How Do You Do a Back Tuck?


Quick Answer

A back tuck is performed by jumping straight up and tucking the knees into the chest to rotate backwards. The gymnast should be sure to keep his head neutral for a powerful backward roll.

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Full Answer

A back tuck, also known as a backward somersault, is one of the more popular tumbling moves used in cheer leading and gymnastics. Practicing a few simple techniques helps to achieve perfection in this move.

Step 1: Start in the proper position

To start a back tuck, stand with the hands and arms straight down. It is not correct to start sitting back as with a back hand spring.

Step 2: Jump up

To gain momentum for the back roll, jump forcefully straight up into the air. At the same time, swing both arms up over the head by the ears, similar to the "touchdown" motion in football games. Be sure to keep the legs straight and not bent behind the body.

Step 3: Tuck in the knees

After a brief stretched position at the initial jump, tuck the knees up and into the chest. This action gives the body the momentum it needs to flip backward.

Step 4: Set the landing

As the body flips backward, keep the head in a neutral position. The gymnast should be able to see the floor, which allows for a safe landing. Keep the knees bent and feet together when landing.

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