Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Back Handspring Trainer by Core Athletics

What do you think of Core Athletics Handspring Trainer?

  • Awesome!...I want one.

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • No way...looks dangerous and it teaches the handspring incorrectly.

    Votes: 8 44.4%
  • I'd have to try it first.

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • Maybe for cheer, but not for gymnastics.

    Votes: 3 16.7%

  • Total voters
    18
  • Poll closed .
Status
Not open for further replies.

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Sep 3, 2005
5,543
Wisconsin
Country
USA
I was looking through the "2008 Coach's Resource Guide" from Inside Gymnastics & Inside Cheerleading and saw something that really caught my eye. This has got to be one of the greatest devices I have ever seen. Here is a link to the website were you can watch a video.

coreathletics.com

This makes my back feel better just thinking about it. What does everyone think of this handspring trainer? If anyone has one of these I'd really love to here about it.
 

Attachments

Rec Coach

Member
Jan 27, 2008
77
Canada
Ok, I'm just a beginnger/ intermediate level coach so backhandsprings is just about as far I coach but to me, that looks like the worst invention ever! :O It looks like it teaches horrible technique especially relying on back flexibility instead of shoulders and piked shoulder angle...also making a very short bhs. yikes.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Sep 3, 2005
5,543
Wisconsin
Country
USA
I agree with Rick that the price ($1450) is a bit much, so I built something similar out of some old bungee cord that I had at the gym. I must say, this concept has some potential.

Does it teach correct technique?...depends on the coach you have working with it and the student.

Would I put my hot shot pre-team/level 4 gymnasts in it?....no.

Does it satisfy parents that want to see back handsprings from kids that aren't ready for them?...heck yah!

Does it save your back?...heck yah!

This device has money written all over it. I would love to have 2 or 3 of these for my cheernastics classes. Cheerleaders want to flip, flip, flip...and this device does it for you.

If they cut the price in half, I'd buy one.
 
C

coachamyamerican

Guest
well the price is an issue for sure! I think form has to be taught... after all that is why we are coaching... otherwise a rich parent would buy this and cut out the middle man...

It is not a coach... it is a tool... and I think if used as such I think it is a great idea!!!
 

ToeTheLine

New Member
Mar 26, 2008
12
Aside from being ridiculously expensive (My gym is fairly small and operates on a small budget, but I shudder just thinking about all the other things we could buy with that money that would benefit more people), I think it looks like it teaches bad habits. In addition to the things the other posters said, the picture on the Gymnastics Coaching Blog Review shows a girl essentially doing a backbend, which leads me to believe it doesn't teach gymnasts to jump in their BHS (in my limited coaching experience, one of the things some gymnasts have the hardest time with when their first starting back handsprings is not jumping anywhere near enough). Also, again with the picture, a girl that tall's back handspring should take up more than four or five feet, but she'll be lucky if hers makes it three feet. Maybe on smaller gymnasts this would work, but it's still not going to teach them to stretch their back handsprings out and not undercut. And, gymnasts just learning their back handspring tend to not go in a perfectly straight line, and this contraption doesn't leave a lot of space on either side (I know most of the metal parts are padded, but not all of them are, and at least in the picture, there's very limited matting).

In our gym, we use something like this: back handspring trainers
Aside from being a lot cheaper, it teaches gymnasts to jump and stretch out their back handsprings, and the coach needs to do very little (just make sure the gymnast makes it over; kids get good at it after a couple turns though, and then can do it alone). The only thing it really doesn't teach is how to finish upright, instead of closer to a push-up or piked position.

Of course, I'm a little biased, because a back handspring is one of my favorite things to coach (even though hundreds of repititions does take its toll on my back and shoulders), and the idea of a machine-thing to help me just doesn't sound good.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Sep 3, 2005
5,543
Wisconsin
Country
USA
I'd still like to hear from someone that has actually used this device (or something like it). After all...the earth was once believed to be flat.

Funny...I've been to lots of gyms around the country. On a regular basis, I've seen worse technique and form being taught by coaches. I watched the video again, looks like a new one. The new video demonstrates great beginning back handspring technique.
 
Last edited:

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Jul 5, 2007
5,115
I mean, for real we needed an "invention" for this? Because my gym (well old one) has been throwing a sting mat over the old vaulting horse for years to teach cheerleaders BHSs. It's not that effective in terms of the whole skill, but it's little helpful in preparing for the weight transfer and the idea of going backwards, without the ridiculously slow motion of those "pac-men" which only seem to get use for various other random tasks (v-ups on top of them from an arch. Or, stand on them to reach stuff). I'm fairly convinced that *I* can't do a BHS on it. It's really hard to get it to tip over...takes me like three tries. Maybe I just have issues.

Once someone is actually ready for BHS, now that we have tumble track, resis, etc, this set-up isn't that helpful for us. To be honest, the most useful thing about it is that at most small to mid size gyms with developing cheer programs, you typically have a range of tumbling skill from former L5ish to beginner in one class, and this set up gives you somewhere to send the beginners while you work with more advanced tumblers, so they don't have to stand around watching and keep doing another row of straight jumps on track. But I wouldn't pay $1500 for it. Springboard in front of the old vault, sting mat over (we have one set up by the track with mats behind for rec classes). Arm swing with backward jump to sit on the vault. Then arms up and flip over to hands off. Voila. Something for people who aren't ready to do a BHS that feels like they are learning it.
 
B

BlairBob

Guest
I prefer just an octagon barrel about the height of said tumbler or gymnast at the shoulder. If they cannot generate enough power to move over that barrel ( eventually barely brushing the barrel ), they aren't worth a spot really. I'd prefer to not wear and tear myself repetitively.

Honestly, I have a pit, I will put a cheese mat in there and have stand on it and do the back handspring first with their hands and feet landing in the pit, then stand higher on it and land their hands on the bottom of the mat; and then stand on the edge of the pit and jump onto the wedge mat in the pit, feet generally still landing in the pit. Then I'm ready to spot them down a wedge ( I prefer to have them stand on a block since they get a better jump ) or on tumbl-trak.

Personally, I think the Pac-mans are overrated, because if they aren't exactly the right size for the gymnast, it doesn't allow for their shoulders to be supported and they end up with a shallow shoulder angle on their head.

I teach a lot of the starting back handsprings to pushup/prone because I want those toes high and long.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Sep 3, 2005
5,543
Wisconsin
Country
USA
Personally, I think the Pac-mans are overrated, because if they aren't exactly the right size for the gymnast, it doesn't allow for their shoulders to be supported and they end up with a shallow shoulder angle on their head.
I haven't heard too many people talk about that issue...I completely agree with you.
 

jra64

New Member
Jun 24, 2008
44
Way too much money just to teach BHS's. But, it could take the fear away for some gymnasts.
 
G

gym-monkey

Guest
I agree with Rick that the price ($1450) is a bit much, so I built something similar out of some old bungee cord that I had at the gym. I must say, this concept has some potential.

Does it teach correct technique?...depends on the coach you have working with it and the student.

Would I put my hot shot pre-team/level 4 gymnasts in it?....no.

Does it satisfy parents that want to see back handsprings from kids that aren't ready for them?...heck yah!

Does it save your back?...heck yah!

This device has money written all over it. I would love to have 2 or 3 of these for my cheernastics classes. Cheerleaders want to flip, flip, flip...and this device does it for you.

If they cut the price in half, I'd buy one.
cud u tell me how u made it please ??
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Yuck! I watched a video online of it and based on that I would not take one if it was free. It would not destroy the technique of someone with a lovely backhandsrping, but those aren't the students that require a training device to begin with. For a student learning a backhandspring, I'm afraid it would teach them to arch, toss their hips up, undercut, have no rebound due to incorrect position and land in a pike. If it was merely about appeasing a kids desire to do a backhandspring, it's much cheaper to just do it on a tumbletrack with a heavy spot!
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I agree that letting gymnasts run wild with it, unsupervised, and untrained, would certainly lead to bad habits. However, I do think it would make a good progression system - especially for heavier gymnasts and older learning athletes. I actually see some positive aspects of it -

It does give support through the whole back, not just off to the side - psychologically, this could help a gymnast move through and learn. On top of that, it can get new athletes feel more comfortable with moving backwards on their own time - especially for rec programs, or programs with a large number of gymnasts that need quick progressions (ie, highschool programs).

Granted, the concerns of many here that it teaches poor technique are valid. However, if given direction, and maybe some hand and feet placement guides for visualization, this could be a good way to develop a strong handspring, especially because it gives support while "sitting" backwards, to alleviate some of the fear associated.

I do agree, though, that it is a bit pricey. But if a program shares the cost with other programs it may not be so bad (such as cheer/gymnastics and if applicable, dance). For a single gym, though, it might be a stretch to find the need for this, as by the time it would be useful, most people in the gym would be able to do flip-flops anyway.

just my 2 cents.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads