Backward Movement—Belly Flying

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Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructor Brianne Thompson at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Niklas Daniel. For more information visit or search “Axis Flight School” on Facebook.



  • To stop more powerfully when going forward or approaching a target
  • To maneuver while on grips
  • To move pieces while formation skydiving
  • To increase body-flight awareness


The addition of a few motions in conjunction with curling your legs toward your rear and stretching your arms forward and out—the standard method of backward movement—will dramatically increase your power with minimal effort.

To initiate backward drive, extend your arms out in front of yourself and move them above your eye level to get as much lift as possible from the insides of your biceps. At the same time, bring your heels to your rear end. Once you have begun to move backward, squeeze your knees together. This motion will dramatically increase your power, and it requires minimal effort.

When you squeeze your knees together, your knees will naturally drop below your hip level. You may feel that your body is in a slightly precarious position, but you will find your balance quickly. Just keep your chin up in order to maintain your arch. You should notice an increased amount of air pressure on your upper thighs.

If you want even more power while going backward, increase your drive by flattening your chest slightly. You can accomplish this by rolling your shoulders forward or by making your chest more concave. Remember to bring your heels toward your rear as you squeeze your knees together so that you get the full effect. If you still feel air pressure on your shins, you need to bring your legs in more.

Helpful Hints

Slowly bring your knees together, just a little bit at a time. Be sure to bring your shins and ankles close together, as well, not just your knees.


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