A back handspring involves flipping over backwards to first land on your hands and then pushing off your hands to complete the full rotation and land on your feet. Before trying the back handspring, be sure you’ve mastered both the back walkover, which will help you not be scared of flipping over backward, and handstand, which will strengthen your wrists and shoulders. Begin each training session with a dynamic warm-up consisting of light jogging, jumping jacks or jump rope and then dynamically stretch your legs, wrists, ankles and back to wake up and prepare your body for the challenging moves.
Things You'll Need
- Mat or couch
Begin by doing the back handspring on a large trampoline, which will help you jump higher and master the backward jumping technique before you move to a stable surface.
Dip down by flexing your hips and knees to prepare to jump. Swing your arms behind you so that they’re loaded to eventually swing upward.
Explode into a hop by pushing and extending your legs and swing your arms forward and up over your head. Jump backward, rather than upward, by arching your back slightly and looking backward toward the ground. This is the most challenging step to master, so if you’re scared to jump backward, start by practicing the move and fall on your back onto a soft mat or couch until you’re comfortable.
Swing your legs upward and plant your hands on the floor. At this point you’ll be in a position similar to a handstand, except that your back will still be slightly arched, with your straight legs trailing slightly behind your torso.
Push off the floor with your hands and continue to swing your legs over your body to keep rotational momentum. Bring your feet to the ground and lift your hands up off the ground to pop up into a full standing position and complete the full back handspring.
Tips & Warnings
- When starting out, have someone act as spotter. She should stand beside you and place one hand on your lower back and the other at the back of your nearest thigh so that she can help you fully flip over. As you get more comfortable, she can place her hands on your back and thigh, but not help with momentum.
- Help avoid back injury by only arching your back slightly as you jump backward. Extending your spine too far places significant stress on your vertebrae.
- Photo Credit Dave & Les Jacobs/Blend Images/Getty Images
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