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Also known as a side salto, standing side or a side somersault, it has become a staple skill in today's modern Parkour scene. The Side Flip is the fastest rotation of any of the basic flips, mostly because you
- Side Rolls
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Similar to the Shoulder Roll, but with more emphasis on rolling sideways. This is the best drill for simulating how the Side Flip will feel as it rotates on the correct axis. Notice how the belly button and chest are always facing the camera, while the head is looking for the landing target.
- Ninja Rolls
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With this drill we are focusing on rolling with speed and precision. Standing sideways and making yourself as narrow as possible roll over the leading shoulder. Use the momentum to stand up quickly back into the starting position. Like it never happened...
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The approach of both the Cartwheel and the Side Flip are the same and teach the proper motor functions of kicking one leg back while simultaneously jumping off the other. Notice how the arms are fully extended towards the desired landing target. Also note how the back leg generates the rotational momentum, where as the front leg is bent to direct the travel of said momentum. In both versions of the Cartwheel the back leg, that creates rotational momentum is also the leg that stops/dissipates rotational momentum by landing first and slightly in front of hips and rest of the body.
- Height Vs Distance
It really depends on how you set the flip with your arms. Wherever you reach with the leading arm/shoulder is the direction you will go. If your arm is straight up, the flip will go high with little rotational speed, if it reaches down or horizontally, you will be landing on your back due to not enough height or time. 45 degrees is always a safe bet.
Legs also play a factor into creating height or distance. If you take off with feet together(similar to a Front Flip) you will generally go higher with distance being on the back burner. Whereas taking off in a Dive Entry similar to a Kong Vault(and the above video) you will see a huge increase in distance and the height isn't too bad either. Just be sure to keep your chest up and open, NO SLOUCHING!
- I keep twisting before I land?
Chances are you are too worried about the landing before even finishing the flip. It will take practice but relax while in the air. Also don't duck your shoulder into the flip, remember to initiate the flip with the back leg by bringing it up and over and jumping off the front foot in the direction you wish to travel.
Another correction would be to keep the head neutral and continue looking in the direction you wish to travel and picking a landing spot. Either a line, stick, etc. DO NOT look behind you, there is nothing cool back there! Plus you will just spin out of axis.
- Keep smooth strides
Another commonly overlooked correction would be to watch your strides and speed leading up to the approach. Don't stutter-step and don't hold back while building velocity. If nothing else make sure the last 3 steps leading into the Side Flip are smooth and increasing in power and speed.