Arched Back Handsprings

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads



Hey all! First time caller, long time listener,

One of my gymnasts has a problem with the first part of her BHS. She has a very flexible back, and arches to the point where her fingers nearly touch her heels; not a very strong position, if you ask me.

She can perform the skill by herself on trampolines & minitramps, but I feel any 'jumping' enables this problem. I'm not confident to put it on floor without heavy assistance - what can I do to fix her technique?


we call that a "flick sur place", as in a flick on the spot.

Have you tried having her do jump backs onto a pile of mats, this will reinforce the push back and the tight body arch that she needs to do the BHS correctly.

If you make a pile of mats about waist high for her, and then place a small block at just above knee height in front of it, she would do a lean back, almost sit onto the small block and the push/jump back onto her back on the mat pile. Have her do it repeatedly, allowing her to go back onto the tramp only after she can perform the drill correctly 10 times or so.

This needs to be reinforced, if she goes back to the tramp and still does the flexi flick take her back to the mat stack and keep her working the drill.

You could also make chalk marks on the tramp where she needs to aim for with her hands, She can then chalk her hands and she will be able to tell where she landed.

I hope this helps a bit.
backhandsprings "over" sting mats placed the short way on the floor- keep having her reach back to the opposite end of the sting mats
Ah I was that kid! And have taught a few of those kids too!

What worked for me & has also worked for several of my gymnasts is "see that exit sign?" (or whatever, something both back and up so they don't throw into the ground). "yeah? Good. Jump for it."

Once they stretch them out to the point they're not moving forward, I have them stretch back and reach their hands over something on the floor. Sometimes going down a cheese mat helps too, because it's MUCH harder to undercut when tumbling uphill.

A final thing that helps some of my kids is telling them to jump back into a handstand and pull their toes up, so they aren't thinking so much about the slight arch-sometimes I think they're thinking it's like a backwalkover. Pulling their toes up seems to MAKE them reach back. There's the tucking over problem, though, so this isn't my first choice for most archy kids.

Good luck to your gymnast.
Thanks all for your input!

She's 16 and saying she has her wits about her is putting it mildly - To the point where her rational gets the better of her!

bogwoppit, I've been doing the pushback drill for quite some time without the block in front, and let me tell you - it made a world of difference; from now on I'm using your drill for every gymnast!

I really like the second point, CoachGoofy, I'll definitely try using apparatus to extend the reach.

Much appreciated all!
Glad it worked for you. I always taught BHS in two phases, the jump back onto the block stack and the snap down from a block, then a spring board and lastly on the floor. Not really putting the two elements together until the they looked okay. Some kids got it quick, some kids longer. With big kids who are hard to spot, I found it much safer for both me and the gymmie.

New Posts

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

Gymnaverse :: Recent Activity

College Gym News