How to Do a Back Bend Kickover

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If you have mastered handstands, cartwheels and bridges in gymnastics, you might feel ready to try a back bend kickover. Back bend kickovers require a combination of all three of these moves and demand strength, flexibility and balance. Improving your gymnastics skills requires a lot of patience, practice and perseverance. If you feel ready to take your gymnastic abilities to the next level, begin practicing back bend kickovers.

Warm up by stretching your hamstrings and lower back. Do runner’s stretches: lunge with one leg in front and the other in the back; place the entire front foot onto the ground while you stand on the ball of your back foot, then swing your arms above your head, slowly bend both of your knees, then straighten them. Repeat this movement a couple of times. Then switch legs and do the lunges again on the other side of your body.

Practice bridges and handstands. Do bridges (also called wheels) by lying on your back; bend your knees and place your feet onto the floor by your buttocks, then position your hands so that your fingers point towards your feet. Slowly lift your chest, shoulders, head and neck off the ground. Straighten your arms and look at the floor beneath you. Slowly release your body to the ground after about 30 seconds.

Begin the kickover by “falling” into a bridge position. Lean back through your back and move your hips forward as you bring your arms over your head and back towards the ground. Keep your arms straight and strong, and make sure you are properly grounded through your feet before bending backwards.

Use your stronger leg to help you gain momentum to kick both legs off the ground into a split over your hips. Make sure your head is off the floor throughout the kickover. Support yourself on your hands when your legs are in the air. Keep your arms as straight as you can. Land by bringing the first leg you kicked over down to the ground behind you, followed by your second leg. Stand tall as you finish. Raise your arms over your head to conclude.

Tips

When practicing your bridges and handstands, do handstands by the wall if you are unable to balance on your hands without support.

Warnings

Performing this exercise incorrectly can result in a serious injury. Always practice new skills in a gym with proper spotting by a qualified gymnastics teacher.

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