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Standing Backhandsprings

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kyliesmith1

Member
Jan 2, 2009
155
Myrtle Beach, SC
I know this might sound silly but I can do roundoff backhandsprings easily but my standing bhs stinks. This has been a problem for me forever. I mean even when I was a kid. I can do them but I really want to do one on the beam and it just seems impossible. I can do it a little better out of a backwalkover so I try to do a backwalkover backhandspring but I still struggle. For some reason I seem to land hard on my hands and collapse if my hands are too close like they are on the beam. I just can't seem to figure out how to do it any better. My coaches tell me to sitback more, keep my chest up, swing my arms harder, etc but it just doesn't seem to help. Please, if anyone has struggled with these in the past and knows how to correct this please let me know
 

GikiGirl

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Gymnast
Feb 21, 2009
372
Region 6
Country
USA
I struggle w/ them also, and a tip that has helped me is to start a little bit up on my toes, allow myself to rock down to the heels and lean back like I am fallin Ig in a chair before jumping, and tighten the abs after jumping to link the legs to upper body.

If you set up a panel mat, even if you open it so its only half as tall, and work bhs onto there it will force you to jump harder and better which helps transfer to beam. You are probably collapsing because your jump isn't strong enough.

It would probably help to do close hands push-ups though just in case there is an arm strength issue also.

Some girls who struggle w/ standing bhs on beam do an easy jump like a tuck jump into it, to give it extra momentum. You might play around w/ that.
 

LittleLady

Member
Feb 3, 2009
215
Vermont
Kylie,
Listen to GikiGirl! She is absolutely right! I had nightmares trying to get my standing back handspring on beam. Everything GikiGirl said, applies. Wall sits also help with leg muscle strength. Sit in a "sitting in a chair" position with your back against a wall for as long as you can. Your legs may shake! Do this 2 times, every other day and watch your leg strength skyrocket! Go For It!
 

kgymn

Member
Gymnast
Aug 3, 2008
324
Virginia
I can't help with the standing backhandspring but I can say that for me they are most definitely harder than out of a roundoff! I have never done more than one standing back handspring in my life... but I have been able to do roundoff backhandsprings off and on for ages. I don't have any power in my jump... but I have a LOT of power in my roundoff. So that reallllly makes up for it! I bet it's pretty common to be able to do a ROBH but not have a good standing BH.

~Katy
 

GikiGirl

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Proud Parent
Gymnast
Feb 21, 2009
372
Region 6
Country
USA
Another tip is to work standing back tucks, even if its off a block, and when you go for the back handspring, jump just as hard!

In addition to LL's conditioning, try roll back, stand up jump as high as you can, do 3 sets of 20, and try 2 sets of 5 standing up on one leg.
 

marie83

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Mar 23, 2009
1,145
West Midlands, England
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United Kingdom
Hi,

I think the main problem with the standing bhs is that most people are a little apprehensive about the 'lean' part. I have listed all the progressions I do with my gymnasts and which I did when learning the bhs myself below. Hope some of them help you, even if you don't need all of them!

Pre-Requisites
Good bridge
Good back limber (ideal)
Good Courbette action from hands to feet.

Drills

Stand with your back to a safety mat with arms by ears, both legs together with back slightly rounded.

1. Stretch backwards with a slight arch, and fall onto your back onto the mat. This stage does not require a jump or any arm movement.

Repeat until happy and then move on:

2. Keep arms still, but this time jump backwards onto mat with a slight arch in the flight phase. Make it a challenge to see how far you can jump backwards

Again, repeat until you are happy.

3. Add in the arm swing. At this stage, you need to master the 'bend and lean'. I get my gymnasts to practice against a crash mat against a wall. From standing in the 'ready position' fall into the sitting position described in a previous post, whilst at the same time, bringing the arms down to the side. NOTE your knees should never be in front of your toes, so always check to make sure you can see your toes!

When you can do this, move back to the mat and repeat the 'bend and lean'. When you feel like you are about to fall over, swing the arms back to your ears and 'launch' yourself backwards with a slight arch and land on your back on the mat.

Repeat until happy

You are now ready to try the bhs

Once you reach this stage, you may need support if you are just starting out, or go for it if you are confident.

I like to start my gymnasts off on a slope. The slope facilitates the 'lean' so there is less to think about!

The beginning should be exactly the same as the previous practice, but this time you want to land on your hands, not back. It is important to really 'push' your feet into the floor and when you launch yourself backwards, squeeze your quadriceps in order to straighten your legs. Reach backwards and make sure your hands are both facing forwards when you land on them. At this stage you should be in a really tight arch, head in neutral, looking at your hands. Shoulder angle should be well open.

It might also help if you draw a chalk line behind you as a target for your hands to reach to.
The fist part of the bhs should be long and the action from hands to feet should be short.

Problems at this stage include - forgetting to lean, dropping chest forwards instead of leaning backwards, letting knees bend infront of toes, throwing head backwards, turning hands inwards. Most of these problems can be fixed by going back a stage, or the coach stopping you in each position and correcting each fault every time.

Once you can do the bhs from the top of the slope, move down until you are ready to do it on the floor.

If you find that you are letting your chest drop forwards at the beginning, place a soft block infront of you as close as you dare. You are not allowed to touch the block with any part of your body during the bhs. You should be able to put it about an inch in front of you without touching it.

I'm sure I've missed something, but I tried to get the most important points in there!
The stronger you are the easier it will be!

Good Luck,
Marie
 
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