The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina

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Front Handspring

Standard

Cadet will perform a front handspring by successfully landing on the feet.

Elements

Power.

Execution
  1. Take two to three running steps with the last one performed as a hurdle (i.e., skip step). The hurdle phase includes extending arms over the head and finishes with a lunge position, hands in front of you on the floor, shoulder-width apart, with fingers spread and facing forward. The purpose of the front leg is to get your hands, arms and upper trunk in the proper position and the purpose of the back leg is to propel your body up and over.
  2. To successfully flip the body over and back onto to both feet requires that:
    • Arms, shoulders, trunk and hips stay square with the hands.
    • Legs close from the scissor position before you reach vertical.
    • Knees stay straight as they pass through the vertical position.
    • Muscles of the stomach and back are tight so that there is no arch or bend in the trunk or hips.
    • You are able to see hands, but the head is not stuck out.
    • You are pushing down through palms so that your shoulders and arms are fully extended and elbows are locked.
    • You land standing straight up with your arms stretched over head.
How to Improve

The prerequisite for a successful front handspring is a strong handstand. As an introduction to the handspring, put a soft landing mat in front of you, do a handstand and then drop over onto your back.

Safety, Facilities and Equipment

Initially use a soft landing mat to introduce the front handspring. Once cadets can land on their buttock or in a squat on their feet, a simple tumbling mat or level grassy area may be substituted for the soft landing mat. One or two spotters can be used to help a cadet rotate safely.

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