Here’s one you probably haven’t seen before… Behold, one of the few images of the great physique star Eugen Sandow doing something athletic: performing a back somersault. Sandow used to do a back somersault was often the exclamation point to finish his act, showing the audience that his muscles weren’t just for show. In fact, many people are more impressed by a back somersault than lifting a heavy weight.
Sandow could perform a back somersault with a 56 pound dumbbell in each hand which is pretty amazing when you think about it.
Like many early strongmen, Sandow’s early training consisted of basic gymnastics movements, calisthenics and hand balancing — all of which continued to serve him well throughout his career.