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.
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