If you want to perform killer tumbling routines, you'll need to learn how to do a front handspring. Front handsprings require significant upper body strength and the ability to perform a handstand and a cartwheel without problem. If you're learning the front handspring for the first time, make sure you try it while under the supervision of a coach or trainer who can walk you through the process and spot you if needed.
How to Do a Front Handspring
Learning how to do a front handspring will be easier if you can get a running start, propelling your body's momentum forward. Before you add the running start, first master the form required for entering the handstand position while performing a handspring.
If you're just starting out, have a coach or trainer spot you as you learn the handstand and handspring. The coach can ensure that you keep your elbows extended, preventing an unfortunate fall. When performing the handstand and handspring, you'll need to initiate the movement with your strong leg. In this instruction, the strong leg is the right leg, but keep in mind that your strong leg may be your left leg.
- Stand with your feet together, your arms extended directly over your head, your elbows next to your ears.
- Lift your right leg off the ground, keeping it fully extended.
- Take a big step forward with your right leg and plant your foot solidly on the ground.
- Lean forward with your torso, keeping your arms fully extended over your head until you can plant your palms on the ground a full torso-length in front of your right foot.
- Swing your left leg up into the air, pointing your toe as you move into the handstand position.
- Draw your right leg up into the air, pulling it close and tight to your left leg.
- Stop when you're in a tight, straight handstand.
- Return your right leg, then your left leg to the ground.
- Continue practicing the handstand until you feel completely comfortable with the motion.
To perform the full handspring, add the following steps while under the supervision of a spotter, starting from step seven, above:
- With your body in a full handstand position, shrug your shoulders, keeping your elbows straight.
- Press forcefully through your palms and propel your legs and body forward.
- Land with your feet together on the ground and your arms fully extended over your head.
Adding the Run
Once your spotter feels comfortable with you trying the exercise on your own, you may want to add a few running steps to provide yourself with extra momentum. This is a progression of the entire skill, including the running start:
- Take several running steps.
- Hop with your left foot, your right knee bent and held high.
- Swing your arms up over your head, your elbows straight and your arms tight to your ears.
- Land on the ball of your left foot.
- Take a long stride forward with your right foot and plant your right foot solidly on the ground.
- Lean your torso forward and plant your palms on the ground approximately a full torso and arm length in front of your right foot, keeping your elbows straight.
- Swing your left leg up, pointing the toe, into a handstand position.
- Follow your left leg with your right leg, locking your legs together in a handstand.
- Press off with your palms, pushing your body forward.
- Land with both feet together, flat on the ground.
- Finish with your arms straight over your head, elbows extended.
Watch a Video Tutorial to See How It's Done
Practice Makes Perfect
A perfect handspring takes a lot of practice and hard work. The forward motion of the skill makes the landing blind, increasing the difficulty of the exercise drastically. To make the handspring more precise, work on keeping your shoulders, hips, and ankles square and tight. You don't just want to practice the skill, you want to practice it correctly. This will make you a better tumbler, and ultimately, a better cheerleader.