How to Do a Back Walkover

Two Parts:Preparing to Do a Back WalkoverDoing a Back Walkover

After you've mastered the backbend, you may want to take your skills further to try a back walkover. Back walkovers are the stepping stone to the back handspring and they can be a lot of fun, but it takes hard work to get the back walkover right. If you want to take your backbend skills to the next level, then follow these easy steps.

Part 1
Preparing to Do a Back Walkover

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    Know when you're ready to do a back walkover. Before you attempt the back walkover, you should have some basic gymnastics skills, strength, and coordination. You'll know that you're ready if the following things are true:
    • If you can easily do a backbend. You have to be able to stick your backbend every time before you can move on to a tougher skill. You also have to make sure you are able to do a backbend kickover. If you can't do this you can't do a back walkover.
    • If you have the strength. Your arms and shoulders should be strong enough to support your body while you're in the backbend position. If you're not strong enough, then you'll feel unsteady and strained when you try to hold a backbend for any amount of time.
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    Stretch. You should always stretch before you attempt to do a bridge, backbend, a back walkover, or any athletic feat at all. Before you attempt the back walkover, you should make sure to warm up by stretching your wrists, ankles, your back, your legs and neck. Here are some stretches to do:
    • Stretch your ankles. Sit down and hold your ankle with one hand, while rolling your ankle or even spelling out the alphabet with your foot. Stretch both ankles equally.
    • Stretch your wrists. Extend one hand with your palm away from you, and pull your fingers back with the other until you feel a nice stretch. Then do the same with the other hand. Next, hold your wrist with one hand while you roll the wrist of the hand you're holding, and repeat.
    • Stretch your back. This is the most important stretch of all. You should stretch your back with some simple yoga poses, such as the camel pose, bow pose, or cobra pose.
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    Do a bridge kickover. Before you attempt a back walkover, you should be able to master the bridge kickover. This will help you get comfortable with kicking over with one leg, and will make it easier for you to transition into doing it in one fluid motion. Here's how to stick the bridge kickover:
    • First, do a backbend. Here's how you do it:
      • Stand tall with your legs apart at a distance wider than your shoulders.
      • Raise your arms above your head. Keep your arms near your ears with your palms facing the ceiling.
      • Slowly bend backwards until you plant your hands on the ground. You should be looking between your hands.
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    Shift your weight into your hands. This will make it easier to lift your leg and kick over.
    • If kicking over is hard then practice getting into a bridge and lifting the leg you kick over with up and down.
    • Push your shoulders over your hands in the bridge position. This will help get your weight over your hands and make it easier to kick over.
    • Lift one leg in the air. Pick your dominant leg. If you're a rightie, then your right leg is probably your dominant leg.
    • Then, push away from the floor with the foot that is planted off the ground. Make sure to keep your elbows locked as you kick over.
    • You will briefly be standing on your hands with your legs in a split position. Then you will move all the way over and will be standing upright to complete the backbend kickover.

Part 2
Doing a Back Walkover

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    Start strong. Once you've mastered the backbend kickover, you will be ready to do a back walkover. You will just be taking the skills you developed during the back kickover and will move them into one fluid motion. First, you'll have to start with confidence and skill. Here's what to do:
    • Remember that you should always have a spotter when you try a new skill for the first time. The spotter should put one hand on your back, and one hand under the thigh of your kicking leg.
    • Stand tall, with your arms in the air. Pretend your arms are glued to your ears.
    • Point your lead leg about a foot in front of your other leg.
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    Follow through. Once you're positioned correctly, it's time to start bending backwards. Eventually the back walkover should be one synchronized fluid motion and should only take a few seconds, but you can take it a bit more slowly at first. Here's how to follow through:
    • Begin to bend backwards. Make sure to arch your back. Push your hips forward. Do not put any weight on your lead leg, it will slow you down and it won't be a fluid motion.
    • Kick your lead leg back. Move it as if you're doing a split in the air. By the time your hands hit the ground, your lead leg should be high in the air. Your fingers should be facing the same direction as your toes. Your base leg should stay on the floor until your hands are on the floor.
    • There will be a point when both legs are in the air and you're in the handstand position, so make sure to push down on your hands and keep your elbows locked, because your arms and shoulders will be your only support.
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    Land gracefully. Once you're close to planting your feet on the ground, you should make sure you are set up for a graceful landing. The landing will be the thing that ties all of your back walkover together, so it's important to finish strong. Here's what to do:
    • Land on your lead leg first.
    • Plant your base leg just a second later. This should look like one fluid motion.
    • Raise your arms in the air. Make sure your arms are straight. Point your lead leg to the floor, just as you did in the beginning.


  • When you bend backwards, don't bend too far away from your legs or you won't be able to plant your hands firmly and may fall over.
  • If you need more strength do arm workouts, push-ups, handstand holds, chin-ups.
  • Work on perfecting your bridge before you do this.
  • If your back hurts after doing this, lay on your back, curl into a ball, and rock up and down a few times.
  • You should either wear shoes with rubber bottoms or go barefoot when doing a back walkover. Wearing just socks could cause you to slip.
  • Make sure you use your stronger leg to kick over.
  • A back walkover requires flexibility. Stretch a lot before performing a back walkover.
  • You can record yourself every time you try to do a back walkover to see your progress over time.
  • Try to practice your ability to do a handstand. This can help with your confidence and ability if it makes you nervous.
  • Wear a leotard or form fitting clothing that is easy to move around in and is comfortable.
  • Don't be afraid to fall; it is guaranteed to happen at least once or twice.
  • Keep your legs in closer to your arms. This will make it easier to kick over.
  • Don't put your legs too far apart or else you'll fall while going into your backbend.
  • Try not to flip over and land on two feet. Keep the movement flowing, and as soon as your first foot reaches the floor begin to push upwards.
  • Bend your elbows a little bit, it makes it a bit easier to kick over.
  • Just try. It will never work if you are afraid.
  • Always look at your hand while doing a back walkover. If you don't, you'll most likely fall over. This goes for front walkovers too. Also, looking at your hands makes it so much easier for doing several back walkovers in a row.
  • Make sure you are on a flat surface.
  • Always be confident about doing a back walkover before doing it .
  • Before even trying a backbend, make sure that you can push up into a bridge and can hold it for at least 30 seconds.
  • Believe in yourself and be confident because if you are not confident you will not achieve your goal.
  • When you kick over make sure to keep your legs straight.
  • Practice of your sofa or a leg rest before going straight into a back walkover. Be careful as to avoid hurting yourself.
  • Use a spotter at first. Then when you get better try by yourself on a trampoline.
  • Make sure you have a large open space with no other objects around so you don't hit them.
  • Make sure someone is watching you or putting a hand under your back so if you fall, they can catch you. Plus they can see what you are doing wrong.
  • Always look at your hands and don't fling your head back.
  • Don't try to practice a back bend on a bed, it makes your arms bend and you'll fall. Instead, try it on a carpet or a mattress on the floor.
  • Get your hands to the ground as soon as possible and kick just before they touch down.
  • Always look at your hand while doing a back walkover.
  • Master the leg lifts until you got the hang of it then put all of the stuff you learned all together and you have it.
  • To do a back walkover you need a flexible back because a back walkover is like doing a backbend than using your power to kick over.
  • Make sure you have perfected your back bend and then work on kicking over. After that , just go with your body. It should all be in one motion. Make sure you have enough momentum to keep going through till you land .
  • Don't forget to stretch afterwards as well if you don't, you may get a bad back.
  • Arch your back more and hands closer to your feet that's how people can do back walkovers so swiftly.
  • Always remember clothing that is flexible will make it easier to get this skill.
  • Put your arms down before your head; it will make sure you don't fall on your hands.
  • Don't do it alone at first use a spotter then once you've got it down do it by yourself.
  • Don't bend your arms or you may injure yourself.
  • Practice doing a backbend kick over as fast as you can first.
  • To make your back kick over even better, work on your splits every day. This will help with straight legs in the skill.
  • Push your armpits back with all the force you have!
  • Try do doing butterfly stretches first. It helps your thighs stretch and it lowers the chances of pulling a muscle.
  • Regularly exercise your arms (pushups, for example, are a great method) to make them stronger. That way, it will be easier for you to support your weight.
  • Stretch a before you do a back-bend walkover and then do a bridge to warm up.
  • Make sure you put your stronger leg straight and then bend your weak leg and put all you weight on your hands.
  • You can try doing this on what's call a "wedge may" or "the cheese". The slight slope may make it easier to kick over.
  • Make sure you practice.Don't do it once then stop because it takes time to master certain skills like the back walk over. You might face issues but don't give up at all. and keep patience and be calm.
  • If you have a fear of falling back while bending over backwards then start practicing bending over backwards on your knees then level up to no knees when you feel comfortable enough.


  • Always make sure that you always have a spotter when you are first learning to do a back walkover or any other gymnastics skill. If you try it on your own and are unsteady, you can become seriously injured.
  • You need to have a spotter who is 100% focused on your back walkover, or you'll risk injuring yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • A mat or a comfortable floor
  • A spotter
  • Comfortable clothes

Article Info

Categories: Tumbling (Gymnastics)