Quick Tip: Fixing Piking in Front Handspring Vaults

Hi All,

So today I’m going to share a tip for something I know almost every coach struggles with at one point or another which is fixing “piked” front handspring vaults. There are a lot of ways to combat this including front layouts, heel drive drills etc. Over the years I have used all of these, but the drill I’m doing to show you is the best way I’ve found thus far of teaching young gymnasts how to turn over with a straight body.

quick tip front handspring vaults s .jpg
I have the gymnasts start with their arms at their sides, like I would want them to hit the board. As they fall forward I have them lift their arms up. But for some reason the day we were doing pictures I had them do it with their arms by there ears (there is really no reason you can’t do it both ways), it may have been because it was their first time trying this drill. The barrel, depending on size and placement, will hit different gymnasts in different places, so you may have to play around to see where the barrel works best for your gymnasts. If it hits too far down their legs they won’t make it to handstand. Note, bigger gymnast, bigger barrel. I think the barrel size worked well for the smaller gymnast here, but I would have preferred a slightly bigger one for the taller gymnast. Work with what you have. If you don’t have a bigger barrel, put the one you have on a small panel mat.

The thing I love is that when gymnasts are starting front handsprings so many of them tuck, or pike on the way up but if you’ve been doing this drill for a while your gymnasts already know what a straight body feels like and then also know how to identify when something feels “wrong.”

front handspring drill 2.jpg

handspring drill .jpg



  1. Jade Carver says:

    Great tip, just what we are teaching at the moment, shame we don’t have a barrel or anything similar though 🙁

  2. Toni says:

    Funny – I thought I made this drill up hahaha Damn, I’m not as clever as I thought!

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