Belly Fly Forward / Backward


Belly flying forward a backward movement is a skill that for primary control inside the flight chamber will be an essential tool. Understanding how to control forward and backward movements will help you to maintain a more central place inside the tunnel which ultimately will help you while learning other skills.


To learn forward and backward movement while belly-flying, you first need to be able to belly-fly in a neutral body position and hold that position stable and under control throughout.


The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully demonstrate forward and backward movements while belly-flying, remaining stable and on heading throughout.


You will start in the center of the wind tunnel, off the net, facing in a direction that does not point you toward a doorway or have a doorway behind you; this will prevent you from hitting the doors during the maneuver. Before beginning one of these movements, make sure that you are stable and under control so that you get the correct results during the maneuver. When signaled by your coach, you’ll begin either a forward or a backward move until you approach the tunnel wall, where you will stop, return to a neutral body position and then begin a movement in the opposite direction.

Technique and Drills


  • Slightly extend your legs in order to create lift at your lower body, which will give your shoulders the low body pitch required to generate the forward drive.
  • For the backwards movement, you will need to bend your legs in order to reduce the lift at your lower body. This will give your shoulders the high body pitch required to generate a backwards drive.
  • Manage your heading by making slight upper body inputs to counteract any unwanted heading changes during the maneuver.
  • To stop a forward movement, you will need to bend your legs past your neutral position to almost initiating a backwards movement position. This will adjust your body pitch to engage the stopping motion. The opposite is true for stopping a backwards movement. Once you have stopped you will need to return your position to neutral in order to remain in place.


  • Continue using the skills you learned from the basic technique
  • When moving forward, you can increase the rate of movement by bending your arms and tucking your elbows toward your sides.
  • Extending your legs more toward straight and widening your legs will help to create more body pitch to increase the rate of forward movement.
  • When moving backward, you can increase the rate of movement by extending your arms out in front of you.
  • With your legs bent, narrow your knees until they are close to touching and also “drop” your knees down to help create a larger body pitch, giving you more speed.
  • Stopping these movements will require you to reverse your movements like you did for the basic technique.

Post-flight questions / suggestions

  • How did your performance match the initial objectives?
  • Were you able to maintain stability throughout while moving forward and backward? Both basic and advanced techniques?
  • What techniques did you feel comfortable with and what can you improve on during the next session?


As you move on to learning the next skill in your progression, advancing your turns and forward and backward movements will be essential to improving your overall bely flying skills.

What skill level is next?

Belly Fly Up / Down

Fall rate control, or up and down moves are used in many areas of belly flying; when flying with a partner and maintaining the same flight level, performing specific moves during 2 way flight such a verticals and much more.