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Backward roll to handstand issues


Oct 23, 2019
Hi I was wondering if anyone: gymnast or coach has ever had trouble learning or teaching backward roll to handstand correctly.
If there are issues,what are normally the most common problems that make this skill feel impossible to do correctly?
Is it more a skill that is about physical preparation or is it more about skill/timing or coordination.
How is the backward roll to handstand usually taught? Is it taught specifically or is it naturally learnt thought other drills/ skills that are done in a gymnastics program?

From observation there appear to be 2 kinds of techniques in the drop towards bottom phase.

1. lift arms up and sort of reach arms forward while going into the roll.
2. put your hands down next to your legs and then quickly lift them up over your head.

which technique do you find more effective?

What sort of strength exercises help with the backward roll to handstand? can flexibility, specifically shoulder flexibility (Passive or Active) be a limiting factor due to the arms not being able to reach the floor and push fast enough?

I am having a really hard time with this skill. My technique does not seem effective but it could also be a physical preparation issue. It seems to be an incredibly challenging and complicated skill. A lot of people make it look easy though.

Any ideas/advice would be much appreciated.


Aug 24, 2017
Hey, my experience with backward rolls to handstands is that you need a solid backwards roll with straight arms first. Once you have that, try to backwards roll with straight arms up to different heights, and add a height to progress until you are at handstand. (eg. bwd roll and finish with legs on a block/on a wedge against wall). Also rolling down a wedge to handstand also makes it easier to open shoulders quicker to handstand and helps work out the timing. Sometimes a coach can also spot (if the gymnast is strong and can hold a shape) to show them how to open their shoulders up in the roll. Also the gymnast must have good core strength.
If you search for shoulder opening drills, or clear hip drills (same kind of motion) you can also ind some good techniques. Good luck, hope this helps!
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