· Back Hand Spring
Position should be a straight upright body
- The skill begins
with a backward sit.
Your head should remain forward and the back should
As you begin the sit,
swing your arms backward to gain momentum.
Throwing your arms too
far behind you will cause you to drop your chest.
- Explode with
your legs, keeping them straight and together (this is accomplished by tightening the butt and squeezing at your
ankles and inner thighs) and simultaneously driving your arms through
the starting position to a parallel placement beside your head.
- Your arms should
be kept straight throughout the swing-through and your head should remain
between your arms.
- Throwing your
head back can cause you to “undercut” your handspring—or not travel far
enough away from your starting position.
- As your hands
reach toward the ground, extend through your shoulders, keeping your arms
in a locked position.
- Once you are
more comfortable with the skill, you can bend your arms slightly at this
phase to push off the floor with increased power. Your eyes should begin
to look for the floor, but your
head should remain between your arms.
- Once your hands
make contact with the ground, your
stomach muscles are used to force your legs to the ground.
Tumblers often rely on the momentum generated at the beginning of the
skill to get their legs over or simply let their legs fall to the ground
to finish the skill. Not using your stomach increases the chances of bent
legs on your landing and decreases the possibility of a strong transition
into your next skill.
- As your legs
force downward, your upper body is in turn lifted, taking the weight
off of your hands and..
- …returning you
to the starting position.
Strong stomach muscles are the major key to great tumbling. They help
you snap your handspring down faster and will be a big help when learning
more difficult skills.
have to do some conditioning first before you can move on. Start doing
handstands against a wall in your home. Do as many as you can each day
(tons of them!), staying up as long as you can. This strengthens your
wrists, upper body and abdominals. Try shrugging your shoulders while you
are in your handstand when you get stronger. You can't tumble without
those muscles developed.
lower body by jumping - on a trampoline, up and down the bleachers – gym
jumps. Any kind of
jumping to develop leg muscles. In a month you'll have the
strength where you need it.
strengthen and limber your wrist, rest your forearm on a table with your hand
over the edge. Keep fingers relaxed and bend your wrist up and down.
strengthen the small muscles of the hand, slide your arm back until your
fingers hang over with your knuckles at the table edge. Keeping your fingers
straight and together and your palm flat, move your fingers up and down.
Door Opener: This exercise stretches the muscles and
ligaments that rotate the forearm, letting you turn doorknobs, use a
screwdriver, of put your hand in your back pocket.
your forearm resting on a table, palm down.
little finger on the table, turn your hand so the palm faces up.
If you use
your other hand to help, grip your forearm, not the wrist or hand.
- Kick up to a handstand against and
facing a wall. With your body tight and no arch in your back, push up and
down with your shoulders. You should push your shoulders up towards your
ears as far and possible, then let your shoulders drop. These should be done
slowly and your head should remain neutral.
abdominal muscles are essential in most skills, and if they're not directly
involved, abdominal strength is usually very helpful.
- Begin by lying on the floor on your
back, with your arms above your head and legs straight out. Then pull your
arms down by your side and lift your legs an inch or two above the ground.
Your back should be the only part of your body touching the floor, and
your lower back should be rounded and in contact with the floor. Do not
let your lower back arch and come up off the floor; this would place
harmful stress on your back.
this position for a set amount of time (between 15 and 30 seconds). Rest and
repeat for the same number of seconds as before.
- Begin in a body tightener position, but
with your arms above your head. Then using your stomach muscles, bend at
the hips and bring your chest and legs up simultaneously into a
V-position. Drop your arms in front of you. Then drop back into a body
tightener, but do not let your arms or legs touch the ground. Repeat.
- Begin in a body tightener position with
your arms above your head. Use your stomach muscles to lift your chest and
pull your knees to your chest simultaneously. Drop back into a body tightener,
without touching your arms or legs to the ground. Repeat.
- With your body in a hollow-body
position, with your arms squeezing by your ears, rock back and forth on
your back, only letting your arms and legs coming about six inches from
the ground. Throughout these repetitions, your body should remain hollow
rises (or "butt-ups")
- Begin by lying on your back, your arms
out to the side on the floor, and your legs elevated about 90 degrees from
the ground. Using as few other muscles besides your lower abdominal
muscles, lift your hips up off the floor only a few inches. Then roll your
hips back on the floor and repeat.
- This exercise can be done in both pike
and straddle position. Place your hands on the floor next to your knees,
and then scoot them forward three inches. Leaving your hands in this
position, lift your legs off the ground about three inches. Drop your
legs, but do not let them touch the ground, and repeat.