Back Handsprings are one of the most common exercises that can be done with your kids. They have been used for many years by military personnel and they were even included in some of the first fitness books published. Back handsprings are very useful exercise to improve strength, flexibility, balance and coordination among other things. A back handspring is basically a combination of handstand pushups and handstand sit ups combined into one movement pattern.
The main benefit of doing a back handspring is that it helps build up your core strength and improves your ability to stabilize yourself during high impact movements such as jumping or running. Another reason why it’s beneficial is because it develops balance which will make you better at all other physical activities.
A back handspring is also good for developing your upper body strength since it requires you to hold onto something while performing the movement. If you’re not strong enough to do a regular handstand then you’ll definitely want to work on improving your strength before trying out a back handspring!
A back handspring is essentially a combination of a handstand and a forward roll. After going into the handstand you then bend forward at the waist and kick your legs backward to end the movement on your back.
The first step to learn how to do a back handspring is to simply go into a handstand. You’ll want to be in a building that has high ceilings or find an open field so that if you fall you won’t get hurt.
Anywhere with a hard floor such as wood or tile is good for this as well.
If you’ve never done a handstand before then you may want to practice against a wall to make sure that you can keep your balance. You’ll want to do this several times until you feel very comfortable with the movement.
When you’re ready, face away from the wall and slowly walk back until you can’t anymore. Make sure that the ground is clear for at least a few feet behind you in case you fall.
While keeping your arms straight and your body in a vertical position, bend at the waist and slowly walk your legs back until you are in a handstand. It is very important not to kick your legs up while in the handstand and also not to lean forward and rest on your knees or toes.
Both of these will cause you to fall over and hurt yourself.
Once you’re in the handstand, carefully begin to walk your legs back while keeping your body straight up and down. It is OK to look back at your feet while you are doing this as long as you keep your core tight and your body rigid.
When you have gotten all the way into a pike position (legs straight out behind you) begin to bend your legs and bring them up and over your head. At this point you’ll be twisting at the waist and your shoulders will end up being between your knees and your feet.
As you bring your legs over try to use your hands for balance by gently pushing and pulling against the floor with them. Also, as you are doing this begin to spring with your legs while keeping them bent so that when your feet do come over your head they have a lot of momentum.
As your feet come over your head they should naturally push off the ground in order to land on your feet. At this point you’ll be in a crouching position with your legs bent and your backside pointing upward.
At this point if you’ve done everything correctly then you should just be able to spring forward into a standing position by straightening your legs.
If you’re having a hard time with the twisting part of this movement, try bending your knees more when you are in the piked position and only begin to straighten them while your feet are coming over your head. As you get more comfortable with the handstand you can begin to straighten your legs sooner and it will feel more natural for you.
If you’re finding that you can do the handstand part of it but are struggling with the twisting and springing motion you may find it easier to turn onto your side as your legs come over your head and then just roll onto your back when your feet hit the ground. To get up from this position just roll back into a piked position and then push off with your feet, repeating the handstand movement shown above.
If you really feel unsure of yourself or are struggling with keeping your head up and maintaining balance while doing the handstand you can always hold onto a chair and go up and down in that position before working toward the full movement.
Continue working on the movement until you are very comfortable with it and can do it without having to look at your feet.
If you ever feel like you’re in danger of falling over then just bend your knees more and walk them into the handstand position or else just roll onto your back and use your feet to push yourself back up.
As you get more comfortable with this skill you can try it on different surfaces like carpet or even a couch.
Eventually you’ll be ready to try it without the aid of your hands at all. This will probably take a lot of time and a lot of falling but with patience and dedication you’ll get there.
The next thing to work on will be learning how to turn in a circle. This is tougher than it looks and is probably the most challenging part of this skill but it is also the most fun!
Once again, begin by getting into a handstand. Now, try to move your feet in little circles and use them to turn your whole body in the same direction.
You may need to bend your knees a little bit in order to accomplish this.
As you get more comfortable with this you can begin to extend your legs a little bit and as you get even more comfortable you can extend them further until you are able to do handstand pushups!
That’s it! If you work on this every day you should be doing handstands in no time at all and will be able to impress your friends and family as well as intimidate folks at the local playground.
Good luck and enjoy yourself!
Sources & references used in this article:
Kinematic analysis of the centre of mass in the back handspring: A case study by G Penitente, F Merni, A Sands – Gym Coach, 2011 – researchgate.net
Upper extremity vertical ground reaction forces during the back handspring skill in gymnastics: a comparison of various braced vs. unbraced techniques by S Halliday – 2013 – commons.emich.edu
Posture for Take-Offs and Landings by L Perrott – 2010 – usagym.org
A comparative study between the players the artistic gymnastics and acrobatic in most important of the kinematics to skill back handspring on floor exercise by QM Sayah – Misan Journal for Physical Education Sciences, 2015 – iasj.net
Effects of Video Feedback on Students’ Performance of a Back Handspring by KA Kiefer – 2012 – researchrepository.wvu.edu
Teaching Gymnastics with Home-Made Aids by OR Barkdoll – The Journal of Health and Physical …, 1940 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com
Analýza odrazové fáze salt vzad s různým počtem obratů by P Hedbávný, M Kalichová – 2013 – med.muni.cz