Today I’m going to talk a little about front handsprings. I take a very different approach than many people, and that’s not to say it’s better or worse, just that it’s something that I have found to work for me. I actually start with handstand hops, and I’ve heard a lot of people don’t like these because it encourages gymnasts to bring their legs together too soon. That’s way when I teach them for front handsprings I actually teach them in a split. Once the gymnast can do a nice split handstand pushing tall through their shoulders and back, then we start on split handstand hops.
This first video shows what is my usual first step after that, though I don’t have them start from their knee. At the same time I am always doing side drills like: flysprings, needle kicks, and front leg pushes. I like teaching front handspring step outs first because I find that it actually eliminates a lot of those squatty front handsprings (especially if I spot heavily for a while), and also teaches them that they keep their legs split as long as they can.
This second drill is one that I really like. But I actually like the set-up starting at 0:23 better. I find that a lot of the bent knee, squatty front handsprings come from fear of not turning over enough and anticipation of the floor. With this set up there is enough of a drop that the gymnast can feel confident while still getting the benefits of the exercise with practicing driving the back leg etc.
Find it here!
The full 45 minute lecture of Bars Shaping from Pre-Team Up is now available for download, along with the full powerpoint and all of the videos!