Backward Pivot Turns

Backward pivot turns feature the same technique as forward pivot turns, but they are harder because you need to avoid settling onto your heel as you step backwards.

The Drill: Step backwards with your right foot, in open third position, but do not allow your weight to move past your toe base of your right foot. This should feel like the position you were in after you completed a forward pivot around your left foot (from the previous article in this series), but now your weight is on your back foot.

As you step onto your right foot, pull your right shoulder back in order to create rotational energy in your core. Unwind your core and let the rotation pivot you a quarter turn to your left (i.e., your left shoulder is going backwards) while you are on your right toe base.

When you land, make sure that you can pause while on your right toe base; you don’t want to be falling out of the pivot.

After you can comfortably do quarter turns, move up to ½ turns.

Troubleshooting: If you feel like you are falling off balance, make sure that:

  • Your center is tight;
  • Your weight in on your toe base of the right foot (and not the heel or the outside edge of the foot);
  • Your left thigh is pressed to your right thigh so your free leg is not flailing;
  • You are not throwing yourself into the turn with your upper body. Think about unwinding the core rather than pushing with the core.

Be sure to practice with both feet. When your right foot is behind, you are turning to your left. When your left foot is behind, you are turning to your right.

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