MAG Stretching routine and fear of going backward

Men's Artistic Gymnastics
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dan129834

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Feb 1, 2020
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Israel
Hey everyone, im currently practicing alone on the grass due to the covid pandemic, and im looking for some very good stretches to get the splits, a very good pike and pancakes.
Im also trying to do a back handspring, and my fear is stopping me from going fully backwards. i start the jump and while mid-air im doing a bit less than a quarter turn to the right. Any good advices to help me with that fear? im working on it 3 weeks so i think its a good proggression, in the beggining i didnt even jumped backward.

thank you for reading
 

Srose

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Nov 4, 2020
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Pleeeeeaaaase don’t be doing back handsprings alone in your yard. That is ASKING for an injury. I know you’re eager but your inexperience plus your fear will lead to a huge mental block and/or injury. Work on jumping backwards to your bed to warm up. If you’re going to ignore my advice about not doing it at home, here’s some tips. Focus on strong arms. Strong straight arms is KEY. Also, jump back, not up, if you’re struggling with power, do handstand snap downs to practicing pushing your arms and bringing feet down quickly. If you’re flexible in your back, do a back bend or a bridge and practice kicking over with both legs at the same time. It’s not easy but it’s good practice. If you struggle you can put your legs on a high surface and try to ‘pull’ your legs off using your ab muscles.
For stretching, do the frog stretch to open your hips. Do a small cardio warm up and then do splits. Doing over splits hurts but it helps. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a full split to start training over splits.
 
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dan129834

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Feb 1, 2020
33
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Israel
Hey, first of all thank you for your help and concern. I did a few steps before i started back handspring. Now i can almost do it, but i go from the side, which is the mistake i want to fix, and the fear is what prevents me from going straight backward all the way. I still dont have a good enough bridge. I will try to get ASAP to a gym, once they will open.
And about the oversplits, how exactly i can train them without having a full split(side or middle)? Can you send me a video? Cause it is my goal at the end
 

Srose

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Coach
Former Gymnast
Gymnast
Fan
Nov 4, 2020
5
25
Country
USA
Hey, first of all thank you for your help and concern. I did a few steps before i started back handspring. Now i can almost do it, but i go from the side, which is the mistake i want to fix, and the fear is what prevents me from going straight backward all the way. I still dont have a good enough bridge. I will try to get ASAP to a gym, once they will open.
And about the oversplits, how exactly i can train them without having a full split(side or middle)? Can you send me a video? Cause it is my goal at the end
Hey, first of all thank you for your help and concern. I did a few steps before i started back handspring. Now i can almost do it, but i go from the side, which is the mistake i want to fix, and the fear is what prevents me from going straight backward all the way. I still dont have a good enough bridge. I will try to get ASAP to a gym, once they will open.
And about the oversplits, how exactly i can train them without having a full split(side or middle)? Can you send me a video? Cause it is my goal at the end
So the reason you’re turning sideways is because you’re looking over your shoulder. Which makes you pull to the side. Practicing the jump itself while having hips square and shoulders square will help you. If you need to, put something underneath your chin to hold your head facing forward. We use a small block in the gym but I’m sure there’s something at home. Even a rolled up small towel. It is very dangerous to be doing the sideways back handspring thing because it can hurt your elbows badly. Practice your bridge because it gives you strong arms. You have to be able to hold your weight. Again I highly recommend doing this with a coach.
In terms of the splits, I don’t have a good space to film in my apartment but, you can literally just lay a firm pillow or something on the floor, put one foot on it, and slide into your splits. It will hurt more than your regular splits but it gets results. If you want to REALLY put in the work, do that for both legs (at least a minute each) and then turn around and put your back foot on the pillow and front leg off the pillow to stretch the back leg more and slide into your splits. And then if you really REALLY wanna work the splits, do a firm pillow for the front and back leg. Just warning you, I’d only do that when you’re close to your splits because it’s tough. For middle splits, just put one foot on the firm pillow and slide down the best you can. Make sure you’re not leaning too far forward or sitting on your bottom. Be nice and square.
 
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dan129834

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Feb 1, 2020
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ok thank you, i got it. i will start doing those splits exercises. for the BHS, i'll go to the gym when they open, meanwhile i'll try to jump backward to my bed for the technique and avoid the risk of injury.
 

Carabistouille

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Jan 22, 2019
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France
I totally agree with not practicing BHS at home. It's seriously dangerous and elbow injury are really bad gymnastics-wise. Plus, it's such a foundational skill, you don't want to practice bad habits.

I would be careful with bridging as an adult male as they require a lot of flexibility. I would recommend bridges with elevated feet : hands on the ground, feet on elevated surface (couch, chair, against a wall). Shoulders open, legs straight and together, limited back bending (shouldn't hurt your back, you might feel it in your shoulder, don't overdo it), eyes looking at the hands but head neutral . Think first phase of BHS.

About splits and especially oversplits, be careful to keel your hips square : both hips facing forward, front leg right in front of you, back leg straight behind you, with pinky toe touching the ground or very nearly so. Your legs should be parallel to each other and perpendicular to the imaginary line between your hips.
 
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