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Question
I'm working on my backhandspring and my legs are bent and there slow. Do u have any tips on making my backhandspring straight and powerful?

Answer
Hello Ashliegh,
         I am very happy to help you.  Bent legs in a back handspring usually means the gymnast needs to strengthen their back.  Pulling longer legs over takes more strength…..just like holding a broom stick by the handle (out stretched) vs.  holding the broom stick at the middle.  The exercises I suggest are tic tocs.  You need to do 4 sets of 15 repetitions every day.  You should keep a journal to record your progress.  Oh, after a month….I would add 5 to the repetitions.    If you are unable to complete the assignment then allow a higher surface for your first foot to be on.  This will be less demanding in the exercise and allow the back to continue exercising.  I wish you the very best and take care – Jack Leonard

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Jack Leonard

Expertise

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.

Experience

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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