Today I thought I’d share some videos of progressions leading up to front handsprings. Good front handsprings require a lot of components – a strong, straight hurdle, a good needle kick, correct head position and good body tension.
There are a lot great things in this first video but I’ll point out two. 1) The focus on head position. Ducking the chin is an easy way to kill a good front handspring. It’s one of those things that’s important to drill from the beginning. 2) The drill starting a 0:42 is a great one. It really helps gymnasts feel when their legs should come together. They can do it fast and on their own once they get the hang of it.
In the last video there was a large focus on the landing position – but I thought I’d post one drill of it on its own. I prefer to start this drill from the knees (same effect, less impact), but it’s really important that gymnasts develop the muscles to keep their arms and head back when everything is pulling them forward.
This is a really nice set-up for gymnasts that don’t have a strong enough needle kick yet. It allows them to still accomplish the front handspring and maintain good shapes but gives them the extra height they need.
Like I said before – a strong needle kick is crucial to a good front handspring. It’s also important for round offs, yurchenkos, side and front aerials. If you’re looking for another way to drill them – stall bars are great. In this video they are using tubing, but start without and see where they are before adding resistance.
This is my favorite drill for developing skills out of front handsprings for several reasons 1) Their hips have to rise 2) You can easily tell if they’re piking/they have to stay straight 3) It keeps them from flipping too early. If they can do this drill well, the front pikes and front layouts come much easier.
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