Backwards roll to handstand

Video exampler: coming soon…

Video tutorial: coming soon.

Recommended prerequisites: backwards roll

Description: You do a backwards roll into a handstand. Don't you love self descriptive names?

Backwards Roll to Handstand by Anthony Mychal

Start in the regular backwards roll position. Rock your body forward to get some momentum.

Backwards Roll to Handstand by Anthony Mychal

Chuck yourself backwards and begin to flip your hands. Hand placement is everything because we're going to press up into a handstand, so we need solid ground contact. If your wrist flexibility sucks, that could be problematic. Make it not suck and then come back and keep trying this move.

Backwards Roll to Handstand by Anthony Mychal

Think hand placement first. Get that solid and then tuck your knees to your chest as if you were going to back roll to keep your momentum going in the right direction.

Backwards Roll to Handstand by Anthony Mychal

Things switch gears here. Once the hand placement is set and you do enough of the backwards roll tuck to get things moving in the right direction, push your feet to the sky. And even a little behind your head, for that matter. Think about it: if we kicked straight up from this position, we'd need a heft amount of arm strength in order to press into a handstand. You want your momentum to keep going over your body, but you need your feet to get in the air.

Backwards Roll to Handstand by Anthony Mychal

Once the momentum from the leg push gets you onto your upper back, push with your hands to start making room for your head to flip through.


From the previous slide, my legs are higher and more vertical now. Who, what, when, why, where? Well, they fling more vertical to compensate for my upper body now being more vertical. Things have to be in balance, else you…uhhh…won't be in balance? And not being in balance is generally a bad thing for tricking.


The arm push gave my head enough room to swing through, and lifting my head forced some back arch. Since the torso is even more forward, the legs have to be even more vertical. This is why mine are bent, and you'll probably find that using some back arch makes this a lot easier of a trick.


What you do once you get your head around depends on your handstand prowess. You can tuck your head back in between your hands and try to get into a balanced handstand position, but in the slides above I'm just letting gravity do it's thing.


More gravity at work.

Backwards Roll to Handstand by Anthony Mychal

Recap cues:

  • Get your hands around and solid quickly.
  • Push your legs up and behind your body.
  • Arch your back to get things in balance.


Can't hold the handstand? Don't worry. I can't either, I just like to pretend like I can. No, but I can hold a handstand, I haven't really trained to hold it out of a back roll. If you want to, you're best bet is to make sure you have a solid free standing handstand first. If you aren't 100% every attempt with the ability to kick up from different positions, that's where you need to start.

Not getting your head through? It's a combination of pushing your legs up and using your arms to push off the ground. If you have weak arms, use your legs more.

Legs bent and body ugly? That’s alright. Bent legs fix themselves with familiarity. When you get comfortable with the move you can consciously think about cleaning it up.

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