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How do you recover from a backbend?

Hello Ashiegh,
         I am assuming your question means to recover from a bridge meaning to turn it over to stand.  I will explain that process.   First, you need to do your bridge (from flat ground not a back limber).  The soreness in the back could occur from not understanding the dynamics of positioning the gymnastics bridge correctly.  A gymnast should be strong and aware of the bridge position and actions to make the bridge stronger.  There concepts allow skills to be learn/achieved from or to the bridge shape.  Firstly,  a bridge kick over should be achievable.  This is attainged by finding  the height of the mats that your feet are on while in the bridge shape to keep your shoulders over your hands for a vertical line.  The next thing is to make sure your legs are together on the folded mats then lift one leg up and totally push off (including the ankle).  Now use your back to pull your legs over and finally step down like you would in a handstand step down.  Make sure to push off your hands as you put your first foot on the floor.  You should finish by taking two steps back with your hands up.  If you have trouble with the last part, practice kicking a handstand against a wall and stepping down as described.  This will imitate the last part of the bridge kick over.  Understand and remember that being strong in the handstand is huge.  YOU SHOULD be able to kick to a handstand against the wall and then step down afterward.  Remember the end of a bridge kick over is like stepping down out of a handstand!  Be patient and don’t lower the mats until you can take the two steps back with arms up.  Finally, don’t forget to work your flexibility which will help in the “kicking over portion” of the kick over before the push leg comes off the mat/surface.  Also….remember being strong is huge.  You should be able to kick to a handstand against the wall and then step down afterward.  Remember the end of a bridge kick over is like stepping down out of a handstand! ….and the fact that bridge kick overs are gymnastics exercise vitamins for many skills.   I wish you the very best of luck and take care – Jack Leonard


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Jack Leonard


Former 5 time Natl. Tumbling Champ, 3 time Natl. Vaulting Champ, Natl. Floor Exercise Champ; Ass`t coach of Dominique Dawes for 6 years; Owner/Director/Head coach of Kauai Gymnastics Academy on the island of Kauai in Hawaii; Retired Physical Ed teacher; Childrens Fitness Expert; Expert Consultant for gymnastics litigation; Retired Mens & Womens HS Gymnastics coach for 32 years. National coaching honors for Men in 1981 & Women in 2001.


I value the following awards because they were given by acknowlegement through my peers: The Nissen/Grissold Award given to the outstanding Tumbling and Tramp Athlete(1972), National High School coach of the year in 1981 for men and 2001 for women, 10 time County Coach of the Year. Medal Award given at the first World Tumbling Championships in London, England for dedication to the sport. Lastly, having the opportunity to coach Wes Suter(1988 Olympian)in his intermediate years and Dominique Dawes(1992 & 1996)

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