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Once you have accomplished a solid bridge, you are ready to move to the standing backbend.

It should only be done after warming up your core and performing more moderate exercises like the macaco, gato and then bridge.

Make sure you have someone spotting you so you don't hurt yourself.

Ginga

To perform a Ponte em Pe (standing backbend):

While standing, place your arms over your head. Your arms should be straight and tight with hand flat, palms up and fingers pointing behind you. Slowly arch backward and look for the ground.

Keep your arms locked as you move closer to the floor. This will ensure that you don’t hit your head when you land. Place your hands on the ground and keep your feet firmly planted. Your head should look back towards the floor while you hold the position.

Tip: Flexibility Helps

A standing backbend is easier if your back is very flexible. To increase your flexibility, get into a bridge (as described on How to Do a Backbend - Part I) and rock back and forth. After rocking try walking your hands to your feet. This will create a deeper arch and truly prepare you for the standing backbend.

Ponte em Pe (standing backbend) tutorial

Make it easier

When learning the standing backbend there is a trick that make it easier. Use the wall: Stand about one foot from the wall, facing away. Start your backbend. Follow the same motions as described above, except you can use the wall to slowly walk your hands down until they reach the ground.

Once you have mastered the standing backbend, it is time to move to the kick-over.

Remember, the backbend is not a move that you will quickly master – it will take some time. So be patient before moving to more advanced skills.

To perform a Kick-over:

Perform a standing backbend.

When your hands are placed on the ground, kick your legs over your head to land back on your feet.

You may kick your leg up, but fall back into a bridge. That’s ok! This is a difficult move and will take awhile to gain strength necessary to complete it.

The Kick-over tutorial

Again there is a trick that help get those legs over:

The Wall: Get into a bridge with your feet next to a wall and slowly walk your feet up the wall and push off. This push will give you that momentum to kick all the way over.

Once you learn how to do a standing backbend and a kick-over, you are ready to perform the actual back walkover.

To learn the back walkover,

follow these steps with a qualified teacher assisting you:

Start by extending one leg out in front of your body with your other leg firmly planted on the ground. Keep your extended leg straight.

Keep your hands up by your ears with your arms straight and locked tight.

Initiate the standing backbend and let your extended leg follow the natural motion of your body.

When your hands touch the floor, your front leg will reach over your head and your standing leg will follow.

You will finish in a standing position.

Key Capoeira Skill

Learning the back walkover requires patience and diligence. But once you gain the flexibility needed to perform the move, you will discover how fun it really is—not to mention the essential role it will play in your floreios.

So keep practicing! Soon you will perform this skill with ease.

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