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Swiss Ball Acrobatic Tricks

This video is similar to a recent one featuring Damien Walters and Tim Shieff using a swiss ball for acrobatic tricks. In fact, they may have gotten the idea from James Stewart.

I would only recommend trying these skills, even the basic ball backflip, if you have a great foundation in basic gymnastic skills.

It also ends with some humor, which by itself looks fun to me 🙂

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That being said, has anyone tried doing this? I personally haven’t but may give it a go sometime in the future.

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Guest Article at Breaking Muscle

I’ve written a great new article for a site called Breaking Muscle.

It’s all about Basic Tumbling Skills You SHOULD Have.

If you’re a regular reader here it may not be anything new to you, and the skills easy, but they certainly aren’t so easy for the average person out there.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Breaking Muscle

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Swiss Ball Acrobatics

There’s a series featuring two of the best athletes in the world, Damien Walters and Tim Shieff, who I’ve featured a whole bunch on this site. In this series they do a bunch of random acrobatic things together, along with some of their other friends.

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon

To start with they work on a slack line, and they aren’t very good. This goes to show that just because you’re excellent at one thing it doesn’t mean you’ll be good at everything. Still the manage a couple near handstand that are probably beyond the ability of many slackliners. And if they stuck with it I’m sure they’d pick up skills very fast with their acrobatic base.

Then they move onto using a physio ball, also known as a swiss ball to try out new acrobatic moves. Some are awesome, but they also miss a whole bunch.

It’s great to watch a video like this where you see people just playing around with their skills, and how often they miss and make them. While your skills may not be at this level, the training could look much the same. Of course, it goes without saying that it’s not recommended to try any of these moves without a proper facility to train in, coaching, and making sure you only work at things within your skill range.

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Edward Upcott Video

This video was sent to me from Ben and displays an amazing acrobat by the name of Edward Upcott.

This video starts off with a number of simple exercises a lot of people can do, but after the minute mark there’s a lot of one arm balancing and some amazing moves on the trampoline.

Amazing video worth watching.

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

If you want to see more from Edward Upcott check out his website here.

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How to do a No Handed Cartwheel

This video will show you how to do a no handed cartwheel which is also known as an aerial.

This is a difficult skill to get to, especially for men, who tend to have less hip flexibility. But with dedicated training I think just about everybody can do it.

The basics of this movement are to first master your cartwheel then your one handed cartwheel. When you can do these easily you can start working towards the aerial.

Be forewarned, that the more hip flexibility you have the easier it will be.

When you’re starting out you’ll need to launch off hard from both the rear leg then front leg. Running into the movement can help.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

It’s also helpful to think of your point of rotation at the shoulders.

At one time I was finally able to do the no handed cartwheel after a lot of time spent trying. Unfortunately I can’t currently do it, but am working back up to the skill. You can see it’s not the most graceful aerial but I did pull it off.

If you enjoyed this article on how to do a no handed cartwheel please leave a comment below.

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How to do a Cartwheel Step by Step

The video below and the accompanying steps will show you how to do a cartwheel step by step. The cartwheel is one of the most basic and foundational tumbling or gymnastic moves. It’s a move everyone should be able to do with just a little amount of practice.

How to do a Cartwheel Step by Step

Step 1
Figure out which leg to lead off of for the cartwheel. This is important in the beginning, and with a little more practice you’ll be able to do cartwheels on both sides. Although one side is usually tougher then another, this is one move where you can easily work off both legs.

Step 2
Determine if you can support your weight on your hands. This is done in the video with a move called the bunny hop. You could also use a handstand against the wall.

Step 3
Do a bunny hop to the side. This ends up looking something like a move that people that don’t know how to cartwheel end up doing when the try it.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Step 4
Do a bunny hop to the side, except this time you land on one foot before bringing down the other.

Step 5
This uses a cartwheel mat, although it’s not necessary. This explains where your hands and feet go while doing the cartwheel. You can see an example of this in this other article on how to do the cartwheel.

Step 6
Do a cartwheel.

For some people you might need to teach in this many steps how to do a cartwheel, but for others they’ll be able to pick it up with a minor amount of cues.

If you’d like more advice on a wide variety of tumbling skills check out Tumbling Illustrated.

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Kip Up to Handstand

Watch this awesome video of a kip up to handstand.

I came across this video when looking for one showing the jump back to a kip up.

The video starts off with a kip up into a double forward flip done into a foam pit. (This was likely good training for leading up to the following move, as you need to learn to rotate fast out of the kip.)

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

The kip up is then done into something of an elbow lever, or the bottom of a press, with the legs bent. Of course, from here, it’s relatively simple to press up into the handstand.

This is an awesome move, that I don’t think I’ve seen before. Can anyone else do the kip up to a handstand? Post a link to other videos below.

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Jump Back to Kip Up

I received this great question regarding a move that henceforth will be referred to as the Jump Back to Kip Up.

Good morning Logan,
I wanted to thank you for this – It really refreshing to see another person instruct something that is commonly mistaught – spotting.

I had a question. I have seen people in movies, like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, go from a stand to a jump to a leaning back movement that lands them in a position to kip back to stand in pike…can you tell me what that’s called and perhaps how to learn to do it without breaking my neck?

He showed a video from that movie but it was long so I hunted around for a shorter one that shows just this move and I found one.

First of all let’s talk about the name. Just searching to find this video wasn’t easy because I had to try a number of different words to find it. Is their an official name for this move? I am unaware of one, but if it does have one please let me know.

Right now I’m calling it the jump back to kip up. The kip up of course is the name for the jumping up off the ground, so the jump back refers to getting into that position.

So now let’s talk about what it would actually take in order to train for this movement. Let me start by saying that I have not achieved this movement, as I’ve never worked on it. But this is the approach I would take if I wanted to learn it right now.

Number 1 – Master the Kip Up

The kip up is obviously an important part to this movement. It should be easy to do any time you try, before working towards this advanced movement. Though the hands are used in the jump back to kip up, I would build up to the ability to do the kip up hands free.

Number 2 – Handstand Lower to Kip Up

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Starting in a handstand position lower down onto the back of your head, with your legs over you. When you can do this, then add the kip up into it. This will train you to go into the kip up without the usually used rolling back method, or just starting on the ground. It works towards the transition that is needed.

Number 3 – Stalled Back Handsprings

Do a back handspring stopping in the handstand position. This is tougher then in sounds. Yet this will build the control and ability you need towards the full movement. If you can stick the handstand you could then lower down and then kip up.

Number 4 – Short Back Handsprings

Do the back handspring like before but have less and less jump to it, so that you don’t get a vertical position. Learn to land in control on your hands and your upper back.

It should go without saying that I recommend practicing all these skills in a safe environment.

Putting it All Together

When you watch the video again notice it’s not much of a back handspring and it doesn’t get anywhere close to the handstand position. Still training all these exercises will help you develop that ability.

It may be a slow approach, but just about anyone with dedicated practice should be able to work up to the jump back to kip up.

For lots more tumbling exercises like this one I recommend checking out Tumbling Illustrated. With 248 moves you’re sure to find many you can do, and many you can’t.

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Spotting a Back Hand spring

Here’s a great video on spotting a back hand spring. If you’ve never done this move before, it can be quite scary the first time, so having a spotter, while not essential, is very helpful.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

I really like the quote, “The spotter is not responsible for making sure you land on your feet, the spotter is responsible for making sure you do not land on your head.”

This same spotting technique can be done from a standing position, but besides that, it’s the same as what I learned from my gymnastics coach.

Also when doing the back handspring, it can be helpful of thinking about sitting in a chair position before launching. This gives you the proper launching position you need.

For more information including how to learn back hand springs and back flips without a spot I recommend you check out Get Your Backflip Now. Since not everyone has a coach or training partner available to them, it’s a smart option to have.

Try out the back hand spring with this method and then switch people, spotting the back handspring yourself. Leave your comments below.

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Awesome Free Running Video

You can spend a lot of time on Youtube looking around at videos on many cool things. Parkour and Free running are two such things.

But instead of you looking I’ll highlight a few of the best in the coming weeks here on the blog. This first one is long but has tons of great tricks as it s a compilation of the best.

You’ll find all kinds of acrobatics as well as a little bit of hand balancing and strength moves, like the human flag, thrown in.

And if you want to get started learning Parkour and many of these skills yourself I recommend you check out the Parkour Crash Course.

This is put out by the Tapp Brothers of which I recommended their Backflip program and it was hugely popular.

Good Luck and Good Free Running,
Logan Christopher

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

P.S. If you know of any great videos I should check out either enter them in the comments below or shoot me an email. Thanks!

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