The Back Catch

The back catch is an ADVANCED gymnastic position.

It should not be attempted by: Beginners, Those with joint/muscle problems, or any one who has
not thoroughly warmed up.

In this instance a warm up must include at least 10 minutes of cardio-vascular work, followed
by stretches, paying particular attention to the back, legs and shoulders.

When trying to achieve positions that are combinations, it is essential to get basics right before
you move on. The back catch requires very good splits as well as good back flexibility.

Get both of these right first, and then the position will be easy.

The more you warm up before you try catching your leg, the easier it will become.

Remember: If in doubt - leave it out!




  1. Tie or loop a scarf (not too tightly) round the ankle so that you have an end in each hand. Pull gently upwards aiming above your head and as straight as you can.

    Do not force this. A little improvement every day will add up to a big improvement in a month!

  2. Once in the splits, lean back as far as possible. Get someone to support you as you lean back - do this every day, gradually you will be able to reach your leg.

  3. Stand against a wall, and ask a partner to gently ease your leg back and upwards. Aim to push it up straight as far as it will go. Then bend it toward your head. Stretch back with your hands and hold the position.

  4. Make sure you do lots of crabs, backbends and general back limbering exercises to increase your back flexibility - vital for the back catch.

  5. To stretch your back, lie on the ground on your tummy. Stretch your arms out in front of you clasp your hands, making sure your arms are straight. Ask a (standing) partner to ease your arms upwards. Making sure your arms stay straight, and that your tummy stays on the ground - make sure it is just the back that is being bent stretched. Hold for one minute.

  6. Another stretch to add to the list is lie on your tummy with your arms out in front of you and get someone to pull your leg as far as it will go. You MUST keep it straight or else you won’t feel the stretch. Eventually you will get it in a perfectly straight 90 degree angle.

NEVER do all this without warming up first !!!