Backyard Gymnastics: Learning to Backflip
Learning to do flips and tricks can be one of the most exciting parts of trampolining! Learning new and difficult tricks can be quite dangerous if not approached safely, so we have put together a handy 'how-to' for landing your first backflip.
A few things to always do when starting out on a new flip or trick, always have a parent, friend or gymnastics coach with you to make sure you aren't going to land in dangerous ways and to spot you as you attempt to tumble and move your body in new ways. Always make sure your trampoline is set up correctly and the safety net is erect and tight to catch you if you fall out of the jumping zone. Last but not least, always start out small and work your way up to bigger movements to avoid injuries.
Step One - Back Drop
Once you’re warmed up, do a backdrop. This means falling onto your back and bouncing right back up. When you feel comfortable enough, try the backdrop and throwing your legs over, like a small, slow somersault. Try to do a backdrop, lifting your legs up and throwing the behind you, and then using the bounce back up to rotate behind you and onto your knees. This will get you used to the momentum of going backwards, which can be quite unnerving.
Step Two - Back Hand Spring (sideways)
Do a “sideways” handspring over your shoulder. A backdrop is the basics of this move, only it lacks the momentum. Now aim for a back handspring that’s more off to the side – it’s much less scary. Here’s how to do it.
1/ Bend your arms at your elbows and imagine them going up and over your head, propelling you backwards and fully around into a full circle. This is the motion you need to keep throughout the jump.
2/ Look behind you. This will drive your body as your neck brings the rest of your body with it. It will also help you place your jump.
3/ Get a good bounce going and jump up straight.
4/ At the peak of your jump, propel yourself over your shoulder. Aim to land on your hands.
5/ At first, don’t worry about your landing. On your hands and then knees is fine.
Step Three - Regular Back Hand Spring
Once you get the over-the-shoulder handspring down, do a full back handspring. Instead of looking over your shoulder, you’ll need to look up and behind you. Other than that, it's the same. Make sure to get plenty of air!
If you propel yourself mainly backwards, you may fall off the edge of the trampoline. Start near the edge of the centre, and aim to jump up and then around – not backwards. If you just throw your body back, you could seriously injure yourself. Here is where a spotter will come in handy. Keep a friend nearby to stop you falling incorrectly.
Try to get higher and higher each time so that you can land on your feet to finish the hand spring
Step Four - Don't plant your hands, instead grab and tuck your legs to your chest.
Do a full backflip landing primarily on your feet. Use your hands to steady you (or possibly to protect your neck), but flip so that the majority of your weight is being carried by and lands on your feet. At this point, it’s a backflip! Just not a graceful one yet.
For now, your aim is to get over your body, not to land it perfectly. Remember to use your arms to propel you up and then around – as long as you land and don’t hurt yourself, you’re doing it.
YOU DID IT!!
From here all that's left is to keep practising to clean it up and land on your feet. Your first couple of backflips may not have a clean landing or you may over spin, this is okay and with plenty of practice, you will have it perfect in no time.
Do not jump too close to the edge of the trampoline; it causes a backwards thrust and you will hurt yourself
Head and neck/spinal injury can occur, so be careful.
Jumpflex takes no responsibility for injuries that occur while learning new flips and trick such as this one.
Always have a parent or guardian present when children are jumping and practising moves