How to Do a Forward Roll Handstand

Woman doing handstand

A forward roll handstand is an intermediate gymnastics move in which you do a handstand, and then roll forward. Students at the intermediate level have mastered the basic foundations of gymnastics, such as backbends, front and back walkovers, round offs and cartwheels. Gymnasts begin working on forward roll handstands after they have developed the strength and form necessary to execute intermediate drills. You should not attempt to do a forward roll handstand if you are unable to hold yourself in an unassisted handstand position.

Stand on a padded floor or mat. Lift your arms directly over your head. Lunge forward and place your palms firmly on the ground in front of you. Your palms should be about shoulder-width apart and facing forward. Kick one leg upward, toward the ceiling. Extend your leg and straighten it. Find your center of balance. Point your toes. Kick your second leg upward to meet your first leg. Balance and point the toes of your second leg.

Flex your core muscles tightly so you do not collapse in the handstand. Push your head so it tucks between your shoulders, with your chin pulled into your chest. Keep your shoulders relaxed down your back; do not crunch your shoulders into your ears.

Bend your knees toward your chest. Let the top of your head graze the floor and roll forward. Do not put weight on your head. Keep your body as tucked as possible as you roll out of the element.


Stretch your quads and hamstrings before doing a forward roll handstand.


Do not attempt this move for the first time alone. Use a spotter.