Gymnastic Handstand to Front Roll with Extended Legs

Gymnastic Handstand to Front Roll with Extended Legs

In this lesson you will learn how to go from a gymnastic handstand into a front roll with extended/stiff legs, and stand up without bending the knees. Before you try this, you should learn the front-roll and the gymnastic handstand. The back roll to handstand is pretty much the same thing the other way around. Find more gymnastics instructions at artistic gymnastics main.


  • Do a handstand like shown in the handstand lesson.
    Summary: Keep all your limbs fully extended and align yourself vertically. The point where your hands touch the floor should be more than one body length away from where you started. For more info please visit the handstand tutorial.
  • Let yourself tip over slowly and keep your elbows and your knees straight. Don't bend your elbows as you roll forward. Your entire body should actually stay straight until you reach 45°. Don't bend your legs towards your head yet.
  • When you reach 45°, bend your hips and your shoulders a bit (pike). Bend your head down so that your chin comes closer to your chest and the back of your head is protected. Your elbows and your knees have to remain straight. Your legs remain aligned vertically as you start rolling forward. Contract your abdominals slightly and round your back a little. Your upper back should touch the floor first (try this on mats first).
  • Roll from your upper back onto your lower back without relaxing your abdominals. The angle between trunk and legs becomes smaller as you roll forward. Put your hands on the floor next to your calves and look straight forward. Your knees and your elbows remain straight.
  • Use the momentum to stand up on your extended legs and lift the arms forward up. The arm movement shifts your center of gravity further forward and therefore makes it easier to stand up. Lean forward and look straight forward.
  • Stand up and raise your arms like if you were preparing to go into a handstand. (see gymnastic handstand lesson)


  • Try this on mats first.
  • When you roll from your upper back onto your lower back, keep your feet as close as possible to your head. Stretch your hamstrings if this is difficult.
  • The handstand to front roll with extended legs and the back roll to handstand will straighten and speed up your gymnastic handsprings.