Drills for back handspring step-outs

Hi All,

I wanted to share a couple drills that I like for back handspring step outs today. Because this is such a common skill in beam series I think it’s really important for you to have a clear set out drills that work well for you. It’s worth taking the time to sit down and write a list of every drill you have for this skill and then pick the 5-10 that are your favorite and work best for you. Stick to those so that you’re girls get used to them, and I promise the teaching process will be easier. It’s better to use a cohesive set of drills then to try and throw all of the drills at your kids at once.

Drills for back handspring step outs

This first one I like because the board gives them just a little extra height. I usually go onto a 4″ mat instead of an 8″ just because then they can really feel that extra height, and I also like it because of the slant. The slant helps them really push through their whole foot and I like them developing that muscle memory. I normally start this drill with them just standing, not adding a connection into it.

This next drill I really like for helping gymnasts get over fear. Like the back walkover drill I posted recently, this gives the kids confidence that they can actually get their hands where they need to go. It also relieves you from spotting and helps them feel that they can get that part of the skill done on their own.

This first drill is great for a number of things. 1) Making sure their shoulders are open. You can stop them in split handstand (just like you would in a normal back handspring) – and make sure that everything is tight and squeezed and where it should be. 2) It helps with the early split. A lot of gymnasts have trouble with the early split concept and if they know they have to be in full split by handstand it clicks better in their brains. 3) I like the landing on the stomach part of this drill, just because it makes sure that everything stays tight and pushing (and don’t collapsing) toward the end of the back handspring.

Keys to back handspring step outs:

1. Make sure the jump is there. I think about 80% of form/technical errors that happen in back handspring step outs come from gymnasts not having the power to jump through their legs. Instead they bend them (to shorten their body) – or they straddle (to shorten their body) or they bend their arms (because they didn’t have enough time to turn over the back handspring). Make sure you’re doing the leg conditioning.

2. Downhill/spotted is better at first – it’s better to spot for shapes and timing then to have to go back and fix this skill. GIve Them an aid (like a springboard in the drill above) so they can focus on technique.

3. If it isn’t good on the floor – WAIT to put it on the beam. Don’t rush it. If it doesn’t look right on the floor and they put it on the beam it’s going to take years to undo.

4. If it IS good on the floor – and they change it to something that ISN’T good on the beam – figure out where the fear is. Don’t just let them “work it out.” Figure out if it’s hand position or not enough reps on the line etc. The goal is that by the time they put it on the beam they are so confident – they don’t change anything.

Train hard!

1 Comment

  1. Sadie says:

    Can you plz post a vid of how to do a full twist (drills too plz)

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