Gymnastic Handstand to Bridge

Gymnastic Handstand to Bridge

In this lesson you will learn how to go from a gymnastic handstand into a bridge. This exercise is a good preparation for the front walkover and the front handspring. Before you try this, you should know how to do a proper handstand and practice/stretch your bridge. Because this skill requires a lot of shoulder and back flexibility, you should always warm up and stretch before you try this. Find more gymnastics exercises at artistic gymnastics main.


  • Do a handstand like shown in the gymnastic handstand instruction.
  • Let your legs fall over and push your shoulders back -> see arrows. This little shoulder movement is very important for a soft landing. Keep your elbows fully extended and don't bend your knees too early. Actually try to keep your knees extended until your legs reach horizontal level and don't flex your ankles. Look down to your hands.
  • The balls of your feet touch the floor first. If your back and shoulders are very flexible back, you might be able to put your legs down with the knees fully extended. Otherwise bend your knees shortly before your feet touch the ground. Try to plant your feet as soft as possible. Keep pushing your shoulders away and don't bend your elbows. This requires quite a lot of back & shoulder flexibility. When your feet touch the floor, you can move your shoulders back again, which would be the perfect impulse to stand up on your legs.
  • Finally put your heels down and stretch your bridge for a few seconds. Keep your elbows straight and also try to extend your knees. If you followed the previous steps successfully, you can try to stand up on your legs.


  • Try this on mats first.
    • For you first tries: Do the handstand on the floor and let your feet fall onto a
      thick landing mat. Ask your gymnastics coach to help you with this.
    • If you want to stand up on your legs: Do your handstand on 2 or 3 judo mats
      and let your feet fall onto the floor.
  • Don't do this exercise if you have shoulder, back or elbow problems.