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February 19, 2014

There are many key elements to make a back handspring successful: stretched shoulders, fast feet over, open-to-closed hips, a neutral head position — and the list goes on. There is no silver-bullet solution on how to achieve a back handspring. All of these elements are necessary to accomplish the skill, but through my experience as a tumble instructor, I believe there’s one element tumblers struggle with the most: the jump.

I was taught to teach tumbling with progressions, which is having a tumbler perfect simpler versions of a more advanced skill. For example, an instructor will teach the backward roll and the handstand as two separate components before teaching a back extension roll. The ju...

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