Handstand Snap-Downs

Handstand snap-downs are one of the best, all-purpose tumbling drills to do practice if you want to improve your tumbling.  You don’t need a spotter.  You don’t need mats or equipment.  You don’t even need much space.  You can do lots and lots of them.  They’re safe.  And they help you to improve at everything from a cartwheel to a layout!  First, here is the “how to do” a handstand snap-down.

You start off with basic handstand technique.  Begin in a lunge, leading with whichever foot is your lead foot for a cartwheel.  Keep you arms stretched out, shoulder-width apart.  Your eyes should be looking on the floor about 3 or 4 feet out in front of your lead foot (which is where your hands are going to go).

Moving along, continue with the handspring technique.  Reach those hands out.  As your hands are touching the floor, you should be lifting up (kicking up) your back leg (not the lunge leg).  You should also be pushing off with your lunge leg.  As your legs rise up into a handstand, squeeze your legs together and point your toes. 

Here’s where it starts to get different than a handstand.  Instead of straightening your body all the way out into a nice, flat body position, as you begin to reach equalibrium, allow your back to arch slightly.  Your feet should be directly over your shoulders, or maybe even slightly in front of them.  Your hips will be behind your shoulders.

Also, allow your shoulders to “sag” somewhat.  This will allow you to push or “shrug” when the time comes.  Do not bend your arms at the elbow.

Since your hips are behind your shoulders, gravity will start to pull you down and out of your handstand in the direction that you just lunged from.  When you feel gravity grab hold of you, that is when you have to jump into action.

As your legs start to drop back towards the ground, use your ab

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