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Neill S. Occhiogrosso 06-03-2004 02:45 PM

I'd love to be able to do a backflip. Is there any way to safely build up to one?

Aptdwler 06-03-2004 03:57 PM

I'm also curious. Does anyone know about how high one must jump to be sucessful?

Roy Taylor 06-03-2004 07:25 PM

Most of us here are capable, but don't have the "BALLS" to just do it. From what I have learned, the tuck is more important than the heighth of the jump itself. I recommend perfecting standing backflips on trampolines first to get use to the motion. However, it feels quite different on the ground. I have done them with a spotter before I even got into real conditioning. This was over a year ago. Im sure now I could do one on the ground quite easily.

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Kevin Roddy 06-03-2004 07:58 PM

A spotter is your best option, preferably at a gymnastics gym.

There's a few steps to getting it.

1. Getting over the fear of flipping backwards - Basically, find a mat and a spotter, and just try to get yourself over backwards any way you can. It's not hard, just takes getting used to.

2. Getting yourself over backwards... HIGHER! Try jumping up on your back onto high mats, this will get you into the motion. Remember - keep your eyes on the horizon, and throw your knees up high.

3. Getting yourself over backwards, and falling on your feet - Self explanatory. Trampolines, as Roy said, are helpful. So are spotters. I would wait for Coach Sommer, he can probably describe these steps better than I can.

Mike Minium 06-04-2004 03:50 PM

Same disclaimer about deferring to Coach Sommer or others more knowledgeable...

Here's what worked for me. I'll say upfront that I take gymnastics class twice a week so equipment limitations aren't a factor, and the progression I describe below won't be possible without a trampoline and pit (or other soft landing area)

Here's what worked for me:

1. Perform back tucks into the pit.
2. Perform back tucks on the trampoline, allowing yourself to launch into the air before performing the tuck (this was the most difficult step in the progression for me--going from jumping into the pit to jumping on the tramp).
3. Perform back tucks on the tramp from dead standstill (i.e., no jumping before performing the tuck).
4. Perform back tucks on the floor.

I never used a spotter because, quite frankly, although I'm no monster at 170 lbs., I was afraid I'd cause much more damage to my 150-lb instructor than I'd ever cause to myself flying solo. But a spotter definitely would help in terms of managing fear, I suspect, which is really what back tucks are all about, as Roy pointed out.

Also, make sure you jump up and not back. There's a real tendency to want to get around as quickly as possible, resulting in jumping backwards instead of up, which actually hampers how quickly you can get around in the tuck position.

Oh, and standing back tucks from the floor are awesome!

Hope this helps,


Larry Lindenman 06-05-2004 05:21 AM

Make sure your pulling your knees to your chest not your chest to your knees. Usually when I teach the back flip I stand behind the person with my hands on their waist. I then have them jump back into my arms up, knees to chest. Once they get that, throw the head back and go for it! I taught gymnastics in the 80s so I humblely defer to Coach Sommer. I could still do one (at 42 YO) on mats or into a pit or on a tramp. The days of showing off to chicks and cranking one off on a jeans, are way over.

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