Front Hand Spring

Not open for further replies.


New Member
Oct 2, 2008

I was hoping that some of you would be able to give me some pointers for DD to work on her front handspring. Right now she lands with her legs apart and bent (kinda looking like a frog). Do you know of any pointers or drills or ANYTHING at all that she could work on to correct it?

Thanks so much!!


New Member
Jan 4, 2009
I have a similar problem.

This helped me a little bit but I still can't get it all the way up. My coach says to make sure your hands are coming into contact with the ground with your shoulders directly above them.


Not bending the arm and keeping the shoulders pushed out helps.

Aim to kick not just to handstand or past handstand but all the way till the feet are on the floor like a front limber. Then you just have to handstand pop/shrug to have the hands lift off the floor causing the upper body to rotate over.


May 14, 2008
I have my girls do front limbers endlessly for front handsprings. A squaty landing on the skill often means they aren't pushing their hips forward and watching their hands. So just Saturday, actually, we spent about fifteen minutes doing exaggerated front limbers, where they did the handstand then brought their feet over their head and down to the floor while pushing their hips forward as much as they possibly could. They were supposed to fall forward out of them because their focus was on their hands and their hips were extended in front of their feet when they stood up. Then we did shoulder pops, up to mats, to work on blocking off the floor. Often kids don't get that they actually have to "pop" off their hands.


Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
Have you tried 'kip ups' at all? The gymnast lays on their back in the same position as pushing up to a bridge. They pull their legs back towards their head, snap them back down, lift their hips, push through the shoulder, and end up in a bridge. That's the best way I can describe it in words.

If they can do that well, you can have them try it from a forward roll. They have to learn how to stall the roll when their shoulderblades are on the floor, so it's a bit harder. Then they repeat the same motions, ending in a bridge.

If you're worried about them hitting their heads while they learn it you can have them do it on a mat, with their hands on the floor. I've only tried it with older girls, so an 8 inch mat didn't get in the way too much as they learned it. Most of them got it, but even the ones that didn't had fun trying.


Here's a good page for the floor or neck kip. It's a fundamental skill for learning the front headspring as well.

Neck Kip to Stand on Floor

I like having the boys do them on wedges as it allows for them a bit more of time to rotate over to stand.

Our head coach liked to have them work bounders on tumbl-trak over rotating to a drop onto their front on the portapit at the end.

Having said all of that, I'm glad front headspring isn't in the routine anymore and I don't have to train it this year.


hi. i am a gymnast too. for front handsprings, i have a drill my coaches taught me. so, start on a panel mat. then run, or jump, or anything, but put your hands on the edge of the mat. push off the mat, and try to rebound as high as you can. this helped me alot when i was first learning my front handspring.:)


Feb 15, 2008
One thing that helped my dd was having a coach remind her to look at her hands through out the skill. Then she couldn't throw her head forward too soon and could keep that nice arched position rather than land squatted.


Nov 12, 2007

I am almost 100% sure even without seeing your daughters handspring that she is throwing her head forward.. aka she is trying to spot the floor infront or her.
To fix that refer to Gym-Nice-tics post which is bang on. Lots of limbers (front) focusing on pushing hips forward and leaving the arms head and shoulder last to stand up (ref to the Neck Kip to Stand on Floor
animation to see the standing up position.
Encourage her to try and pull her legs underneath herself.

The block happens by actually focusing on working it, plus keeping a tight body going into the ground with a nice lunge entry and strong kick over followed with a nice push of the lunge leg. Just like kicking up into a handstand but much more aggressive. On contact with the floor remind you DD to focus on pushing the floor away through the shoulders not the elbows.

In general i would get your DD to work on headsprings on a raised surface to a lower one for the shaping (dynamic), front limbers to strengthen the sequence (remind her to PRESS her heels into the ground hard in order to push her hit forward).
Work kick up to handstand and block immediate front limber.
Than work handspring of raised surface or tumble track.

handsprings are a pain, but damn cool, and damn usefull


Feb 3, 2009
Front Handspring

It's extremely important to not only be able to do a proper front limber, as past posts suggest, but to have the shoulder strength necessary for a strong "pop" off the hands. My coach always pointed out if I under rotated my front handspring, (which leads to bad landing habits), to make sure my shoulders were behind my hands when contacting the floor, like the hips are behind the feet on the vaulting board when vaulting. Also, he had us do handstand hops onto a mat that was higher than the floor, starting with a mat maybe 2" off the floor and as you get stronger work your way up to a higher mat such as 3" or 4" ( with a spotter if it makes you nervous). This develops the shoulder muscles necessary for that hard "pop" off the hands. Another strength drill is handstand shrugs against a wall. Keeping the head back and watching the hands during the front handspring will also help with proper rotation and a more accurate landing as others have suggested.

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
Valentin's right; the most common problem (in fact I've seen this at first with every single kid I've ever seen learn a front handspring) is pulling the head forward to look for the floor. The head and fingertips should be pushed back, shoulders extended, and hips pressed forward. When you land, you should be looking at the ceiling.

A front limber is not necessary to be able to do a front handspring, though it certainly won't hurt.
Last edited:


a couple drills would help, 1. handstand blocks. just hop once or twice while in a hanstand, or 2. shoulder shrugs( slightly easier) kick up to a handstand and "shrug" your shoulders. if she cant hold a handstand for very long, try kicking up against a wall


Solid HS on the wall. Solid Free HS. Wall shrugs in HS. Being able to walk in HS, then walk down or walk up to lower or higher mats. Hop from HS down to mat and hold HS with perfect alignment. Do the same on level mat and then do it higher mat ( and not with poor form is the trick ). Ability to handstand hop on floor with open shoulder angle instead of closed shoulder pushing through chest ( my biggest hate on training HS hops too early ).

Somewhere in there, hopping HS on tumbl-trak or Trampoline through shoulders and not elbows.

I like the front limber drill because it teaches the kids to kick and turn over. Actually a front limber should stop in HS and lower down though ideally in FHS we'd have them kick their feet towards turning over to stand ( besides blocking off shoulders ).
Not open for further replies.