There are a couple of ways to perform the backflip. The first way, which is also the incorrect way or more inefficient way, is to throw our shoulders back, keep your hips closed, and just huck it. We aren't about that life here at The Holistic Ape. Being a parkour instructor for 7 years and a practitioner myself makes it important for me to help you perform this particular inversion trick the best way possible.
Let's break it down, shall we?
Let's start with the standing start position.
1. Stand Hip-Width Apart If you really want to find the near-perfect feet width distance, take your hands and put them into knuckles. Now put the inside of your hands next to each other with the top of your hands facing upward. Keep that and put them in between your feet, that's about the size of your pelvis.
The reason this is the best starting position is that when everything is aligned you have more power and stability. Think about a tree that is leaning or off-center from bottom to top, it's not likely to stand as long as a tree that's straight.
2. Eyes Forward
Pick a spot in front of you to gaze at, you're going to use this spot as a guide for your eyes.
Okay, now you're set, time to jump!
Swing your arms back
Bend your knees
Gaze at that spot we talked about
Side note: Try this to see if your jump is good: Jump straight up. Did you go forward or backward? The goal is to land in the same spot. If you don't, try to fix it by either going slightly forward or landing back in the same spot. If you go backward, it's likely that that is how your backflip is going to go. Ideally, you want to land in the same spot you started. If you go slightly backward, it's not a big deal.
Pre-Tuck AKA the Take-Off
Jump all the way through your toes
Swing your arms through, but NOT past your ears. Keep your arms slightly bent.
Keep gazing at that spot. This helps with the rotation and keeping proper spinal alignment.
Open your hips, meaning keep them forward. Closed hips would be the opposite meaning hips back, like what you would do to perform a squat.
Bring your arms to your knees/shins as fast you can once you're at the peak of your jump
Pull your knees in tight. Think of pulling them into your shoulders
Keep your knees spread apart. This is called a cowboy tuck, this helps quicken the rotation of your backflip.
keep your chin down, as if you still need to look at the spot you chose earlier.
Don't forget to keep your eyes open. This will help with spotting your landing as well as your aerial awareness.
Side note: if you're doing a front flip, it's still called a cowboy tuck. Anytime you're really spreading your knees apart, it's referred to as a cowboy.
Spot your landing
Release your tuck
Try your best to land in the same spot that you started in
Absorb the landing by landing on the balls of your feet and bending your knees.
You've just completed the backflip! Now go show-off to your friends. Don't tell anyone we told you this but you can sometimes you can use the backflip to impress businesses to give you free things. Go get creative!