4 Gymnastic Moves To Master by Gymnast Lauren Hannaford

Posted on 21 April 2015

We have to admit we love a bit of gymnastics fun - gymnasts are some of the most flexible, fit and strong women we know. That is because gymnastics is a fantastic cardiovascular, strength and flexbility workout - so you get everything at once. Not to mention it requires a lot of core activation, which means abs!

Yet these moves can be tricky, and look perplexing if you are way past your childhood handstanding, cartwheeling days! So we asked our friend and gymnast Lauren Hannaford to show us her top moves to help us unleash our inner gymnast.

Here's what she said -

Bunny Jumps: A bunny jump is like a mini handstand. It creates strength and confidence to stand on your hands but you are only doing it for a split second.

  • Crouch to the ground with your feet together and place your hands flat onto the floor. Make sure your shoulders are in line with your wrists.
  • Lock in your elbows so that your arms a really strong and not the slightest bit bent then from here you will press your weight onto your hands and jump your feet off the floor and hit your bottom with your heels.
  • Lift your knees away from your body as well if you feel comfortable.
  • The most important thing to remember is to keep your arms straight.

Front support salutes: Front support salutes are a fantastic exercise to build up core and upper body strength as well as working on that chest in shape that all gymnast use in everything they do.

  • Think about pulling your chest inwards (almost like your are trying to join both shoulders together at the front) and squeeze your bottom tight.
  • Then keeping everything as tight and still as possible, alternate your hands by bring each one at a time up towards your forehead, much like a salute.

Long front support: A long front support is close enough to doing a handstand without having your feet off the ground.

  • You can start by doing this with your elbows on the ground for extra support or do a normal front support and then gradually walk your hands and feet out further and further as you build strength.
  • Only go as far as your can without losing your technique.
  • If you end up sagging through your lower back or dropping your chest to the floor then stop and reset.

Half handstand: Also known as a dog with sore leg shape.

  • This is another step up from the bunny jump but your are using your legs as your levers and balance to help get you that bit closer to doing a full handstand.
  • Anybody can throw their hands on the ground and feet in there and say they have done a handstand, but technique is so important for you to really feel like you can achieve a gymnastics quality handstand.
  • Keep your arms straight with your elbows locked in. Shoulders on top of your wrists.Chest in and legs straight.
  • Now with your top leg, use the drive through your heel to get yourself up into the half handstand.


Find more on Lauren:


Instagram @LozHannaford


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