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strength exercises for BHS

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momof5

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My daughter has been headlanding her BHS for months. While her form and techinique have improved the only area that she has made no progress is the head landing. The class she is in does very little conditioning. What can she work on at home to strengthen her arms? Is this probelm usually a strength issue?
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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I'd have to see it for sure to say whether it's a strength issue, but I suspect it's not; a BHS doesn't take much more strength than, say, a handstand. If she can hold a handstand, she probably has all the strength necessary for a BHS.

It could be a lack of shoulder flexibility; often, kids who can't get sufficient extension through the shoulders have to bend their arms to get their hands back more -- and if the arms are already bent when they contact the floor, the result will be (unless the kid has a very powerful roundoff) a headlanding.
 
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hammy

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The force that the body places on the arms during a bhs is six times that of the body weight, so having appropriate strength is important. Try having her do lots of handstands and work on holding them for as long as possible. I also agree with what GT said--he made some excellent points.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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The force that the body places on the arms during a bhs is six times that of the body weight, so having appropriate strength is important. Try having her do lots of handstands and work on holding them for as long as possible. I also agree with what GT said--he made some excellent points.
Six times? Never really occurred to me that it could be that much. I guess that makes sense, though.
 

gymgymgymnast08

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Hm I heard when you land its 16 x your body weight? So maybe that goes for dismounts and tucks and layouts and stuff?
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Well it depends on the nature of the landing (and especially on how high you're landing from)
 

gymmomntc2e6

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Aug 25, 2007
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My daughter has been headlanding her BHS for months. While her form and techinique have improved the only area that she has made no progress is the head landing. The class she is in does very little conditioning. What can she work on at home to strengthen her arms? Is this probelm usually a strength issue?
If it makes you feel any better my dd did back-headsprings for MONTHS. Then one day - she did one, then two and well, hasn't done a headspring again.
 
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hammy

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I'm not sure if it is actually 6 times, I think that's what I read in the safety certification manual. I believe you're right that when you land dismounts and flips and that sort of thing that it is 16x. Landing on your head happens to a lot of gymnasts, and it could take some time to fix completely. Don't give up!
 

MoonKid

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Jun 26, 2007
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I landed on my head in my BHS for almost a year. What stopped me from landing on my head was when my summer coach (different from my usual coach), getting sick of watching me land on my head, started giving me pike-ups everytime my head and/or knees touched the mat (I'm VERY motivated by the threat of pike-ups).

Now, years later, I still don't have a good standing BHS but I don't land on my head. (A couple of times a coach has told me that they were amazed that I didn't let my head touch). I'm prety sure that my problem is mostly leg strength and somewhat shoulder felxibility.

Edit: The reason my BHS is still not very good is that I havn't been doing that much conditioning and I havn't had coaches who were great at diagnosing what was wrong with my BHS and giving me appropriate (sp?) conditioning.

Also, this is somewhat unrelated, but are your dd's legs straight in the BHS? If they're not, then that could be part of the problem (she would not be getting all of the power out of her legs to get her into a landing position that would make it easier to not bend her arms).
 
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mom2ab

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Some arm exercises

At the BHS clinic we attended yesterday they gave us some specific, safe , exercises you and yoru kids can do at home to improve strength.

1. Lay on your back , on a bed, with your head touching the edge, get a 5 or 10 lb weight (depending), hold with both hands, verticaly above head, then lower to slightly below horizontal, behind the head, raise and lower 10-15, build up to 30 or 40 reps a day.

2. Lay on the floor, on back, raise legs and arms slightly off the floor, shoulders off floor as well arms by your side. He was very strict on this part- keep legs tight, heels together, palms facing the floor, arms slighly elevated above hips, hold a minute, release, repeat. This is the correct position for your legs in the BHS in motion.

3. Lay on belly, heels together, legs tight, arms above your head, raise arms and legs into a "superman". Hold 30 secs, release, repeat. He even showed several girls doing this, their legs came apart immeadiately when they raised. This, he said, was clasic lack of stength to do a BHS correctly.

4. Handstands against the wall, hold for 10 secs at first, then build up. Do shoulder touches when succesful at holding a solid position.

He added at the end, if the girls would do these exercises every day for around three weeks, the improvement would be amazing. That he, as a coach, can tell right away girls that condition at home, and those that do not. He also said to not let your kids cheat, if they are doing it wrong, stop them, correct them, start over, if they are serious about improving, they will try again. Sounds a little tough, I know, but I liked his sternness. My DD likes a challenge, so this is right down her alley. Plus, we do the exercices together, its good for both of us!!!
 

gym law mom

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Those are great exercises and will help with overall conditioning. The only one I would hold back on is the 1st. You said your dd is a small 7yo. For her you might want to try 2.5# weight and not do so many reps. Let her build up slowly. Also on that one, I would be "spotting" her to make sure she doesn't have any problems with the weight.
 
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TuesdayPillow

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I'd have to the see BHS to see the specific problem. If she is using her legs and reall pushing backwards, she shouldn't have a problem keeping straight arms. If she is reallybending at the knees when preparing to jump into her BHS and/or really bending at the waist, then she is basically jumping straight up and landing on her hands with much more force (and way less body tightness) than if she were to, let's say, bend her knees slightly and keep them behind her toes when preparing for the jump into the BHS.
If she is really jumping back and landing with her hands well behind where her feet jumped from, them it could be that she's not throwing her arms back hard enough. It could also be that she's just not harped on it enough, that she's not really putting the concentration on the arms because she might still be worried about making the skill (but she's landing on her head as an alternative, so that's probably not it).
 
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BlairBob

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I've never heard 16g's but rather 6g's and maybe a bit more from any of the big dismounts ( floor, bars, rings, vault ).

Basically if her handstand is weak or her shoulder position is poor and broken, she will fall on her head. As well if she lands the handstand position with really wide arms or bent arms.

This will also happen if her snapdown/through is too slow to turn her over in time.
 
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BlairBob

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Getting back to BHS conditioning:

Air squats or squat jumps

Handstand against wall for 30s, ears touching shoulder

Ability to do some sort of bridge kickover, walkover to show they have some ability to pass through the momentary handstand position and not collapse. A 3 second static handstand from kicking up on floor can be good enough.

Lots of leg lifts lying on your back or bar leg lifts. V-ups being a more advanced version before doing bar leg lift, toes to the bar.

Handstand shoulder shrugs or pushups against the wall. Definitely a must for the first and extra credit for the second exercise.

I prefer to have gymnasts be able to do a 15% vertical height jump of their height just as I prefer them do be able to do a 25% of the same for standing back flips.
 
If it makes you feel any better my dd did back-headsprings for MONTHS. Then one day - she did one, then two and well, hasn't done a headspring again.
Yeah I used to have the same problem, when I first started doing round off backhandsprings on the floor I would bounce on my head. That was when I was 9 or 10. I'm now 13 and the only thing I've learnt from the back handspring is round off back handspring back sault. But I want to learn, layouts, twists, double backs is like my biggest goal!! =]
 

CoachTodd

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The force that the body places on the arms during a bhs is six times that of the body weight, so having appropriate strength is important. Try having her do lots of handstands and work on holding them for as long as possible. I also agree with what GT said--he made some excellent points.
This would be assuming you jumped straight up then came straight down. From what can figure it should be between 3 and 5 x the body weight depending on the height of the jump.

Having said that, a back handspring shouldn't be going straight up. It should be parabolic in nature. If you watch the upper level tumblers, the actually put very little weight on their hands due to the angle of the rest of their body as they pass through the skill.

I still agree with all of the posts above. It is difficult to say what may be going wrong without seeing the skill. My guess is that she may be trying to make the skill flip instead of letting the skill flip. this usually leads to a really low entry angle and a face plant. The other extreme is the really high, bent-armed back headspring.

We try to make sure we spot these kids until they have the correct for and angle to keep the skill safe.
 

CoachSteph

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Actually tell the gymnast to do some kind of conditioning if they don't fix something works well. I am a coach now but I used to be a gymnast and I couldn't do a BHS without landing on my head for over a year and then I learned the trick. Make sure she knows that as soon as her hands hit the floor she has to block once she can get the timing right she can work on keeping her arms straight. Doing handstand holds and blocks helps alot with strengthening and getting ready for back handsprings.
 
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BlairBob

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A low entry into the BHS is pretty much a guarantee to go off the head.

Simple way to put it- get really strong in the shoulders.

Form wise, may sure arms don't go wide unless they need to so they can hit with an open shoulder angle and make sure the shoulder is as extended as much as possible and their arms are not bent in the air (duh).
 
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