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Also known as a front salto, punch-front or a front somersault, it has become a staple skill in today's modern Parkour scene. For the next 3 tutorials we will be looking into flipping mechanics.
- Forward Rolls
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Starting with arms straight above head and reaching for the ceiling (to simulate the set position) begin to fall forward. Quickly reach for the floor to break the fall and give a slight jump with the feet to get hips upside down. Grab shins when upside down to simulate the actual flip.
- Dive Rolls
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Similar to the forward rolls but this time we will add a slight run, hurdle and the jump. I find it easiest to put something in your way as a target to jump over (simulates the "jumping over the fence"). Maintain a hollow position while driving heels up and over your head.
- Rapid Contraction Sit-ups
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Have a friend hold your feet and keep your knees as straight as possible. Initiate the sit up by throwing your arms towards your partner. Use you core to sit up. Once you are about to achieve a 90 degree sitting angle, quickly bend your knees and grab your shins.
Understanding the approach.
Let's look at how to transfer forward running motion, velocity, into upward angular momentum, jump-->Front Flip.
How to execute a Front Flip?
1) Don't jump down towards your landing!
- Much like when you are driving a vehicle, where your head looks is where you generally start to drift, so if you are looking at the cute girl in the car beside you, you might find yourself crashing into her...
- Height equals time! Time to adjust and finish rotation. It is easy to just want to focus on flipping so fast that you forget to achieve any height. A fast flip with good height allows you more time to prep for landing instead of the ground sneaking up on you while you are still in a cannon ball shape.
2) Find your apex.
- The apex is that moment in air where all motion stops. You throw a ball into the air it keeps rising and rising. All of a sudden the ball stops completely (too fast for the eye to see) and now gravity is pulling it back towards Earth.
- When flipping, the goal is to finish the flip (at least 3/4 of it) on the way up to the apex and utilizing the the descent to kick out and prep for landing. This will come with a lot of practice, but now that you are aware of the goal progression should happen much faster.
Landing a Front Flip!
Other than land on the pads/balls of your feet all I can really say about proper landing is to be decisive. Control the kick out of the flip and brace for impact, provide enough tension in your legs to push the ground away from you when landing. Even if you choose to roll out being proactive in the landing process helps slow down rotational speed. Just don't be too rigid, that which cannot bend breaks.