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Back Walkover Tips

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My poor daughter is trying so hard to get it and is nowhere close. We have a wedge and she can do a bridge kickover. As well she has her back bend onto the wedge. But she cant do a back walkover.

Any ideas of things she can do at home to work on it that will help her get there?


Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
North America
Another good drill to practice at home are handstands. Handstands build arm and shoulder strength which is needed in the back walkover.
Hope this helps!


Can she do a bridge kickover on the floor without the wedge mat? When she does her bridge kickover she needs to make sure that her shoulders are on top or past her hands (armpits open), and she needs to pull her shoulders past her hands as she goes over. Lots of handstands are good, and pratice practice pratice.


Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
I usually do 'rocks' with kids who have their kickover on a wedge but not on floor. Have her push up to a bridge, feet together, and then rock forward and back without her moving her hands or feet. To rock forward, she'll have to push her feet against the floor and brace her hands so they don't slide. Ideally what will happen is her legs will get straight, and her armpits will be over or slightly past her wrists.

She will feel a stretch between her shoulder blades in her upper back, to me, it felt kind of like a pinch. I usually have kids rock back and forth in a bridge 5 times, then come down, tuck, and rock it out. The goal is to try for those straight legs and open shoulders without moving hands or feet. She already knows what it feels like to kick over, sounds like she needs to get the upper back flexibility to take over the job gravity was doing when she does them on the wedge. Good luck! :)


Oct 5, 2008
New Zealand
i was just going to ask can she do a kick over on the floor herself ?

get her to try doing a one leg back bend.
it helps with balance and confidence when she can actually do the full backwards walkover.
once she gets confident with that. do it with a block or a wedge to help lift her leg higher,
the higher the leg the easier it is to kick over

also do regular bridge stretching. this helps with shoulder flexibility
and then do kick over straight out of them.

i hope this helps
and good luck to her getting them !!



Sep 21, 2008
Another, simple thing, you can do at home, is have her sit on your couch, or a long chair, etc... have her. Help her lean backwards so her hands are on the floor, and her back is arched with her hips elevated.

From there, she can work on walking over on her own. Start with a spot, make sure one leg at a time goes over, directly over her body (not around the side). The more she is able to do on her own, the stronger her stomach will get and the stronger her arms will get, to support the movement.

When that is too easy, have her do a bridge with her feet on a slightly elevated surface (like a sturdy stool, or even a low coffee table... if youre in a bind, you could probably come up with some creative ideas, or just use the wedge that you have).

Make sure when she is going for the walkover motion, her chest is "rolling" over her hands.

However - one thing I would like to point out... as much fun as it is to help young gymnasts get better - you may find in the long run to let coaching be done by coaches, and not take it home. If they work on stuff at home it's GREAT! But, home should really be a safe haven where kids can relax, especially if they become serious about competing. The last thing you want is to enforce a gym policy at home.. this can cause burn out really really quick.

Moral of the story is.. if you do these things at home, my suggestion is to present it as fun time or a game... not as gymnastics stuff. Try "something fun!" not "hey this can help with your back walk over" ... again.. depending on how old she is too...


I agree with RyanTroop new skills should be left to the coaches to teach.
However if the problem is a fear of going backwards then i find that getting them to start by making sure their arms are right up by the ears with the head SLIGHTLY tilted back just enough so they can see their hands. Then i ask them to bend backwards whilst watching their hands all the time until the can see the floor. Usually when the can see where their hands are going it makes it easier for them to get their hands right under the shoulders so they can kick on over.


Oct 5, 2008
New Zealand

i also agree that new skills should be left for coaches to teach.
with out coaches supervision some skills quite easily develop bad habits that are hard to break.

in backwards walkover:
- using strength and back movement rather than shoulder flexibility.
- also starting a walkover and freaking out and not finishing it.
- bent arms and legs.

just to name a few

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