How to do a backflip in parkour: a step-by-step guide

Jimmy Hermans

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A parkour backflip is one of the most iconic moves in the parkour sport. It requires speed, strength, balance, and coordination to perform. But once mastered, it offers a unique adrenaline rush that leaves you feeling legendary and invincible! In this guide, we're going to show you step-by-step how to do a parkour backflip safely and confidently. Let's get started!

What is the easiest flip to learn for beginners?

You want to start learning to flip, that’s great! But what’s the best flip to start with? Most people think the front flip is the easiest to learn. Actually the backflip is best to start with. That’s because while performing a backflip you get to see your landing. That makes it much easier than a front flip. So, let’s start with a backflip, are you ready?!

If you want more parkour content you check out our parkour page, and beginner content.

How to do back flips for beginners?

With any form of parkour it is possible to get injured. So it’s important to prepare yourself for practice. If you’re new to parkour flips, you will have to take some steps. And keep practicing until you master each step:

1. Warming-up

2. The right environment

3. Get your gear

4. Standing backflip

5. Running backflip

6. Tips

7. Video’s to practice

1. Start with a proper warm-up

Before attempting any parkour move, it's essential to warm-up properly. Start with some simple stretching exercises to loosen up your muscles and prevent injuries. Do some jogging or jumping jacks to raise your heart rate. This gets your body ready for action!

2.  Find the right environment

It's crucial to find the right environment when you're practicing parkour. Look for a safe, open space that's big enough for you to move around. Make sure there aren’t any obstacles or distractions around you.  Start practicing on a gym mat, grass or sand and avoid any hard substrates like concrete. Especially if you’re afraid to get injured. Remember: the biggest part of doing a flip is mental. So try to remove any blockades like “I’m afraid I will hurt myself”. Choosing a soft underground makes this a lot easier.

3. Get your gear: clothing and footwear

Wearing the right clothes and shoes is key to performing the backflip. You should choose clothing that is comfortable and allows for a full range of motion. Shoes that provide support with good traction help you  while you practice.

Prepared with a proper warm-up, the right environment and the correct gear? Then it’s time to start the first movements!

Mastering the standing backflip

The first step in learning a parkour backflip is mastering the standing backflip. This move will help you gain the necessary body control, spatial awareness, and confidence to do a backflip while running.

Here's how to do it:

1. Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.

2. Bend your knees slightly and swing your arms backward.

3. Explosively jump up and backward, using your arms to gain momentum.

4. Tuck your knees into your chest and use your core muscles to rotate backward.

5. Look for the ground, extend your legs, and land on your feet.

6. Practice this move repeatedly until you feel confident and smooth.

Need some visual representation? Check out this YouTube video on how to do a standing backflip!

Channel: pigmie

Link: Learn How to Backflip in 5 Minutes | ASAP - YouTube

4 Steps to do a running backflip

Once you've mastered the standing backflip, it's time to move on to doing it while running. You can do this in just 4 simple steps.

1. Run towards the jump

Begin by running towards the jump in a straight line. Keep your head straight and focus on the point where you want to jump. As you approach the jump, gain as much speed and momentum as possible, using your arms to help you generate more force.

2. Jump and tuck your knees

Before taking off, bend your knees slightly. As you jump, tuck your knees into your chest and grab them with your hands, making sure to keep your eyes on the horizon. This will help you rotate backward quickly.

3. Unfold your body and look for the ground

As you begin to rotate backward, release your knees and extend your entire body while keeping your eyes on the ground. This move will help you spot your landing to ensure that you don't land on your head or neck.

4. Land smoothly

Finally, it's time to land. As you approach the ground, straighten your legs and prepare to absorb the impact. Make sure to land on the balls of your feet and then quickly roll backward, distributing the landing impact. Congratulations, you just did a parkour backflip!

Tips for success

1. Do a proper warm-up to prevent injuries.

2. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that won't restrict your movements.

3. Practice on soft surfaces like grass or sand before moving on to harder surfaces.

4. Don't attempt a parkour backflip until you have mastered the standing backflip.

5. Keep your eyes open and focus on the ground to ensure a safe landing.

6. Keep practicing until you can do it safely and confidently.

Videos to practice

Mastering the backflip takes practice. Therefore it’s helpful to watch YouTube videos from professionals. They help you ensure that your movements are safe. And will teach you all the necessary techniques and movements for performing a backflip correctly. Here are a few YouTube videos that you can check:

Channel: Calisthenicmovement

Link: How to Learn a Backflip (Without BREAKING Your NECK) - YouTube

Channel: Cross Jumps


Can you do parkour without flips?

A parkour backflip is an impressive move that requires practice and patience to master. By following the step-by-step guide we've provided here, you'll be able to learn this move in no time. However, it is essential to keep in mind that parkour is a high-risk sport, and it's crucial to take safety precautions seriously. And keep in mind that parkour is not only doing flips. If it’s not working out for you, then just keep practicing and focus on different parkour movements.  Always prioritize your fun first!

More parkour?

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