How to Do a Front Flip


A front flip requires speed, power and body control as you leap vertically and then rotate in a full circle before landing on your feet. Also known as a front tuck, gymnasts typically do the exercise as a part of a floor routine, although it can also be performed on other apparatus -- such as the balance beam -- or during a dismount.

Things You'll Need

  • Gymnastic mats
  • Place thick mats on the floor of your training area.

  • Take four to six running strides to begin your front flip. As you improve your technique, you should be able to take fewer strides, or even do a front flip from a stationary start. End your forward movement by hopping to bring both feet together. Flex your knees as you land on the balls of both feet to help generate power when you jump.

  • Jump off of both feet while raising your arms forward and up, and dipping your chest forward. Your arms and back should both be straight, and your gaze should be straight ahead as you take off.

  • Pull both knees toward your chest as you continue spinning. Your head should move forward and downward, with your arms extended in front of your chest. Tuck your knees as close to your torso as possible -- the closer you tuck your knees, the faster you’ll spin. You need that speed to complete the rotation.

  • Grasp your knees when you’re in an upside-down position to maintain a tight tuck. Keep your head neutral relative to your torso, as bending your head backward toward the floor will slow your rotation.

  • Extend your legs toward the floor as you come close to completing your circle in the air. Move your arms down so they’re at your sides and keep your knees slightly flexed to help absorb the shock as you land on the mat.

  • Land on the balls of your feet and extend your arms straight ahead of you to help prevent you from falling backward. Other than your arms, your body should form a straight vertical line as quickly as possible when you land.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have trouble generating sufficient power to complete the front flip, perform strength-training exercises to build your abdominal, thigh and calf muscles.

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  • Photo Credit Brian McEntire/iStock/Getty Images
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