The Different Types of Flips in Gymnastics For Beginners and Experts

The Different Types of Flips in Gymnastics

Ever wondered how those graceful gymnasts execute those incredible flips with such seeming ease? Well, looks can be deceiving because those magnificent feats require great skill, strength, and practice to perfect. But don’t despair if you’ve always wanted to learn how to flip like a pro; we’re here to help!

This blog post will provide a comprehensive guide to the most common types of flips in gymnastics, outlining the skills and techniques required to execute each one flawlessly. So, read on and get ready to start flipping your way to success!

What Is a Flip in Gymnastics Terminology?

A “flip” is a typical gymnastics move in which the gymnast launches themselves into the air and rotates their body one or more times before landing. The word “flip” can be used to describe both the launch and the rotation(s) and the entire move from start to finish.

There are many different types of flips in gymnastics, including front, back, and side flips. The names of gymnastics moves are descriptively assigned based on the direction the gymnast launches themselves into the air.


For example, a “front flip” is a move in which the gymnast launches themselves off their feet and into the air, rotating their body forward one or more times before landing on their feet.

Other flips have non-descriptive names either due to nomenclatures that have emerged due to particular activities, such as tricking or due to the complexity of their movements, preventing practical descriptive naming from being possible. Many flips also incorporate additional elements, such as twists and somersaults.

Flips require a high degree of athleticism and coordination, often considered one of the most impressive gymnastics skills. Gymnasts who are proficient in flipping are often able to wow crowds with their seemingly superhuman abilities.

The Different Types of Gymnastics Flips and Their Descriptions

The following is a list of different types of gymnastics flips for beginners and experts, including their descriptions:

Front Flip

The front flip is a gymnastic move that starts with a backward somersault and ends with a forward flip. The gymnast starts in a standing position and then executes a back handspring or back tuck to generate the momentum needed for the front flip.

During the front flip, the gymnast’s arms should be extended above their head, and their legs should be kept tight together.

To ensure a successful landing, it is essential to land on both feet simultaneously and absorb the impact by bending your knees. Although the front flip may seem like a simple move, it requires a great deal of strength, flexibility, and coordination to execute successfully. For those reasons, it is considered one of the most impressive gymnastic moves.

Double-Front Flip


The double-front flip is a more advanced version of the front flip. As the name suggests, it involves flipping twice instead of once. It starts with the gymnast running toward the vaulting table, then launching off of it with both feet.

In the air, the gymnast does a front flip with a double twist before landing on their feet on the other side of the vaulting table. It is often considered one of the most challenging flips to perform in gymnastics.

Back Flip

Gymnastics is a sport that requires immense strength, flexibility, and coordination. Back flips are one of the most impressive feats a gymnast can perform. A back flip begins with a round-off, an acrobatic maneuver in which the gymnast propels themselves into the air from a standing position.

While in the air, the gymnast tucks their body into a tight ball and rotates backward. They then extend their body and land on their feet. The entire move must be performed in one fluid motion, requiring split-second timing and perfect body control. For many spectators, watching a gymnast perform a back flip is an awe-inspiring sight.

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Double-Back Flip 

The double-back flip is a gymnastics move that starts with a round-off and ends with two backward flips. The gymnast launches into the air and performs two backward somersaults before landing on their feet.

The double-back flip is considered one of the most challenging flipping maneuvers because it requires the gymnast to have perfect timing and control.

To execute the move successfully, the gymnast must tuck their body tightly and rotate quickly to generate enough momentum for the second flip. The double-back flip is often reserved for experienced gymnasts who have perfected their flipping technique.

Gainer Flip

This is the type of backflip in gymnastics performed by moving off an object and flipping backward while tucking your knees into your chest. Since you will be starting from a standing position, you will need to generate a lot of power in your jump for this move. It is frequently utilized in gymnastics routines as an entry or exit move.

Aeriel Flip

The aeriel flip is a move that is often seen in gymnastics competitions. It is considered an advanced move and requires great strength and coordination. The athlete begins in a standing position, and then launches into the air, performing a somersault.

As they reach the peak of their somersault, they tuck their body into a tight ball and then flip backward, landing on their feet. The move is often completed with a twisting motion, which adds to the difficulty. The aeriel flip is a daring and impressive move, sure to wow any audience.

Arabian Flip

Arabian flips are a type of front flip that involves a 180-degree rotation. This means the gymnast will twist their body before they flip over, making it a hard gymnastics move. The Arabian flip is often seen in gymnastics competitions and is sure to impress any audience.

Side Flip

A side flip is a gymnastics move that starts with a sideways Somersault and ends in an upright position. The first part of the move is similar to a cartwheel, but instead of placing your hands on the ground, you keep them close to your sides.

As you reach the height of the Somersault, you extend your arms and legs to the side, flipping your body over. You then land on your feet, with both arms above your head.

Twist Flip

The Twist Flip starts with a forward somersault, followed by a half twist and a backward somersault. The move is often used as a transition between other skills or as an element in a tumbling pass.

To perform the Twist Flip, the gymnast must have strong momentum and spatial awareness. The move requires a high level of coordination and can be challenging to master.

B Twist Flip

The B Twist is also known as the butterfly twist and is a move that starts with a forward somersault. The gymnast rotates their body 360 degrees before flipping backward and landing on their feet. This move requires excellent coordination and strength, making it a challenging but impressive skill.

Corkscrew Flip

A Corkscrew Flip is a 540-degree horizontal twist in mid-air. It is similar to a B Twist, but the performer swings through with one leg and jumps off the other to achieve an extra 180 degrees of twist. This move is often used as a dismount from the high bar or rings and can be very impressive when executed correctly.

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The key to performing a successful Corkscrew Flip is to generate enough momentum and then use your body weight to provide the added twist. With practice, any gymnast can perfect this move and add it to their routines.

Step Out Flip

A step-out flip can be either a front or back flip performed with one foot positioned at the front in the starting posture. It is generally considered a more straightforward flip to complete than a regular front or back flip.

Webster Flip

Webster Flip is a move in gymnastics where the performer does a front flip from a step out. The challenge of this move is that the performer first has to land on the kicking leg and then the jumping leg. This may be challenging to do because it requires coordination and balance.

The good news is that this move is relatively easy to do once you get the hang of it. And, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your gymnastic skills!

Wall Flip

A wall flip is a gymnastics move where the gymnast uses momentum to flip off the wall. The wall flip can be executed differently depending on how the gymnast jumps off the wall. For example, the gymnast can jump off the wall using two legs, three legs, or one leg.

The wall flip can also be executed with different body parts facing the wall, such as backward or forward. When executed correctly, the gymnast will land on their feet in a standing position.

The Different Types of Rolls in Gymnastics

In gymnastics class, a roll is the most fundamental and essential move. The skill comes in many different forms. Rolls and flips involve a full body rotation, but a roll is typically performed on the ground while a flip is performed in the air with the hips crossing the chest and no hands touching the floor.

The following are some of the most common rolls in gymnastics:

Forward Roll

The forward roll begins with the gymnast standing, then crouched with hands shoulder-width apart and facing forward. They place the back of their head on the floor and tuck their chin to their chest.

The individual then pushes off the floor with their legs and rotates onto their back over their head. To stand up, the gymnast presses their feet to the ground and thrust their arms forward.

Backward Roll

Like the forward roll, the gymnast begins in a standing position and squats/sit with their arms in front. They then stoop and lean back slightly until their bottoms touch the ground. They continue this momentum, then position their hands next to their shoulders and tuck their chin under their head.

The hands then forcefully push the floor, straighten the arms, and continue to rotate the body over the head. After placing the feet on the ground, the gymnast stands.

Dive Roll

A dive roll is an acrobatic trick that starts with a forward horizontal dive and ends with a forward roll. It is considered an advanced forward roll that exhibits flight and a soft landing. It is a type of flip in parkour and wrestling, which is used to reinforce the proper landing motion.

Teddy Bear Roll

This roll begins with a straddle position on the ground. The body leans to one side toward the shoulder while the legs are held below the knees. The gymnast then folds more tightly, rolling over onto their back to get back into the straddle position.

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Sideways Roll

Sideways rolls are also referred to as pencil rolls, log rolls, barrel rolls, and sausage rolls. Begin by lying on your back or front with your arms and legs extended. The gymnast then rolls onto their side and completes a body rotation while remaining parallel to the performing surface.

The pencil roll has the hands stretched above the head, whereas the log roll is a sideways roll with the hands near the waist. A gymnast can also perform a sideways roll if they over-rotate or lose balance in a vertical, forward, or sideways direction.


How Many Types of Flips Are There?

There are many different types of flips that gymnasts can perform, and the complexity of the flip often depends on the skill level of the gymnast. Some of the most common types of flips include the front flip, back flip, and side flip.

Do You Learn Flips in Gymnastics?

Yes, most gymnasts learn how to perform flips during their training. If you’re enrolled in a beginner’s class, the flips you’ll learn will be less advanced than those taught in more advanced courses. The front, back, and side flips are some of the most common flips that gymnasts learn.

What Is the Hardest Flip in Gymnastics?

The most difficult flips typically require the gymnast to have a high degree of control and power. The double full and quadruple full twists are typical examples of complex flips.
Also, Produnova is considered the hardest vault in gymnastics, a hands-free flip with a triple somersault, because only five women have completed it.

What Skills Are Banned in Gymnastics?

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has a Code of Points that outlines which skills are banned in gymnastics competitions. Some of the currently banned skills include layout backflip with a full twist to grasp the high bar, 1¾ flip with 1½ twists ending in a forward roll, and any tumbling pass ending in a forward roll.

While these skills are currently banned, it’s important to note that the FIG Code of Points is subject to change. So, some of these banned skills may become allowed in the future.

What Is the Easiest Gymnastic Skill?

The easiest gymnastic skill will depend on the individual gymnast’s level of experience and comfort with different skills. For example, a beginner may find a forward roll the easiest, while an experienced gymnast may find a backward roll the easiest.

In general, basic skills like rolls, cartwheels, and handstands are considered to be relatively easy compared to more complex skills like flips and twists.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some gymnasts may find specific skills easier or more difficult than others.

What Is the Best Gymnastics Move?

There is no single “best” gymnastics move because there are so many different types of gymnastics skills. Some of the most popular and iconic gymnastics skills include flips, twists, and turns.

Many of the best types of movements in gymnastics are the ones that are the most difficult to execute. For example, a move like a double full twist is considered one of the best because it requires a high degree of control and power.


Now that you know the different types of flips go out and try them yourself! Remember to practice on a soft surface before trying them on a trampoline or spring floor.

Also, ask your coach for help if you’re having trouble with a particular flip. With enough practice, you’ll be flipping like a pro in no time!


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