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How To Do An Aerial Flip? [6 Steps To Perfect The Art]

ariel flip

Let me start by saying, doing an Aerial Flip may seem arduous but once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake. I know this statement would seem far from reality, especially if you are a beginner but trust me, you need not worry or underestimate yourself. Having said that, I’m going to help you do the ‘perfect’ Aerial Flip.  

Trust me when I say, I was once at the point that you are at right now; unsure and extremely unlearned as far as gymnastics is concerned. Some part of me was frightened to try and fail as well.

As human beings, particularly teenagers (or the Generation Z…that's what they're calling them these days right?) are subconscious of the view that if we are not immediately exemplary at an activity we might never be. 

However, that is where we're wrong. If there was anything that I had at the beginning of my 'rising era' it was determination. I knew where I had to get and there was nothing I was going to allow to come in between my way.

That is exactly the approach I'm urging you to have. I speak from experience when I say, it's going to help you do wonders!

Step 2. Gain Flexibility

If you look up the method on how to do an Aerial flip, there is little to nothing you will find about warming up.

From one gymnast to another, let me tell you that it is an integral step without which you might find your body aching in places. We don’t want that happening now, do we? Of course not! 

Most guides pick a start from the steps of an Aerial completely omitting the extremely necessary prerequisites. For that reason, always keep in mind that before you pull a final stunt, do a quick warm-up. As far as our topic of discussion (an Aerial cartwheel) is concerned, I suggest you do the following warm-ups:-

  • Stretch your body in all the ways you know of (No matter how much I stress upon this, it still won’t be enough)
  • Do splits (if you can)
  • Straddle ( this will make it easier for you to bring your legs over and above while doing an Aerial) 
  • Twist around your ankles.
  • Arm swings

Step 3. Practice doing a cartwheel 

Can you do a cartwheel? If yes, you're already halfway there. Hurray! Give it up for yourself. However, if you do not have command over doing a cartwheel, there is nothing you have to worry about. All you need to do is practice.

I know, it’s far easier said than done but unfortunately there are no shortcuts to getting where you want. Now let us break down what an Aerial Flip is. In layman's language, it is only a cartwheel without having to use your hands.

It seems far easier now doesn't it? For this reason, another prerequisite is strengthening your grip over the gymnastic activity.

By following the method mentioned below you will without much difficulty be able to do a perfect cartwheel. I’ll let you in on a secret, I took a start using this very exact routine as well. Now it’s your turn!

  • Get into position (stand on your gymnastics mat with your feet at an even distance apart and raise your hands)
  • Raise your leg at the back in midair and simultaneously bring down your hands a little lower
  • Try and turn sideways while maintaining the same position
  • Put your palms on the mat (the hand that you put down first should be inclined with the raised leg)
  • Eventually in the position for a handstand
  • Position your legs in a V shape during a handstand above your head
  •  Land on your lead leg (the one you raised while performing a headstand earlier)
  •  Continue practicing till it comes to you naturally

Step 4. Perfect one hand cartwheel

If you’ve gotten past the third step, I am tremendously proud of you. You’ve already made it through the tough and sturdy part.

The rest only consists of polishing what you are already proficient in. Doing an Aerial Flip is all about omitting the dependency you have on your hands.

Therefore, performing a one-handed cartwheel is the next step. It restricts you to make use of only one of your hands and eventually not at all. As much as you want the process to speed up and for you to be like one of the gymnast gurus, it is not possible. 

I know, the reality is harsh but once you gain expertise over Aerial flips you will be exceedingly proud of the effort you put into learning. When I was a beginner my all-time motto was; slow and steady wins the race! Believe me when I say that alone has helped me greatly in my journey to where I am at this given point. 

Step 5. Practice kicking

I know how to kick, what are you talking about? That's what you're thinking, aren't you? If that is the case, hear me out! When you kick are you able to bring your head down to the ground?

If not, that is what you need to work on. The rule is to try and bring your head down when you kick without having to make use of your hands.

Step 6. Cheat your way through!

Yes, you read that right, I told you to cheat. No one is flawlessly perfect at the very beginning. However, it does not mean you should beat yourself up in any way.

What you should instead do is, convince yourself that you're doing an Aerial Flip but do a one-hand cartwheel instead. Keep doing so until you're ready to put yourself to the test. You can thank me later!