How to do a Handspring (Great Tips for doing front and back handspring)

A skilled gymnast can make a front or back handspring look effortless. However, we all know looks can be deceiving. Handsprings can be difficult to execute so you need to have a few skills mastered before you attempt a handspring. If you want tips on how to do a handspring, you’re in the right place.

First, we’ll talk about vaults, then front handsprings and then we’ll talk about the skills you need for a back handspring.

How to do a Vault

Front handsprings are a good skill to have when trying to perform a vault. A handspring vault will require that you have the right equipment. You need room to get a running start, a springboard and a vault. But before you can do a handspring on a vault, you should know how to do a handspring.

To do level 4 vault drills, you need to do your floor work. Your performance on the vault largely depends on your run and jump. Then, you can do your handspring.

Front Handspring Tips

Make sure you’re using proper equipment like a gym mat before you begin. A mattress could work when you’re practicing at home but a gym mat is better. They aren’t very expensive and you can buy them online.

Here are some of the skills you need BEFORE trying to do a front handspring:

  • ​Forward roll
  • Handstand
  • Dive roll
  • Front walkover

If you can do a front walkover, you’re well on your way to being able to do a front handspring. It requires a lot of the same moves; the handspring is just slightly more complex.

Here are the steps to a great front handspring:

  • Stand with your arms straight up and elbows locked.
  • Take a couple of running steps. You can lower your arms for the run, but raise them so they are up and locked for the handspring
  • Hop slightly to give yourself momentum and begin to raise your dominant leg so that it can be in lunge position with the foot on the ground.
  • Dominate leg forward, go into a lunge with your foot planted flat on the floor. This will give you the power you to go into a handstand and continue over.
  • Place your hands on the floor as you straighten your dominate leg and keep your other leg in line with your body.
  • Use your back foot to guide your body into handstand position as you push off with your dominant leg.
  • Elbows still locked, push off the floor whilst relying on your shoulders for rotation.
  • ​Point your toes and try to land on the balls of your feet. Raise your arms and make sure your elbows are no longer bent.

Practice each step before moving on to the next one. It can take weeks to master the front handspring and it also takes a lot of strength. Don’t try to do too much too soon.

Back Handspring Tips

Back handsprings are similar to front handsprings, but harder. It helps to have a spotter. Use a gym mat as well.

how to do a handspring

Here are the skills you need first:

  • Handstand
  • Backbend
  • Back walkover
  • Back kickover

Here are the basic steps to a back handspring:

  • Feet planted on the floor, stretch your arms straight forward.
  • Squat down while swinging your arms backward.
  • Launch upward swinging your arms upward as well. The launch is where you get your momentum so make it strong.
  • Let your arms guide your body backward into a backbend.
  • Use the momentum to go into a handstand, but don’t hold the handstand. Keep your feet together and keep your knees unlocked.
  • Let your legs swing over your head while you keep your feet together and knees unlocked.
  • As your legs go down to the floor prepare to push off and stand upright with your arms over your head, elbows and knees slightly bent.
  • Pop up straight.

Handsprings of any kind require a lot of practice and upper body strength. Back handsprings require a very limber spine. Remember to stretch well before trying any of these skills, but back handsprings require that you be extra limber so stretch your back. If you have pain with backbends, don’t try a back handspring yet. With practice, you can do a cheerleading or gymnastics handspring. Just make sure to master a few other skills first. Learning how to do a handspring takes time, don’t give up!