Round-off Back Hand Spring

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Sep 8, 2008
My dd is 5 years old. She is very close to getting her round-off BHS on floor. She is currently on level 3 team and only practices skills that are actually in the level 3 routines. She was previously in a preschool class at the same gym where they spent a lot of time on round off BHS.

She really wants to get this skill, but they are not working on it in class. I can spot her at home and she does very well. What are the steps to get her doing it on her own? She doesn't need much help now, but of course I want to be very careful as to not let her get hurt!

Thank you in advance :))
Hi...I think that it's great that your little one is so excited to learn the skill! However, a RO-BHS is not something that should be taught at home, in my opinion. For background, I am a physical therapist, mom to a gymnast and coach.

Lots of times, during the competitive season (I am guessing that she is in season) or while learning routines, higher level skills take a back seat. I am sure that the coaches haven't forgotten about RO-BHS, it is probably not a priority at this time.

Your dd is very young, she has plenty of time to learn the skill. I am sure that with all the strength/conditioning and technique that they are learning on team she will quickly get her RO-BHS when they begin to present it regularly.

Risks at home are serious. She could easily be injured and/or learn improper technique that could take very long to correct.

I would vote no RO-BHS at home --- unless of course you are a coach with spotting experience and you have an appropriate surface on which to practice at home!!;)
Sorry but I agree with the person before me. I coach also and it is so hard when kids start to work them at home without proper technique. At this point trampolines at home even make me crazy because kids say I do it at home so they throw crazy stuff they are not ready for and run a risk of getting hurt. There is normally a progression which leads up to backhandsprings and skipping those steps just to learn one skill is never a good idea. But I would just talk to the coach and say my dd really wants to learn a roundoff bh and wants me to spot her at home I would like some advice on what to do.
I compleley agree with the two above posters.

Also, it has been documented and proven several times that pre-school children (age 5 and under) should not even be doing bridges - never mind back handsprings. It does severe damage to their spines, wrists and ankles, as their bodies are not developed enough to cope with the pressure, please be careful.
Also ditto what the previous posters said. A RO-BHS is a much more advanced skill than her level 3 skills so I would leave it to her coaches to work the proper progressions to get there. The BHS is also one of the first skills that can really, really freak a kid out so, again, letting her coaches gradually work drills and ease them into this big-time foundational skill is the best way to go. Moving too quickly is not something I'd want to take a chance with on a BHS.
I would be very concerned about the stress on the growth plates doing this skill repetitively, presumably not on a spring floor and soft matting. This can also cause problems transferring over to the other appropriate surface and could cause a setback. She will get it in time when she is ready.
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