Standing Backs

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I have a TON of cheerleaders at the gym that want to learn standing backs. I currently teach them off a springboard and off of panel mats (stacked then removing them as they get better). I also use our tumbletrak to get them to do them on their own. Any other suggestions or tips and drills????


I like to do 3 other things:
1. Put a chalk line where they are supposed to start and put a chalk square in the primary target area (where they should land)

2. Put a marking on the wall (if the wall is bare) and have them look at that mark for as long as they can while flipping--this will help prevent them from throwing their head back.

3. Have them do their flip (with spot at first) up onto an 8 inch mat, or higher. This will help them work on jumping up before flipping.

Hopefully this will help you out a little!


Aug 8, 2007
West Coast
You could have them do it down a wedge, or off the high end.

Make sure they are practicing with their shoes on, or otherwise, they won't be able to do them when they put them on.

Put a sticky note or other mark on the wall far away, right above eye level. Have them stare at it until they cannot see it because their knees are in the way.

Get a small pit cube, tennis ball, or another small object, and have them hold it under their chin while they flip.

Also work on toe-touch-back-tucks. they are similar and used in cheer.



^^^The shoes thing is important. I started cheerleading after 8 years of gymnastics, and I hated getting used to tumbling with shoes.


New Member
Jun 29, 2007
also make sure they are flipping / start their rotation at the top of their jump...I always tell my gymnasts to make sure they are at the top of their set before they rotate...


I liked teaching them to do standing back tucks starting with it simple on a trampoline or tumbl-trak. From there, I like to add resistance in the form of 4 or 8 inchers. Two stacked up takes quite a lot of the bounce out of the bounciness and focuses on a harder jump.

This is what I used to get over the skill, but it could just be a mental thing. I was definitely strong enough when I started training them so it was more of a head issue.

I used to also set the rings at an appropriate height and do a jump and immediate fast skin the cat to land. They would placed at roughly the peak of my jump. However, this will take probably more ab strength that many cheerleaders lack when they " want " this skill.

Usually, I look at their ab and leg strength and determine if they any chance. The only other factor is the guts and correct technique of the set.

I've come across a figure of a 20% of their standing height when it comes to vertical leap power. I played around and was just noticing the difference betweens kids and their vertical leap numbers to skills like BHS and standing back. 10- 15% seems to be ok for enough for BHS. Personally, I'd like 25% for their standing back tuck. If they are 5 feet, they should vert leap 15" then or maybe 12". 12 sounds too low to me. I haven't really figured out how much ab strength they need. Bare in mind this is for a good standing back with good compression versus the often seen whipback, open tuck things I often see by cheerleaders.

I sometimes tend to flip flop between those tumbler and cheerleaders who want to tumble well and just tumble something. As long as there isn't a safety issue, I just give up on the tumble somethings. Their loss. If they want and show they have the dedication to tumble correctly and possibly big, then we can go the slow route vs the instant gratification tumble something route.
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