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Analysis of a Back Handspring

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Mallory Simpson

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of Analysis of a Back Handspring

Analysis of a Back Handspring
Ready, Set, Jump
Initial Jump
Key Muscles: Quadriceps and Gluteus Maximus create the most power during the jump phase.
Center of Gravity: During the jump, the center of gravity changes from starting position to behind the body as the athlete sits and pushes backwards.
Importance of the Jump
The jump phase of the back handspring may seem minor, but is responsible for the majority of the momentum of the back handspring. The jump consists of a sitting motion, then rapidly extending the legs to lift the body off of the ground.
The Trunk
An individual's trunk begins in FLEXION as the body contracts and the athlete performs a bending motion. The trunk is quickly moved into HYPEREXTENSION as the athlete pushes off of the ground and the trunk opens up and back. The velocity and moment of inertia are important here to make sure the body has enough speed and force to invert the athlete from feet to hands.
Part 1 of the Jump
Sit Position: As the athlete squats before takeoff, the knees bend reaching an angle of about 90 degrees.
Muscles move from eccentric to concentric
as the athlete squats.
Abdominal muscles aide in stabilization.
Import muscles: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Gluteus Maximus, and Rear Deltoids.
Concentric muscle contractions cause flexion at the hips, knees, and ankles.
Part 2 of the Jump
Swing position: Arms swing backwards and trunk moves into hyperextension.
Eccentric muscles are Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Gluteus Maximus, and Anterior Deltoid.
Opposite of the "sit" position.
Extension occurs at the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, and back.
The Arm Swing
Importance of Arm Swing
The arm swing is an important factor in creating and sustaining the momentum needed to perform a back handspring.
The arm swing begins with the arms extended out, parallel to the shoulders.
The arms then perform adduction as they move from the forward arm position all the way back through the athlete's full range of motion.
This movement is quickly followed by swinging the arms straight up and overhead until the athlete has achieved full range of motion, completely opening the shoulders.
Hand Placement
The placement of the hands once they reach the ground is important for both function and safety.
Hands should be slightly turned in upon reaching the ground. This helps reduce the strain from the force of landing.
Turing in the hands also allows the elbows to bend slightly, which is important in preventing forearm and wrist hyperextension.
Muscle Contractions
Eccentric and concentric muscle contractions work together during the arm swing.
Muscles used in these contractions include:
Rear deltoid
Anterior deltoid
Muscles continued
Pronator teres
Flexor carpi radialis
Palmaris longus
Flexor carpi ulnaris
Extensor carpi radialis longus
Extensor digitorum
Pronator quadratus

Back Extension
Key Points
Acceleration depends on force of jump and arm swing.
The center of gravity is in constant motion throughout the back extension.
The back and core muscles are responsible for keeping the entire body tight, and in control.

Muscles used in Back Extension
Upper/lower trapezius
Latissimus dorsi
Rectus/transversus abdominis
Anterior/lateral deltoid
Triceps Brachii
Rotator Cuff
Serratus Anterior
Pectoralis Major

Specific Muscle Contractions
Flexion (in shoulder) for momentum
Isotonic flexion to absorb shock and extend tall through the back.
Abs are isometrically contracted thus keeping back muscles contracted to maintain a tight arch and keep the athlete in control through the changing center of gravity.

Degree of back extension varies with the athlete.
Flexibility and range of motion are major contributors to the success of a back handspring.
If the athlete does not have much back flexibility, other portions of the back handspring must be modified to compensate or vice versa.
In the athlete observed, almost a 90 degree angle was achieved, demonstrating great flexibility.

What is Blocking?
The "block" is essential to tumbling progressions. It is the movement that occurs as the hands hit the ground, body inverted, then initiate a forceful push through the shoulders that repels the entire body into the air.
Center of Gravity
As the athlete travels through the back handspring, the center of gravity is constantly changing.
Once the hands reach the ground, the center of gravity moves to the middle of the chest cavity.
Force Distribution Changes
Forces that are normally placed on legs and feet become inverted and the hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders take the majority of these forces.
Ground reaction forces become about 2.3 times that person's body weight as the athlete's hands reach the ground.
Bones of Upper Extremities
Clavicle and Scapula
Each of these bones share forces of more than doubled body weight.
Muscle Involvement
Biceps Brachii
Triceps Brachii
20 plus muscles of the hand and wrist
Almost every muscle in the upper extremities work together to balance and stabilize the athlete in an inverted position.

The Block
After the ground reaction forces accumulate at 2.3 times that of the athlete's body weight in a handstand position, the athlete must push, or block, that weight away from the floor.
The main muscles involved in this push is the trapezius and serratus anterior.
The glenohumeral joint is extended and opened as the athlete performs the block.
The Landing
Last Step of the Back Handspring
This involves getting the legs over the upper portion of the body, in a snap-like motion, and landing properly on the feet.
Muscles of the abdomen contract with adequate hip flexion to help get the legs thrown over.
Legs and gluteal muscles are used to withstand the necessary amount of force when making contact with the ground.
Strength, stability, and muscle control play an important role.
Muscles Involved
Abdominal Area:
Rectus Abdominis
Transverse Abdominis
Serratus Anterior
External and Internal Oblique
3 Main Adductor Muscles:
Adductor Longus
Adductor Magnus
Adductor Brevis
Involved in Raising the Torso:
Erector Spinae
Gluteus Maximus
Quadriceps and Gluteal
Muscles produce the most
power for proper landing.
Bones Involved
Pelvic bone
Lumbar Spine
The 26 bones in the Foot/Ankle
-Bear a certain amount of force during rotation and landing
-Having necessary amount of bone strength and bone mineral density helps absorb force.
The Landing
Exhibit Flexion: The larger joints of the hip, knee and ankle.
- These synovial joints are able to handle the stress and movements placed on them.
The hip is flexed in a concentric contraction until standing upright.
The quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles produce an eccentric contraction.
-This eccentric strength is needed to help stop the force once the feet have made contact with the ground.
Center of Gravity
The COG is able to pass over the head and hands due to the angular momentum.
Once landing has occurred, the COG is returned to the starting position located within the core of the body.
-Body works as a system to produce one movement to the next, allowing the correct articulations to take place.
Proper Technique Prevents Injuries
Injuries to the wrist are extremely common
Stress fractures
Ankle injuries are also common due to landing impact.
Back injuries:
Herniated disk injury
Low Back Pain

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Injury and Mistake
This phase of the back handspring is where the majority of the problems arise.
If the athlete does not perform the back handspring properly, the athlete may find the shoulders located in front of the wrists, which adds pressure to the glenohumeral joint and makes it difficult to "block".
It also creates a greater window for the risk of hyperextension of the wrists and elbows.
Studies show that turning the hands slightly in, about 45 degrees, would promote slight bending of the elbows to flexion instead of hyperextension.
Mallory Simpson
Marissa Morales
Savannah Lee
Kelsey Daniels
Blair Hazelwood

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