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Video:How to Do a Backbend Kickover

with Dani Zissis

The backbend kickover is great practice before attempting a back handspring. Watch this how-to video from About.com to learn how to properly complete a backbend kickover.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Do a Backbend Kickover

Hi, my name is Dani Zissis for About.com, and this video is all about how to do a backbend kick-over.

Warm Up Before Attempting a Backbend

A backbend kickover is a useful skill, and a great way to train to do a back walkover or back handspring. Warm up and stretch your muscles before beginning. Roll your joints, stretch your inner forearms, and your shoulders. The first step is pushing up into a bridge, which also happens to be a great stretch to do before the skill.

Begin the Backbend in a Bridge Position

When doing a backbend kick-over, you want to start like you're going into the bridge position. So you should lay flat on your back, bend your knees up, and bend your arms up and put your hands flat against your ears. You're then going to push up through your legs and your arms, and make sure you are in a strong bridge position with your shoulders open and slightly behind your ears.

Then, you're going to take the leg that you prefer and point it out and bend the other leg under. Then, you are going to use your momentum and kick the straight leg over the top by using your leg muscles, and then you are going to contract your abs to lift your legs and complete the skill.

Feel a Stretch Through Your Shoulders

To stretch your shoulders in the bridge position, you can do this rocking back and forth by bending your knees, and pushing your shoulders over the tops of your hands, so that you can feel stretching through your shoulders and all through the muscles through there. If you have a trainer or a coach available, they can pull on the back of the shoulder blades, and pull the shoulders over the hands. That is also an effective way to stretch the shoulders.

Backbend from a Standing Position

If you can go into a backbend from a standing position, that is the next progression. To practice lowering yourself into a bridge from a standing position, stand a few feet away from a wall, standing away from it, and carefully walk your hands down the wall until they reach the floor.

Tips for Completing the Backbend Kickover

Remember while working this skill, to keep your belly button pushed towards the sky, and to keep your core tight to prevent hurting your back. Stand straight reaching your arms up. Lean back, bending from the waist and arching. Find the mat by looking through your eyebrows rather than tilting your head back. Place your hands firmly on the mat, shoulder width apart, with fingers spread apart and keep your shoulders over your hands. Lift one leg and push with the other. Keep them in a split position for the entire move, and use your hips to pull your legs over.

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