Crooked Back Handspring

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Nov 8, 2009
Maybe this has already been discussed, but I can't find a way to do a specific search in the forums (??).

My daughter has a pretty nice back handspring, except that lately she is always going crooked on it. Are there any drills or suggestions to help her straighten it out? :confused:



I think that is usually to do with the roundoff. Our head coach tells kids to reach longer into their roundoff and that seems to work.


A crooked standing back handspring means she is looking towards one hand as she jumps. Only a lot of fixing really fixes this indefinitely.

Sometimes one hand will lead the other as she jumping and reaching back. This causes a twist of the body.
Nov 8, 2009
Sorry, I should have specified that it was a round-off backHS... at the end of the level 4 floor exercise. What exactly does that mean to reach longer in the roundoff? Sorry if that's a silly question, but I want to be clear. Thanks for the feedback!


Also she needs to reach straight forward in the round-off, not toward the side. Sticking the head out like a turtle on the hurdle or round-off can cause them to deviate from straight as well.
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We tell girls to try and make the first part of the roundoff as long as possible. That helps them to reach straight ahead.
Oct 17, 2009
usually its because theyre hurdling in the round off crooked and not even noticing it. i did that and then my coach told me to practice them on a line and now its straight.
Dec 25, 2008
The Gym
I used to have this problem. It may be because she is putting more weight on one arm or bending one. That was my problem. If that is the case, have her work on straightening out that bent arm.


Many gymnasts will step across themselves as they lunge down after the hurdle.

They may also kick a bit around the side because as they kick over the top, they turn their leg out. If the hands are a bit off the center of the line toward their first leg this may happen.

If their shoulders are a bit closed so their HS/Cartwheel arched this can cause it as well.

To reach "longer" in the RO means to get the shoulder open versus allowing the shoulder angle to break as they reach for the floor. This means their head sticks out as they place their hands on the floor.
Jun 26, 2009
Sometimes this is caused when you pull one arm behind your head faster than another one, or as already said, when you stick your head out in your round off. You should try to keep your head almost between your ears when you're upside down in the round off.


Wait, is the problem with her back handspring ITSELF (with or without the RO)? Or does she only go crooked when she connects it with the roundoff?

Deleted member D3987

the 'cat twist' taking place is usually caused by a valgus reflex, or the fear that you are going to hit your head. they slightly turn their head which turns the shoulders. they need to be reassured, that if done properly and they follow thru, that this fear is unreasonable.

then point out all the other children that do these and do NOT strike their heads on the mat. eventually they get it.
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