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Gymnastic Vault - Front Handspring

In this lesson you will learn how to do a front handspring over the gymnastic vaulting table. Before you try this, you should learn the gymnastic handstand, all the basic vaulting exercises for straight vaults and the flyspring. Make sure the landing area is protected with sufficient mats and ask your coach to support you. Find more vaulting instructions at gymnastics main.

Execution

  • Run towards the vaulting table and jump from the springboard onto the table. Swing your arms forward up and fully extend your body in the air. Block (that's when you tighten you body and push yourself off the vaulting table) shortly before your body reaches vertical level. Keep your arms totally extended and only push yourself off by shrugging your shoulders up when your hands touch the vaulting table. For more information on the first stage of the front handspring, please visit straight vaulting exercise 04. The block will help turning forward-acceleration into an up-acceleration, so that you catapult yourself up. If you block too early, you will vault too short and the back of your head might hit the vaulting table. If you block too late, you will not gain enough height.
  • The Block
    Shrug your shoulders up and fully extend your body. Your abs should be slightly contracted and you look down to your hands. Push like if you were doing a gymnastic front handspring on the floor or a flyspring. The faster you run, the harder and higher you can block. The first half of the vault should not be too high. Worst mistakes: Bending elbows and knees
  • If your up-run is fast enough and the timing of your block is right, you will gain quite a lot of height. Make sure you don't bend your legs or your arms in the second stage of the front handspring vault. You can hollow your back slightly and over-extend your arms, but don't tuck/pike.
  • Try to land in a stuck landing. A stuck landing is when you land on both legs at the same time and don't make and extra steps -> Hence "STUCK". At the beginning you should protect the landing area with plenty of mats.

Advice

  • Keep your arms and your legs full extended throughout the entire vault. Don't bend your elbows as you block off.
  • A fast runup is very important for a high vault.
  • Exercise 01: Fill the landing area with mats and do exercise 04.
    Bridge down from your handstand or try flysprings with the landing mats at table height. Remove mats gradually.
  • Exercise 02: Do gymnastics flysprings from a reuther-springboard and then put more mats where you plant your hands. This way you get used to blocking off an elevated area.

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