Handspring (gymnastics)

A handspring is an acrobatic move in which a person executes a complete revolution of the body by lunging headfirst from an upright position into a handstand and then pushing off (i.e., "springing") from the floor with the hands so as to leap back to an upright position. Handsprings are performed in various physical activities, including acro dance, cheerleading and gymnastics. In artistic gymnastics, handsprings are commonly performed in the floor exercise, vault, and balance beam events.

The direction of body rotation in a handspring may be either forward or backward, resulting in a front handspring or back handspring, respectively. In a back handspring—which is also known by various other names, including flip-flops—the performer does not see where the hands will land until after the move has begun.

Body movement may be terminated upon completion of a handspring, or the performer's momentum may be leveraged so as to immediately perform another handspring or other rotational move (e.g., a flip such as a tuck or layout). Similarly, another rotational move (e.g., a roundoff) may precede a handspring in order to develop sufficient momentum for the handspring.

The Guinness Book of World Records for consecutive back handsprings is 35, set by Miranda Ferguson on October 5, 2012. On November 24, 2012, Jalyessa Walker performed 49 consecutive back handsprings; Guinness has been asked to review this as a potential new record.