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Gymnastic Front Handspring Stepout
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Front Handspring Stepout - Gymnastics

The front handspring stepout is a basic gymnastics skill often used to initiate a row of front handsprings, flysprings or front flip variations. The front handspring stepout is easier than the front handspring with closed legs. Because your legs are spread, you will land faster, but because you land on one leg, the pressure on your knees and your hips is higher. Also try the gymnastic front walkover, which is like a slow motion version of the front handspring stepout and requires more flexibility. As soon as you can do the front handspring stepout, you can start praticing handspring combinations.

Execution

  • Stand upright and extend your arms over head or run forward a few steps, hop from the right foot and lift your arms. The distance between feet and hands should be as large as possible. Keep your abdominals tight and your legs, your trunk and your arms in a perfect straight line. Your ears should stick to your shoulders throughout the entire movement. The gymnastic front handspring is easier when you run or jump forward. However, if you can do the front handspring stepout without run-up, (static front handspring stepout), the running front handspring will be easier.
  • Lift your left leg without moving any other body part. Knee and ankle fully extended.
  • Lean forward and keep your trunk, your arms, your head and your right leg aligned. Make a big step with your left leg like if you were going to do a handstand.
  • Plant your hands approximately 1 body + 1 arm length from your legs and keep your elbows extended. Kick your right leg up, but still keep right leg, trunk and arms pretty much in line. Don't relax your abdominals too much and don't bend your knees. Especially beginners tend to bend their knees, because they think it makes it easier to kick the feet over. In fact this usually makes handsprings shorter and harder to control.
  • Hollow you back a little, but not too much, push your hands back, shrug your shoulders up and also push with your hands. Keep your elbows fully extended and look down to the floor as long as possible.
  • Keep your shoulders and your ears together and push your hips forward-up. Don't let your arms hang, don't lift your arms sideways and don't round your back. Then land on your right leg and look 45° up. The right knee should be pretty straight and the left leg should be high.
  • If you wanna do another front handspring, it's very important that you push your hips forward and make a far step with the left leg. Keep you arms and your trunk in line and don't pause.

Advice

  • Try the front handspring with closed legs first, then learn the stepout and later work on your front handspring with closed legs. At the very beginning just do a handstand and let yourself fall. If you would try the front handspring stepout right away, you might injure you right knee, because at the beginning you will land very low and hard.
  • To make the arm push easier you can use a reuther-springboard. Plant your hands on the springboard and land on mats or foam.
  • It also helps if you learn the flyspring with a trampoline first.
  • The running front handspring is easier than the static front handspring. Static FHS = Front Handspring without walking or running steps.
  • The front handspring stepout is easier than the front handspring with closed legs
  • How to learn front handspring combinations: Do a front roll after the first front handspring. Then try a handstand after the first handspring. Etc, etc, etc, until you can do 2 front handsprings in a row.

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