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Gymnastics/Back Handspring HELP!

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Question
Well... I've been in gymnastics for 5 years and I really think it's about time I get my back handsprings on floor. I had my dad spot me with one and I guess I didn't explain it well enough and his hand was just on my back, not supporting me at all... So I pretty much did one by myself. (I kinda failed epically... I didn't labs on my head, but I crushed my fingers and didn't land right...) I'm working on backbend kickers that are really fast with a little hop and they're way to easy. I really want to try a back handspring again and my dad and grandpa are too afraid to spot me because they think I'm going to land on my head. I'm not scared at all with spot, but I just feel weird without someone at least standing near me. I can do back handsprings on trampoline and Tumbl Trak with ease. Any advice? Tips? Drills to try? ANYTHING? Should I just throw it?Thanks!

Answer
Lexi,

You are a great writer. Wish I was there to work with you.

Back hand spring should be spotted or supported. Are you getting help at the gym? Spotting is a learned skill. Glad you are respecting your family members' fear of helping you out. I am in the gym often, and NEVER spot.

Maybe you are trying too hard. Are you springing up and getting air, or are you spending energy reaching for the floor? Are you leaning back and hoping the floor comes to you? Or are you "owning" the floor? Are you counting on your back to whip you around? Or are you pounding the floor and as soon as your hands hit, pressing those shoulder blades together, squeezing your buns and belly like your life depends on it. Exercises are not just for exercise. The power you gain should be used in your skills. Think BLADES...BUNS...BELLY.

Spend lots of time on push up drills and skills.
Spend lots of time stretched out over ball or couch arm and bring legs from floor over your head. Keep back flat and make lower abs work. Think BLADES...BUNS...BELLY when you do it.
Spend time over ball on your back, pressing off hands to stand up and pressing off feet to land on hands.

I have no doubt that you can and will do this.
Good luck

Kathy

Gymnastics

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Kathy Tooman PT

Expertise

Analysis of motion. What muscle length, strength, balance, coordination is needed to accomplish drills or skills. What is needed to avoid preventable injuries and to assist in rehab from a physical therapy perspective.

Experience

3o years as a clinical therapist with strong skills in figuring out why or why not an athlete can't accomplish their skills. Many hours with athletes on and off field, specially gymnastics, swimming, tennis, and soccer

Organizations
American Physical Therapy Association American Physical Therapy Association Sports Medicine Section

Publications
HOLD YOUR SHAPE, Childrens Gymnastic Flip Booklet HOLD YOUR SHAPE, Parent & Coach Manual

Education/Credentials
Physical Therapist, graduate of University of Michigan

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