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Front Handspring - Gymnastics

Learn the gymnastic front handspring with closed legs. Before you try this, you should practice the gymnastic handstand and the cartwheel. The front handspring stepout (with spread legs) is a bit easier than the front handspring with closed legs. Find more gymnastics instructions at artistic gymnastics main.

Execution

  • Stand upright and extend your arms over-head. Look straight forward like if you were going to do a gymnastic handstand and align your arms, your trunk and your legs vertically. Doing a front handspring from a standing position (static front handspring ) is the most difficult front handspring variation. Running a few steps or making a hop is a lot easier. The front handspring stepout is easier than the front handspring with closed legs. This lesson is only for the front handspring with closed legs.
  • Lift your left leg, (knee and ankle fully extended) and step forward very far. Then plant your hands about 1 body & arm length in front of you and kick your right leg up (knee and ankle fully extended). Right leg, trunk and arms stay aligned and keep your shoulders on your ears. If you want to do the front handspring from a hop, do the same thing, but jump forward from both legs, lift your arms, land on the right leg first and then plant the left leg like shown here. If you wanna do the front handspring with a runup, run a few steps, hop from the right leg, land on the right foot and then put the left foot down. The hands can be planted while the left foot is still on the floor. There is no need to fly forward before your hands touch the floor. The distance form the last step to where your hands are planted should be more than one body length.
  • Close your legs before you reach vertical level and make sure both knees and ankles are fully extended. The later you close your legs, the harder your landing will be (hard landing = bad for the back). You should pass a perfect handstand position with closed legs. Also keep your abs tight and make sure you keep your elbows straight. If you bend your arms at this point, the second phase of the front handspring will become very low and slow, which will lead to a bad landing. Keep looking down to the floor.
  • When you reach vertical level and your legs are closed, push your arms back (see illustration) and hollow your back. But keep your knees extended. If this seems hard at the beginning, you can do also bend your knees a bit. If you don't get your legs straight later, you will never be able to combine your front handsprings with front flips etc. Keep your elbows fully extended.
  • Push yourself off and fly forward onto your feet. Keep your legs straight and make sure your arms stick with your ears. The most common mistake at this point is to opening the arms sideways or letting them hang and rounding the back. It often seem easier with hanging arms, but it's wrong form and much harder to control if you want to combine the front handspring with another gymnastics skill. Land on the balls of your feet and look 45 degrees up. (knees straight) Don't try to combine the front handspring with a flyspring or a front flip if you can't land with your hips in a vertical line with your feet or with the hips in front of the feet (see illustration). If you can't, I recommend you practice flysprings on a trampoline first.

Advice

  • If you can do the gymnastic front handspring from a standing position, you can also do it with hop or runup. The running front handspring is the easiest variation.
  • The front handspring is much easier if you run and / or if you push yourself off a reuther springboard. The front handspring stepout is easier than the front handspring with closed legs.
  • 4 Exercises for beginners.
    • Exercise 1: If you never did a front handspring before, place a soft landing mat in front of you, do a handstand and then drop over and fall on your back.
    • Exercise 2: Then place a reuther springboard in front of your mat. Try the front handspring planting your hands on the springboard.
    • Exercise 3: Learn the handstand hop (to practice how to push yourself off the floor)
    • Exercise 4: Learn the flyspring jumping from a trampoline onto mats.
  • A skill that's technically very similar to the front handspring is the headspring.

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