For Coaches Elbow Injuries on Back Handsprings?

Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Not open for further replies.


Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2013
I thought I remembered reading something about this a month or two ago, but a search found nothing, so I thought I would ask.

I have a Level 3 athlete training for competition beginning at the end of this month. She took some time off this summer and so was the last one on her team to get her back handspring. She got her standing one several weeks ago.

She is 10. Average height, thin, but muscular, decent flexibility, a good bar worker, but because she is so thin (I guess) her knees tend to look bent even when she's pushing them as straight as she can. I mention this in case the same kind of thing is happening with her elbows.

Anyway, the standing back handspring was decent. Bent legs but good push off the mat and fast arms up. She got it several weeks ago. We added the round off, stop, standing back handspring into her routine last week. I'd stop the music, tell her to take her time, and then have her finish the routine.

Last night, I didn't stop the music. She did the round off, stopped, then did the back handspring. As she did the back handspring, her elbow VERY OBVIOUSLY hyper-extended. It was noticeable from the naked eye there was a problem. She immediately grabbed it and started crying. I was afraid we were looking at something very bad but I think it was just hyper-extended. No swelling, no limited mobility, just some pain this morning.

I want to be sure there's nothing I'm missing as far as preventing these kinds of injuries. Obviously, at some point you just have to let them go, and I know accidents happen, but if there are strategies, drills, advice, etc., to keep me from having an injured athlete, I'm all ears.

Thanks guys!
Does she turn her hands in or out in the back handspring? If she does it with her hands turned out there is a far great risk of elbow hyper extension and injuries as the arm is locked in that position. If she turns her hands in slightly it will reduce the chance of this sort of thing happening.
  • Like
Reactions: PalmTree and Aero
it's more likely than not that she subluxed the joint. if it deformed after the fact it would have been dislocated. sublux simply means 'kinda popped out and when back in".

so, play it safe. don't do any until the elbow is pain free. sometimes you can chip small pieces of bone off when this happens.

go slow...
  • Like
Reactions: Aero and PalmTree
Not open for further replies.