The backflip is a movement that explores the limits of flexibility, athleticism, and grace. It can be a superb goal to set for yourself, as it requires the combination of various physical qualities into a a single effort.


Before beginning specific backflip progressions, prepare your body for the rigors of the movement. Perform stretches such as the bridge to simulate the kind of back-bending needed and to enhance specific flexibility. And, of course, minimize risk by practicing on a soft surface.


First, get used to these two aspects of the flip:


  • As you jump, focus on your arms starting as far back as possible and swooping forward and up explosively. Tuck in your knees at the highest point
  • When you've mastered this, the next step is to conquer the actual inversion - starting with the common fear of turning upside down in mid-air. 


A modified backflip can help you become more comfortable:


  • Squat down and place one hand on the ground behind you.
  • Then, jump and push your hips as high as possible, and land with your feet behind your hand. Try to keep your other arm above your head while you do this, as this will ensure you are upside down.
  • You can even begin this movement with both hands on the ground as you get more proficient.


Remember these helpful cues when you tackle a real backflip:


  • You're seeking to jump as high as possible, but also to lean back slightly and tilt your chest upward.
  • It's critical to draw your knees in to your chest to make the inversion easier. 
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