The Fastest Way to Do a Backflip

Most gymnastics coaches will tell you the fastest way to do a backflip is to practice every day. Although you should never practice the actual flip on your own, you can condition your body so it's prepared for a backflip. There are several skills you must master in gymnastics before you're ready to perform a backflip. If you're not already in gymnastics, contact your local gymnastics facility for information about classes.

A young boy doing a back flip in the snow. (Image: FlyingCrafter/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Strengthen your legs and core. Perform squats and lunges, and use dumbbells or a barbell to increase the intensity of these exercises. Perform crunches, planks and other exercises that strengthen the abdominal region. Practice jumping by jumping in place, bringing your knees as high as possible to your chest.

Step 2

Stretch your back, abdominals, hips and leg muscles. Stretching your muscles increases your flexibility and helps reduce your risk of injury while learning to do a backflip. Before learning a new skill in gymnastics, you must be strong and flexible enough to perform the skill.

Step 3

Master a backbend, a back walkover and a back handspring before attempting a backflip. You should be able to move into a backbend by standing on your feet with your hands in the air and bending backwards to lower your hands to the ground. After mastering this skill, you should be able to bring your leg off the ground and walk over to a standing position. The back handspring involves swinging your body into a backflip but supporting your body's weight with your arms and landing on your feet.

Step 4

Practice backflips on a trampoline. A backflip can be a mental challenge because you must overcome the natural fear of falling backwards on your head. The trampoline will help you exceed the necessary height in your jump to complete a backflip. This will help you overcome the mental challenge and makes it easier to overcome fear on the floor.

Step 5

Stand with your knees straight and your feet flat on the floor. Start with your arms extended above your head, and swing your arms downward past your hips while simultaneously bending your knees. As you swing your arms back up, stop your swing slightly past your ears. Bring your hips above your head, and tuck your knees as you rotate into a flip and land with your knees slightly bent.

Things You'll Need

  • Trampoline

  • Barbell (optional)

  • Dumbbells (optional)

Tip

Have a focal point in front of you. As your hips move above your head, you will lose sight of the focal point; however, it will reappear as you rotate your body. You are ready to land when you see the focal point.
Don’t close your eyes while doing a back flip. Keep your head in a neutral position.

Warning

Performing a backflip incorrectly puts you at risk for head, neck and spinal cord injuries, which are potentially fatal. Others potential injuries while learning a backflip include, but are not limited to: ankle sprains or fractures, wrist sprains or fractures, a dislocated shoulder and several types of knee injuries. Never learn backflips without a certified gymnastics instructor as a spotter.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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