Coaches may spot the gymnasts upper back and shoulder area so they can practice the dynamic coordination betweeen the arms swing and the lean back motion with a quick opening into a tight arch position. Beginning with a hollow chest facilitates a stronger chest opening to the tight arch.
Gymnasts starting to learn back handsprings can benefit from feeling the lean back action in a simpler way. Also getting familiar with hollow chest to open chest and shoulders and the legs push to open hips on a single tight arch body unit. This drill helps the athletes to train the lean back action several times in a row with a coach's assistance.
Gymnasts may use a panel mat to train for distance during the first flying phase. With their toes at the beginning of a panel they perfom back handsprings trying to reach far into a different panel. Since the gymnasts know the exact place they are begining each turn they can check how much they are flying back from feet to hands.
To begin the backhandspring the gymnast leans back off balance while slightly bending the legs and moving the trunk forward with a straight or hollow chest. From this position the gymnast can make a powerful jump backwards. Back handsprings have two important flying phases.
On the next few clips a different gymnast offers examples of some of those basic back handspring mistakes already mentioned. /Undercut with poor blocking repulsion and pike turn over. /A much longer and nice back handspring example with good hands to feet turn over. /Second flying phase example with an incorrect pike turnover.
When spotting new gymnasts on backhandsprings we must keep our head further back away from them to avoid getting hit if they open the arms too much.
Swinging both arms tilted to one side and twisting the body on that direction as if the gymnasts were trying to look over their shoulder to see where their body is going instead of keeping it square is another common back handspring mistake. Barrel back handsprings may help the gymnasts to work out the problem emphasizing to feel their backs landing on the barrell square and without turning the head sideways.
Once the gymnast has a fair snap down from folding mats, they can begin practicing back handsprings with a spot. This is a good introduction to connecting a handspring from the hands-to-feet flying phase and is very helpful as initial preparation for roundoff back handsprings.
The snap down back handspring is a very helpful progressive step toward the round off back handspring. Advanced gymnasts may practice this combination to refine some back tumbling technical details such as turning over from hands to feet on a hollow single body unit and rebounding with a tight arch first flying phase while the shoulder area is open.