How to Do a Back Handspring

At home, one does not have the necessary amount of space to do a handspring. Therefore, it is best to do it in a hall or a gym. At the same time, if you are practicing it without any supervision, there are chances of injuring yourself. When one is doing a back handspring, it is important to remember that the method is not so much about arching the back. This move is useful for gymnastics, cheerleading, etc.

When one is performing any gymnastic move, it is important that these is enough room for movement. While you start doing the back handspring, you will need to have a good running start. It is important you start off slowly and pick up speed gradually. The more the speed at the end, the better you will be able to do the handspring. Towards the end of the run, do a round-off.

Before you half yourself, you should jump up as high as you can. However, it is important that your feet and knees are together. Extend your hands above your head, with your arms closer to the ears as much as possible. Your chin should be tucked in. Get your arms down and then forward. Come into an elephant position, and gradually throw your weight backwards. From this position onwards, your head will be thrown backwards. Do not look forward and backward, as this will cause you to lose balance.

Now comes the crucial step in performing a handspring. You will have to swing your hands up above your head. Use the hip, abdominal, and armpit muscles, and with a hip thrust extend off the floor. Use your legs to balance yourself upward as well as backward. Ensure that your toes are pointing forward. As much as possible, extend yourself from your ankles. Your arms should be next to your head, as you slowly try to reach your palms to the floor. Keep your gaze soft as you try to look for a spot where you can land.

Make sure that your hands and feet well grounded on the floor, which will ensure that you are in a well-arched position. It is best to place your hands slightly turned in. Spread your fingers and toes as much as possible, but your feet should be next to one another. Remember, the knees should not bend, as it will be a hindrance for you to flip forward. Now, using the strength in your legs, swing them forward. Remember, your upper body should not slouch. At the same time, your knees should not be locked.

When you land, ensure that your knees are a little bent, so that there is no impact on them. Once your legs land on the floor, swing your arms in front of you. This will complete one back handspring. Initially, you may find it difficult to get over to your hands. This is when you will have to swing harder using your hands. Therefore, quite often, incline mats are recommended in the initial days of learning.

How to Do a Backflip

Dancers and gymnasts seem like they possess some supernatural powers. The way they perform their tricks and moves is simply mesmerizing. The somersaults, jumps, stretches, and what not. Wow! It is absolutely awe-inspiring. It also is true that, with passion and perseverance, anything can be achieved, let alone the toughest amongst the gymnastic acts. One thing which really gets me to sit up and take notice is the backflip in gymnastics. Let’s see how to go about doing one.

How to Do a Backflip on the Ground
For doing a backlflip, one thing is sure, it is not for the faint-hearted. You have to be determined and completely prepared. Once you are mentally prepared, only then try it. When doing it for the first couple of times, try and have at least one spotter around. Now here we flip!

Step 1
Get on a proper gym floor with a mat, preferably till you get into the groove. If not, make sure you are in a reasonably open area with a soft surface. But make sure that the floor is not a concrete one, and has no obstacles. You will only be giving an invitation to injuries.

Step 2
Now, as the backflip involves a lot of limb extensions and stretching, if you are a beginner, it is crucial to do some stretching. Make conscious efforts to warm up and stretch all the muscles of your limbs, chest, and back. You do not want to tear your ligament or pull a muscle while doing this.

Step 3
After you have stretched thoroughly, stand straight with your arms above the head. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Ensure that you have a proper balance if you do not want to land on your head with a backflip gone terribly wrong.

Step 4
Now comes the important part. Here, what you need to do is, swing your arms first down and then back, squatting for a jump at the same time. To get a good push off the ground with both feet, let your knees bend at a 90-degree angle.

Step 5
The next is to explode off the ground, this time swinging your arms back above your head. While doing a backflip, you have to be well acquainted with the position and timing of the peak of your jump.

Step 6
Continuing with the previous movement, lean back and tuck your knees in your chest, at the point while you are reaching the peak of the jump. This is pivotal for getting the momentum and tempo for flipping backward. If you do jumping exercises, they may prove helpful for getting the act properly done.

Step 7
Three-fourths of the way in the rolling process, stretch out your legs and land on your feet. This timing has to be impeccable, or else there would not be any backflip. But don’t worry, you will get it with practice!

Step 8
For reducing the shock and the impact of landing, and also to maintain balance, bending the knees while you land is necessary. There is no harm in placing your hands on the floor if you feel you might fall.

Be it a normal backflip or one that is off a wall, please remember to wear comfortable clothes, and never do it alone till you are dead sure about it. In addition to that, keeping your chin up and grabbing your knees is imperative to in doing it successfully.

How to Do Gymnastics Tricks at Home

Gymnastics is one sport that joins grace with strength, agility with focus, and flexibility with coordination. There are many young kids who are more and more enthusiastic about becoming a gymnast when they grow up. Starting at a young age, the acrobatic and rhythmic techniques of gymnastics are taught. Although, this certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t learn the different tricks performed at a later stage in your life. All you require are correct technique and professional guidance to learn and understand the different forms of gymnastics.

Keeping this in mind, we have put together some gymnastics tricks which can be done at home. Now, remember, learning these tricks for the first time might be complicated and confusing. Even though the article does mention the steps to do various stunts, we will definitely recommend you consult a gymnastics coach to help you with the tricks. The tricks mentioned below should be used to only understand the basics of the techniques so that you have a clear idea as to what is expected of you.

Performing Gymnastics Tricks at Home

You can try practicing the gymnastics tricks in your backyard or even in an empty room inside the house. Make sure that the room is big enough for you two move around to attempt the tricks, and has no furniture. As for the backyard, clear it out as well because you don’t want to bang into something while trying the cartwheel.

Cartwheel
Stand on one side of the area where you are doing the cartwheel and stretch both hands up. Point the right foot forward, keeping it slightly above the ground. Lean forward from your waist, put your weight on the right foot, and keep your back and both legs straight. Lift the left foot off the ground and lean furthermore down so that your right leg bends from the knee. As you go down, bring both hands down as well so you can support your body weight on them. Lift your right leg off the ground as well and stretch both legs as far away from one another as possible. Rotate your body weight from one side to another so you can finish the cartwheel. As you come to the other side, your right foot will land on the ground first and then the left leg. You will reverse the steps on how you started the cartwheel to end it. Stand up straight, point left foot forward and that’s it.

Splits
Place a mat on the ground, kneel on the floor by keeping one foot in the front, bent at knee, and the other foot extended in the back. Push you hips forward, keep your chest up, and back straight. Here, before doing the split, your legs need to be stretched properly. To begin the split, your chest will be facing forward at all times, both legs will be straight but turned slightly outward, and the toes need to be pointed. Stay close to a wall in the beginning, bend your right leg’s knee and support it against the wall. This is done when you are in the split and you need to stretch both legs. If you want, you can even ask a friend to hold your leg instead of supporting it on the wall. Pull your chest upward, lean slightly back from the waist, and look behind as far as you can. And that is how you do a split.

Center Split
To perform the center split, sit on the floor and touch the soles of your feet together. Keep your back straight, chest held high, and lean forward, towards the floor from the waist. Extend both hands forward, keeping them straight as well, and bring your head down, closer to your feet. Place the palms of your hands flat on the floor, look forward with head still down, and open your legs. You need to stretch your legs as wide as you can with the toes pointed at all times. Now bring both legs on either sides and bend the knees at 90ยบ angle with legs (from the knees) stretched behind you. Support the body weight on your elbows and forearms, and bend your waist just a bit; look upward. Now extend the right leg towards your right side, keeping the support on your elbows and forearms, and your left leg in the bent position. Extend the other leg as well and push your upper body upwards with both hands. Face forward with your chest up and back straight. And that is how a center split is done.

Apart from these tricks, there are other gymnastics moves which you can learn. However, professional guidance is absolutely necessary. Which is why, if you have the passion and desire to learn how to do gymnastics tricks, at home is somewhat risky, join gymnastics classes. Trust me, it is the best option available if you wish to pursue gymnastics furthermore; professionally or for pleasure.

Tips Choosing The Right Gymnastic Grips

Gymnastics is an artistic sport which requires grace, strength, and loads of practice to perfect. However, apart from personal dedication, the equipment that one uses is equally important for overall success. Of all the equipment available, grips are perhaps the most useful in furthering a gymnast’s performance.

Let us now look at the various factors to be considered while picking gymnastic grips of good quality to suit your needs.

Do You Need Grips?

If you are someone who is looking to compete in serious competitive tournaments and are considering a career in this field, you should definitely buy grips, so that you get used to the feeling and don’t have to relearn all your moves. Also, if you constantly get your skin ripped off, and this is interfering in the level of your performance, getting grips is a good idea. Finally, if you are moving onto advanced moves, which require you to swing or circle a lot, this equipment will give you a better grip and significantly improve your performance. Also, women’s grips are mainly designed for uneven bar events, while men’s gymnastic grips are used for various events such as rings, p-bars and, high bars. So your choice should reflect the type of event you will be training for.

Skill Level

Grips can be classified into two types: Palm grips and Dowel grips. Beginners mostly prefer palm grips, due to the protection that it offers from the friction between the hands and the bars, rings, pommels, etc., by covering the entire palm. Dowels are small cylindrical rods made of wood or metal, attached to the grips. Starting advanced moves will be easier for intermediates with dowel grips. Experts know every detail about the grips they would like to use, and are very particular about their equipment after they have performed in a few competitions.

Manufacturing Material

Both palm and dowel grips come with either Velcro wrist straps or buckled straps, each with their pros and cons. Velcro straps provide more comfort and easy adjustments, which allow circulation to the hands. However, they tend to wear out rather easily. Buckle grips are best used by those individuals who prefer a firm grip. However, they are usually a little uncomfortable for new users. This problem can be solved with the use of wristbands to cushion the straps. Another factor is the thickness of the leather grip. Thinner leather wears out very fast, but also breaks in easily. Thick leather will last for a very long time, but usually take a long time to break in.

Brands

Going in for a reputed brand will give you a good choice of grips. However, one must check the following criteria to get the best buy:

  • Quality, softness, and thickness of leather
  • Quality of stitching
  • Shape of cut leather
  • Quality of Velcro and buckles
  • Quality and thickness of leather should be the same on both hands

Some of the more prominent brands are:

  • U.S. Gloves
  • Bailie
  • Reisport

All of these brands have a huge range to choose from, and come within the price range of US $30 – 60.

Size

Choosing the correct size and style of grips is extremely important, because failure to do so can result in severe accidents and injuries. To find out the proper size, one should take a measurement from the base of the palm to the tip of the longest finger, and then match the measurement to the size guide for the grips. In case the measurement falls between two sizes in the guide, purchase the smaller option, because the leather grip will slowly stretch to the proper size and give a firm grip.

The first thing to do after making your purchase is to wear the grips and get the size and type checked from your coach. This is so that, if the grips are not suitable, you will be able to return or exchange them. Only make sure that you don’t dirty or damage the grips before going in for an exchange. Also, each brand has its own size guide, so a size 000 grip from one company can differ from that of another company. Apart from this, one also needs to check the size of the finger holes and wrist straps.

Breaking In the Grips

A gymnast should have at least two pairs of grips, in case one of them breaks or gets damaged. Normally, it takes a while before the grips fit and take the shape of the hands comfortably, along with taking the form of the bars as well. Casual usage and basic gymnastic maneuvers are used to stretch and relax the grips to get a good fit. This process is called breaking in. Both, the primary and backup pairs should undergo this process. This process also calls for adjusting the width of the finger holes. If the holes are too small, rub sandpaper to make them bigger. However, regular use by itself should stretch the holes into the proper size, just like the leather. If the holes are big, make use of foam to reduce their size.

Related Accessories

To save your hands from injury and to maintain the quality of the grips, you will need a few more accessories:

  • Wristbands
  • Chalk powder
  • Athletic tape
  • Blister pads
  • Anti-sweat powder/spray
  • Hand medications
  • Grip brush

Maintenance Tips

  • Make sure you keep your grips and other supplies in gymnastic grip bags to keep them safe.
  • Inspect the grips for signs of damage regularly, and replace them with backup sets whenever necessary.
  • Use a grip brush to gently clear out excess chalk powder on the grips.
  • Although grips get damaged due to exposure to water, one may make use of water treatments if it makes the grips comfortable, saving the gymnast from nasty injuries.
  • Never use borrowed grips, as they cannot give you the right fit, and may cause you to get hurt.
  • Discuss all the factors of your grips with your instructor. He/she can help you a lot in the types, purchase, sizing, breaking in, and usage of the grips.

Keeping all these tips in mind, you can choose the best grips for yourself. The most important aspect is to try out different models and shapes at the store, so as to find out which one suits you the best. Take your time and consider all the factors mentioned above, before making a final choice.