Saturday, 24 May 2008

Do a Backflip - wikiHow

Do a Backflip - wikiHow

How to Do a Backflip

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Back-flips are a basic intermediate gymnastics maneuver that many people have trouble doing. The back-flip, also known as the back-tuck due to the importance of the leg tuck, is a 360° backwards rotation from a stand. There are three parts to the back-flip: the jump, the tuck and the landing. Just knowing how to do a correct back-flip is usually not enough. To do this move safely and well you will need to make sure you have adequate strength and training. Some people will train on a trampoline, jump mat or diving board. While these might be fun they can create bad physical habits that may make executing an actual gymnastic back flip more difficult. The back-flip is dangerous. You can seriously injure or even disable yourself if you do it wrong. In this wikiHow we will look at the regulation gymnastic back-flip and what you need to do to get there. Make sure you jump really high; that's the key.


Train for the back flip
  1. Get a spotter or coach who is trained in gymnastics. A coach is essential if you do not quite have the skills or strength to do a back-flip as they will help you avoid a nasty fall. Find somebody strong enough to catch you out of the air.
  2. Listen to your coach. He or she will probably help you with a few basic drills to build up to your back tuck. These could include jumping backwards onto your back on a mat, or using a wedge or cheese mat.
  3. A back-flip requires great arm, leg and stomach strength and good "air-sense".
  4. Practice in a harness on a trampoline to develop better air sense. But be warned, a trampoline is a lot easier than on ground, so think twice before you're ready to perform a flip on land.
  5. Develop strength using planche exercises. A planche is where you can support your body with your hands (and arms and stomach) muscles while sitting. Planche muscles can be developed using:
    • Bench presses with parallel arms.
    • Lateral pull downs.
    • Leg lifts on the high bars.

  6. Barbell squats, deadlifts, and plyometrics will help you improve your jump.
  7. A tucked pull-over from a hang on a horizontal t-bar is a good practice not only for the strength, but also for the technique required for a good back-flip. The skills needed for this exercise will help you move your body correctly.
  8. Naturally good diet, nutrition and cardiovascular fitness are required.

Do a back-flip
  1. Stretch thoroughly before you begin. Otherwise, you may strain or tear a muscle.
    • Remember to stretch your wrist and ankles for the back-flip.

  2. Use plenty of space and always try to land on something very soft. Softer than grass or carpet, a mattress is a good choice. If you hit the back of your neck on hard ground this could mean paralysis from the neck down for the rest of your life.
  3. Wear relaxed clothing and either good shoes or no shoes.
  4. Keep your feet together.
  5. Let your arms hang down to your sides.
  6. Stay confident: focus on being successful throughout the move.
  7. Do not stop in the middle of the move, the fall can cause broken bones and/or a trip to the hospital.
  8. Never look down. Keep your eyes focused on a spot about eye level and try to keep your head in that position throughout the roll.
  9. Prepare for your jump by "digging down".
    • When digging down do not let your legs bend more than 90°, or below your knee.

  10. Swing your arms backwards for momentum.
  11. Jump and swing your arms forward to increase the height of your jump. Swing your arms all the way up to your ears. Always jump straight up, also known as a vertical jump..
    • Never jump backwards, or you will fall.
    • Remember to not look down.
    • Use your swinging arms to get the maximum height you can on the vertical jump.

  12. At the pinnacle (height) of your jump begin to roll.
  13. Bring your legs up into the tuck.
    • The combined momentum of the muscles in your legs, your arms swinging up and your knees tucking in, while always keeping your gaze forward is what creates the mid-air roll.

  14. Complete the tuck by moving your arms forward to touch your legs.
    • Some people tuck their arms under their knees.
    • Some people put their arms above their legs.
    • Don't put your arms on your butt.

  15. Use your arm strength to "pull on your knees" to aid the roll. Eventually you should not need to do this.
  16. Begin to extend your lower back towards the landing.
  17. Bend your knees again as you land.
  18. A good landing is where both feet contact the ground at the same time with the whole foot. If you land on your heels, you over rotated and are likely to fall or have to step backward. If you land very far forward on the balls of your feel, you under rotated and will likely need to step forward.
  19. Landing in the same spot you jumped from is excellent form.
  20. Once you have mastered the back-flip try advanced versions like the x-out, the Flash kick, the half twist, the full twist, and the gainer.


  • Aside from physical conditioning, fear is usually the greatest roadblock for new back flippers. It is not a natural move and makes your body, neck and head feel vulnerable. Visualization and adequate training are the best tools for overcoming fear.
  • You need to be able to confidently perform simple moves such as a forward roll, backwards roll, handstand, cartwheel, round-off, front walkover, back walkover, and back handspring before attempting the back-flip. These skills provide you with the strength and balance needed to perform a back-flip.
  • If you find yourself over-rotating, lean your shoulders forward.
  • MAKE SURE to set high and tuck fast with your chin up for maximum rotation speed and time.


  • After initially learning how to back tuck, abdominal soreness may occur. Do not stretch these muscles, as they may tear and will take more time to heal than if left unstretched.
  • Injury, paralysis, and even death may occur as a result of improper conduct.
  • Never attempt this move under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Never do backflips when you are alone. If you were to hurt your neck or back then you might not be able to get help.
  • Always have a spotter or a coach to help you when performing a stunt

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Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Do a Backflip. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Hope it is easy

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