The back handspring must be one of the scariest gymnastics moves you can learn as a beginner. First, you have to somehow coil yourself up with so much energy that you can spring off your feet. Next, you have to launch yourself backwards into the air where you can’t see the ground until your body is suspended backwards. Then you have to land on your hands and then push off again with enough force to land back on your feet. Phew!
My friend Alicia and I signed up for Alpha Gymnastics’ back handspring class, a 2-hour class for $60. We didnt’t really know what we were getting ourselves into. Thankfully, the coach was very patient and methodical and the back handspring was easily broken down into steps.
There were six of us attending the workshop at Alpha Gym’s new premises at Loewen Road. I love this photo below because you can see me huffing and puffing at the back (in pale blue leggings) trying to get into a split, while my other gymnast friends look like they are dozing.
We also stretched our hamstrings in the forward fold. I swear the more yoga I do, the more inflexible my hamstrings become. I used to be able to touch my nose to my knees (!!). What happened, hammys?
Coach How was incredible patient with us. He explained that we have to enter the back handspring with a rounded back. We also learnt how to overcome our fear of leaping backwards by practising it on a big mat.
Then it came to launching ourselves backwards on the roller. I really like this part because I felt like my back was getting a good stretch.
The final attempt looks like this:
Alpha Gymnastics also teaches calisthenics to adults. Alicia and I hung out at the uneven bars pretending to be strong. This is called an L sit.
This is not a proper move. This is just a pose for us to look dainty.
Overall, I had a very fun time at Alpha Gymnastics’s back handspring workshop. If I were to be picky, I would say that I didn’t really like the material of the spring floor. It was made of a furry material and did not offer much grip. If my memory serves me right, the floor was made better at Gymkraft.
Alpha Gymnastics hold adult classes at both its East Coast and Loewen branches. They have regular evening classes as well so it would be suitable for working adults.
Address: Block 72 Unit #01-07
Address: Block B Unit #02 – 07
Playground @ Big Splash
902 East Coast Parkway