The standing backflip is one kind of advanced, backward somersault. The body rolls/flips end-over-end, making a complete 360 degree revolution and landing back on the feet, without contacting the floor with hands, head or shoulders, requiring practice and care to execute. (This is not like the backward shoulder roll nor the backward walkover.) It’s not a skill for beginners, but if you take the time to practice your technique and build toward the backflip, you’ll be able to do it.
Prepare to do a Backflip - 1Stretch well. Before you try to do a backflip or any other gymnastics skill, you should stretch your wrists, ankles, achilles tendon, and your neck. If you skip this step, you will be much more likely to get injured. Here's how to do it: Stretch your achilles tendon. Place your toes on an elevated platform while your heel is on the ground until you feel a deep stretch running from your calf to your heel. Stretch your ankles. Sit down and hold your ankle with one hand, while rolling your ankle. Stretch both ankles equally. Stretch your wrists. Extend one hand with your palm away from you, and pull your fingers back with the other until you feel a nice stretch. Switch hands. Stretch your neck. Roll your head in one direction, and then the other.
Practice the jump before a backflip. Before you do the backflip, you should practice the basic jump and arm whipping move to get comfortable with the beginning form. Simply jump straight up and whip your arms in the air over your head. Here's how to do it: Jump up while whipping your arms over your head in the air. Land straight back down with your knees bending no more than 90 degrees as you land. Lower your arms down by your knees. Stand up and start again.
Practice your form while lying on the floor. This is another way to learn the beginning form. Lie down on your back on an exercise mat with your legs extended out straight and together. Extend your arms up in front of you and do an abdominal crunch. Raise your shoulders off of the ground, but keep you neck aligned with your spine. Still on the floor: Whip your arms up over your head so that your arms contact the ground above your head. Tuck your knees up to your chest and grab your legs. At the same time, roll backwards onto your shoulders as quickly as you can without a rollover; don't strain your neck! Then untuck and extend your legs; repeat. Practice repeating this set of rapid arm whipping, tucking and grabbing legs while rolling back onto your shoulders, and extending -- until you have good form, before attempting the standing backflip.
Execute the Backflip - Practice the backflip with a spotter! Before you try the backflip on your own, you should work with a spotter, preferably a coach. Ideally, you should start practicing on a trampoline or a gymnastics floor, so you have a mat, coaching support, and so it's safer to jump high in the air. Stand with your feet together. Extend your arms straight out in front of you.
Bend your knees. Pretend that you're going to sit in a chair. This builds potential energy in your legs. Don't let your knees bend more than 90 degrees or you may fall. Keep a slightly hollow chest. Avoid arching backward or putting your arms on or behind your butt. Keep your eyes focused on a spot about eye level. Keep your head in that position throughout the flip instead of looking downward. Swing your arms down by your hips ready to swing them upward as you jump.
Jump upwards. You should jump up from your vertical position. At the same time, whip your arms above your head. This arm movement will give you backward momentum for your rotation. Even though you may feel tempted to jump backward, do not do so. You will just lose height. As you begin to revolve backwards, you should rotate at your hips, not at your shoulders.
Tuck your knees upward to your chest as you reach the high point of your jump. Your chest should be facing the ceiling as you finish pulling your knees into your chest. This fast raising/whipping the arms upward and then tucking motion will provide momentum to flip you backwards. Don't bring your chest to your knees, bring your knees to your chest. Don't focus on tucking in really hard at first, but focus on ripping your knees to your chest as fast as possible, putting your arms around your calves once your legs are tucked.
Untuck. As you come close to the end of your flip, extend your lower back and legs to untuck for landing.
Land. You should ideally land on your feet in the same place where you started, or just a foot or two behind your starting spot. As soon as your feet touch the ground, bend your knees toward the sitting position to shift the momentum toward the vertical again. Extend your arms straight out in front of you to give yourself more balance. This will keep you from falling backwards. Rise up quickly from the bent knee form and elevate yourself into a standing position.
Keep practicing! Once you're comfortable without a spotter or a trampoline, find a soft surface and continue to practice the backflip on your own. As you keep improving your skills, you'll learn to flip more gracefully and to land in a more upright position. Don't be discouraged if you're struggling. Learning to do a backflip is hard work and takes time.