One of the earliest moves a gymnast must master is the back handspring. If you want to be a gymnast or are just looking to feel the freedom of flipping through the air, consider following these steps. With some practice and these steps you can learn to do a back handspring.
- Begin with a soft, safe location. Before you start learning new tumbling moves you need a safe surface. Don't try these on concrete, solid floors, hard or rocky ground. If you have access to tumbling mats then you should practice using the mats until you are proficient with the move.
- Move to the start position. Stand straight with your legs together and your arms extended. Hold your arms up above your head near your ears. Once you start moving you will need to keep going so read these directions several times before you begin to practice.
- Swing your arms forward and bend. As you swing your arms in front of you your chest will move forward. Your legs should move into a sitting or chair position.
- Push off. Swing your arms up again as you lean backwards. Use your knees to push off so you can propel yourself backward.
- Swing your arms above your head and back. Continue swinging your arms and allow them to pull your body backward. Begin to arch your back. Keep pushing with your feet and knees until your feet leave the ground. Your body should be driven up and back.
- Point your toes and reach your hands for the ground. Stretch the arch in your back and allow gravity to pull your arms toward the ground. Focus your gaze so that it looks at the floor to find a landing location on the mat. Reach for the floor with your hands while reaching for the sky with your toes.
- Plant your hands and follow with your legs. Keep pulling your legs over so they rotate over your body. When you hands land they should be straight forward with your fingers spread.
- Snap your legs. As your legs are springing over the rest of your body, snap them toward the floor. This snap helps gravity pull your lower body down at the same time your upper body straightens toward the ceiling.
- Land on your feet. As you hit the ground with your feet let your knees bend slightly to absorb the shock of the ground. Swing your arms out in front of you to help maintain your standing balance.
You now have all the steps needed to do a back handspring. These steps occur in a blink of time and the back handspring should only take a few seconds. As you are learning the move you can prevent injury and have the confidence to make the move by enlisting a qualified gymnastics trainer and spotter to help you learn the move.