make it a good one to post, especially with it being caught in slow motion (and I'm usually spotting the standing BHS so not able to video). Perhaps I was mistaken in that, but I don't really have a grasp on the right technique - it all goes so fast and my untrained eye is just about able to see the height of the head off the ground but not much else. I was just trying to get some tips to backup what she's doing in the lessons (the coaches do know she is working on this at home). Wasn't really prepared for some of these responses.
I hope you understand we are coming from a place of concern for your daughter. The bolded statement in your quote is really shocking to me. My kids' coaches would NEVER suggest that a child at this phase of development work on BHSs at home and would never encourage an inexperienced parent to spot. I'd suggest in the strongest terms that you hunt for a new gym. Yours is not serving you well.
 

Michael

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Thanks profmom. It's difficult because she likes the club and there aren't any others in the area. Perhaps I need to discuss it with the coaches although I wouldn't really know how to go about doing this. Much to think about
 

Aussie_coach

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Technique is a big issue.

It’s not just a safety issue at this stage but also a developmental issue. She is doing the skill very incorrectly, the more she practices at home, the better she is going to get at doing the skill incorrectly. That is going to make it very hard for her coaches to fix the skill later on, and almost impossible for her to progress to anything more advanced.
 
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